Most people make resolutions for the new year, but often find them way too ambitious to achieve. Rather than waiting and starting with a list that’s long and intimidating, don’t wait for the new year to make a change, start it right away. Living a healthy lifestyle begins with a small step. Why wait to start when you can create some healthy habits that will also help you through the holiday season.
Just keep moving.
Exercise is important and you can get more by making a few changes. When you’re out shopping or doing the chores at home, make that time an exercise time. You won’t be using precious time. In fact, you’ll probably get tasks done faster. Circling the parking lot when you’re shopping will help you find the best parking spot, but it burns extra fuel and doesn’t give you an opportunity for extra exercise. Park in the first spot you find and walk a little further, making it a brisker pace in the process. Don’t wait for elevators, take the stairs and when you walk somewhere, make it at a fast pace.
Start switching to a healthier diet.
The holidays are definitely not a time to start a diet. Luckily, eating healthy isn’t dieting. Start by planning healthy snacks to prevent overdosing on all those sweet treats you associate with holiday time. Rather than gorging on special holiday treats, freeze them and munch on one a week throughout the year. Knowing you’ll have some for later will diminish your desire to eat them all now. Plan healthy meals and make them ahead for a whole week, so you won’t have to stop for a quick drive through meal during the week.
Make holiday dinners healthier.
Sure, everyone eats way too much on the holidays, but what if the food you brought was high in nutrition and taste, yet still low in calories. Overindulging in that case isn’t as much of a problem. Slim down some of the favorites by making substitutions, such as wild or brown rice for white rice. Even appetizers can be healthier by making recipes like eggplant ricotta appetizers or an avocado-feta dip.
- Get plenty of sleep. Studies show that lack of sleep boosts the hunger hormone, ghrelin and diminishes the one that leaves you full, leptin.
- Carry a bottle of water with you. It may be winter and the holidays, but staying hydrated is important. If you find yourself dragging, try a bottle or glass of water and you may find that’s all you needed. Mild dehydration makes you tired.
- If you can’t start a program of regular exercise at the gym, try walking. You can break up the walks to ten minutes each and do them throughout the day.
- Give yourself a gift of good health. Whether you include it on your wish list or give yourself a gift, you’ll find a few sessions with a personal trainer can get your fitness program off to a great start. Next Level Fitness even offers the first session free.