The New Year gives us a chance to start new projects. Make your new project discovering a healthier lifestyle by experimenting with dietary changes and improved physical activity in such a way that they become habits for the rest of your life. Most people consider themselves healthy if they don’t ache and are able to perform their daily activities. They are wrong. We may not even notice great amounts of dysfunction in your body, sometimes over 30%. So let’s stop disease dead in its tracts. Let’s get fitter!
Most of us choose to ignore health experts’ advice because we think that, in comparison, our diets, our weight and our activity level are more acceptable than those of most Americans. Most Americans have a crappy lifestyle with regards to health habits to begin with. What are you doing comparing yourself with people you know? Most people choose their friends on the basis that they have the same behaviors. What are you basically stating when you compare your dietary and physical activity habits to those of the average American to feel better? This is what you are saying: “My lifestyle is simply less crappy than theirs.” You are not even saying that your habits are good. So stop comparing yourself to others and compare yourself with a better you!
Contrary to popular belief, most fit people are not blessed with perfect genes. What are perfect genes to begin with? Sometimes their “faulty” genes have been their motivators. They work hard to be healthy, but they don’t attach emotions to their hard work. Many have to drag themselves to the gym and get briefly disappointed by having to turn down some enticing foods, yet they feel fulfilled by overcoming their personal obstacles. They focus on how they feel instead of what they give up to feel great! They enjoy the fruit of their sacrifices like better concentration, increased stamina, healthier blood profiles and, let’s face it, a more attractive physique.
Their multitasking skills don’t remain at work when they leave. They organize their lives so that they have time to prepare their meals, exercise regularly, and enjoy time with friends and family. Healthy behaviors are not just habits for them. They are automatic. They are a priority. Why? Because they allow them to live their life to its fullest.
All of this discourse just to tell you that, it takes about a month to make new habits stick. In 7 more weeks it will be the beginning of a new year. Start experimenting with changing your current behaviors. So that you can make realistic goals for the new year and stick with them. Try following suggestions:
- Eliminate unhealthy foods gradually, but consistently in the coming weeks. Say goodbye to fritters, doughnuts, pastries, alcohol cocktails and so on…
- Add a variety of vegetables to your diet. Make it simple. Get them pre-cut. Beware of dressings, though.
- Experiment with new seasonings to make it easier to quit on sugary and salty foods. Try new recipes.
- Find what your food sensitivities are and eliminate them from your diet.
- Visit different gyms close to work or home. See which one fits you best.
- Try out different types of group exercise classes. Try Yoga if you are not particularly overweight and would like to tone up and balance your musculature; or Boot Camp for those of us who are rhythm challenged and want to burn fat while increasing your body weight; or Zumba, for people who love dancing and might want to focus on cardiovascular fitness. Or try all three and many others! Participate in whatever your gym or studio offers.
- Buy a couple of personal training sessions as your Christmas gift to yourself so that you learn a simple weight routine with correct form.
- Always consult with a professional before trying something new. Get medical clearance as well.
- Finally, read my blog posts. There’s a lot of great information on basic exercises and nutrition. More articles will be coming up soon.
Above all, don’t allow the holiday season to keep you from starting right NOW. Part of living healthy is planning for those guilty pleasures (as long as you are not allergic to them!) Let the next few weeks be your Warm Up to 2012. Give yourself a new powerful YOU starting today. A Healthier You may be the best Christmas present you will ever receive.