A lot of us traditionally make resolutions at the first of the year that have to do with diet and exercise. This year let’s resolve not to make resolutions but rather commit to the life-long pursuit of a healthier life, including many things of which exercise and nutritious food are just a part.
Use your workout as a chance to celebrate the amazing things your body is capable of — versus punishment for bad dietary choices. If you overindulged around the holidays, time to let it go and move on.
The most successful people are the ones who are the most consistent. The imperfect plan you follow is better than the perfect plan you don’t. Find something that works for you and your lifestyle and be consistent.
That being said, it’s also true that variety is the spice of life. When it comes to exercise, mixing it up can help push through plateaus and alleviate the boredom factor. So be willing to try something new.
Build some muscle for longevity’s sake. Medical researchers are now recommending that muscle mass be regarded as a vital sign. In other words, as a marker of health, muscle mass is as important as blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar, etc. So lift some weights!
Obesity is the second leading cause of cancer behind smoking. Researchers are not clear of the mechanism (genes, hormones, metabolic disorders?) but it’s clear that maintaining a healthy body weight is key to minimizing your risk of disease.
Don’t rely on your workout for weight loss. Dietary changes in conjunction with exercise are needed to improve body composition. Focus on adding healthy, whole foods and eliminating processed foods and foods with added sugar.
Change the dialogue in your head. Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. The mind gives up before the muscles do. Frame your thoughts about diet and exercise in a more positive light.
Improve your social connections. Research supports the critical importance of community and purpose when it comes to health and longevity. Enjoy your physical activities and healthy meals with friends.
The human body is miraculous and amazingly resilient. But there are no quick fixes or magic pills. Consistently eating nutritious food, exercising and having a positive mindset will pay off with increased health and vitality in the coming years. Happy New Year!