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Healthy Habits for the New Year

It’s an overwhelming time of year, when post-holiday blues and a hectic schedule can quickly turn into stress. It’s also the time of year when we try to focus on getting healthy and in shape. As full time employees, it’s easy to be caught up in excuses to not start or stay consistent with an exercise regimen, so here are a few healthy habits to keep you moving, energized, and pleasant to be around during what can be a chaotic start to the year.

Be realistic with your goals

Dream big and set your hopes on losing weight, getting toned, or whatever your goals might be, but remember that it’s not going to happen overnight. Put a plan in place for yourself and manage your expectations. Results will come if you stick with it.

Plan Ahead

  • Find new trails or parks to go for a hike or jog.
  • Try workouts that require little to no equipment. Bodyweight exercises can be just as, if not more, effective!
  • Suggest fitness activities for the family to do together. Pickup basketball, tennis, ice skating, dance classes, or a trip to the gym.

Olympic Inspiration

While watching the Winter Olympics with the family, instead of grabbing a few beers, swap your cold one for a workout game. Here are some examples for rules, but feel free to get creative and make up your own!

  1. The U.S. wins a gold medal – 5 burpees
  2. Someone wipes out – 10 push-ups
  3. Reference of a past Winter Olympics – 15 squats
  4. A figure skater nails a jump – 20 jumping jacks
  5. A hockey fight breaks out – 20 Russian twists

Start Moving

If you don’t already have a routine, finds small ways to get moving, like, while cooking or doing laundry. Park in the furthest spot in parking lots. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do some squats, jumping jacks, lunge walks, or what I like to call “countertop incline push-ups” while doing house chores.

Maintain Your Routine

If you already have a routine, make it your goal to maintain it – or shorten and intensify your workouts. Once you fall out of a routine, it’s challenging to pick it back up, especially after sugar and alcohol overload.

Try something new! Ever done Tae Bo or kickboxing? These are a couple of my favorite exercises that are perfect for stress relief, plus you’re burning lots of calories and fat!

Another option is to alternate intensity exercises with lower impact, flexibility and/or core training. During lent, I usually make it a goal to work out every day. My secret to is to do cardio, high intensity, or weight training one day then do a 30 minute Pilates video the next, and alternate. You wouldn’t believe how ripped my abs became after just six weeks!

At the office

Let’s face it, the sedentary lifestyle of corporate America is taking a toll on workplace and is the culprit of many aches and pains and negative long term health effects. While sitting at desk, staring at a computer screen 9+ hours per day, our hip flexors tighten, lower backs begin to ache, and our posture is compromised. How do we counteract these symptoms?

  • The obvious – sprinkle in a few quick workouts throughout the day.
    • Do inclined pushups against a counter or desk while waiting for the microwave or coffee to brew.
    • Get out of your chair every half an hour. May seem quite frequent, but trust me, your body will thank you later.
    • Try a standing desk, or move to an area in your office where you are able to stand and work.
    • Take short walks during breaks, even if it’s just a few laps around your office or a stroll around the block.
    • Hit the stairs! Stair climbing engages your core, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors. Just two minutes per day can help prevent middle age weight gain.
  • Pack your lunch. When you pack a health conscious lunch, you’re consuming fewer calories and fats than you do when picking up fast food. You’re also saving yourself a lot of money.

Hope this inspires you to stay active and make healthy choices as you forge into 2018!