Every year in January I hear: “This is my year of getting healthy and staying fit.” This is much easier said than done. I find that people tend to over-complicate their health goals, and then get overwhelmed and quit before even getting started. I myself have these difficulties. This is human nature and no one is immune. So this year I made my resolution list and I added health and fitness. But how was I going to accomplish this without over-complication and judgment? I decided to simplify things and came up with ten ways to set myself up for success. Because I want to support you in your health and fitness goals, I am sharing my top ten tips with you today. Ever since I simplified my 2016 plan and starting following my own advice I have stayed on track and I am feeling great. Part 2 coming next week where I show you a bunch of exercises.
Top Ten 2016 Health Tips
1. Health from the inside out counts, too. Keep Vitamin D levels optimal. Vitamin D is the new elixir and should be given very serious consideration as a main vitamin supplement. For more information read my Vitamin D blog for more specifics.
2. To reduce pain and inflammation, and to get rid of belly bloat, consider a wheat-free, gluten-free diet for 30 days. This is easy to do, but you must overcome your cravings and have the strength to resist bread and pasta. Many of my patients freak when I recommend this, but once they try it, they feel less pain and inflammation and lose weight. If the wheat-free, gluten-free diet is too radical for you, start slowly and reduce your intake of white carbs and sugars. Rome was not built in a day so take baby steps. Every step that you take is a step forward.
3. Limit your workout routine to exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. Working out this way make your workout quick and effective and you train many body parts at the same time. It can be as simple as 15 minutes a day. Compound exercises include exercises such as Body Weight Squats, Rows, Push-ups, Bridges, Transverse Holds and Planks.
4. Incorporate small sprints of cardio into your day. I personally don’t have one hour a day to be on the treadmill, but that doesn’t stop me from doing one hour of cardio a day. I do stairs, I walk, I jump in place, I dance and I jump rope. By the end of the day I have met my goals just by incorporating these activities into my life. Of course some of your friends will think you are nuts but this type of small cardio sprint works to keep your weight down and your heart healthy. Also don’t forget to use everyday chores as a workout. I do this with house cleaning; it feels great.
5. Get an accountability buddy that will kick your ass if you don’t do your workouts. I am not talking about a personal trainer (although that would work). I am talking about an accountability partner: you both support each other and this person won’t take your excuses but will give you the plain, unvarnished truth about your lack of follow-through. Try to pick a buddy that works out and likes it.
6. Drink cleaner, filtered water. It’s great for hydration, detoxification and will keep your bladder calm and decrease your urgency and food cravings.
7. Disconnect from the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, iPhone and electronics and use that time to do something positive for yourself. I actually tracked this and was amazed at how much time I was on my electronics. My recommendation is to give each one of these social media portals a time limit and to set a time each day that you will be on them. Track it and it will blow your mind. Consider an analog day.
8. Avoid procrastination and finish what you start. Too many of my patients are all over the place: trying to do too much within too small of a time frame, ending up overwhelmed, stressed and not finishing up projects. My biggest accomplishment this year was focused working blocks. I focused on finishing what I started and not switching back and forth between projects and other demands. I found that focused blocks of time allocated to what needs to get accomplished have made me very effective and less stressed. I will never go back to the way I was. By “focused time” I mean focused without interruptions. I am so happy with the way I have been able to stay on course and do the things I need to do that I desire this for you, too. Try it.
9. Be a weekend warrior. Life is busy and I know that it can be challenging to work on your health goals during the week. Make your weekends active and incorporate exercise into the things that you love to do so there’s joy and fun around your exercise times. Being a weekend warrior is valid and may spark something that will propel you to do another little bit during the week.
10. Be kind and gentle and forgive yourself. So what if things didn’t go the way you planned and you couldn’t exercise or maintain your health goals? Get back on the horse and move forward. There is no sense in kicking yourself.