It’s the holiday season and most of you may not have health or fitness on your minds but it may be a really good idea to begin your quest for better health now instead of waiting until the New Year. Why wait until the first week or two of January to make meaningful changes to your lifestyle? Just think about how far ahead you will be when the New Year arrives and how confident this will make you!
Here are a few tips that you can use to get started:
- Write down your health and fitness goals on a piece of paper from the most to the least important.
- Write down on the same paper, in order of priority, the steps you will have to take to achieve these goals.
- Give yourself a reasonable timeline to reach each goal and write this down beside each goal.
Now, take a food inventory of your kitchen. Look in your refrigerator, pantry and cupboards—what types of foods are there? Then ask yourself what kinds of foods should be there.The new grocery list should incorporate healthy foods to help you succeed.
Some of these could include whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, legumes, nuts, seeds, fresh vegetables, whole fruit, fish, chicken breast, yogurt, sweet potatoes, spring water, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado.
To start your exercise program, begin with 10-15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise in the morning before work. This can be done by treadmill, stationary bike, or taking a brisk walk outside. Remember to walk as much as you can throughout the day and if you have to sit at work for prolonged periods, take frequent breaks and take a short stroll around the office.
When you get home, perform another 30 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise of your choice.You should try and follow this routine on a daily basis.
Every other day, try to incorporate some circuit resistance exercise into your routine by using elastic bands or small dumbbells in a circuit routine. This routine should include at least six to eight exercises which stress a different body part, performed at least 12-15 times.
After the circuit, try some stretching exercises done to your favorite music. If you prefer to stay at home, there are a number of very good circuit-training CDs you can buy. After a few weeks, try to perform two circuits with a five-minute stretching session in between.
When you get into this new fitness routine and eating program, not only will you have a head start on developing a healthier you but you can also have a guilt-free holiday season. Remember, consistency is the key to success so work your new plan and don’t ever give up.
Don’t wait till the New Year—do it now!
- Cieciwa, J.,“Starting Right Now, Change the Way You Treat Your Body,”Huffington Post web site, Dec. 3, 2013; http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jordan-cieciwa/new-years-resolution-gym_b_4372911.html,last accessed Dec. 3, 2013.
Dr. K.J.McLaughlin is a chiropractor with 27 years of clinical experience. In addition, he has degrees in physical education, nutrition and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist with an interest in anti-aging medicine. He has also spent time studying health promotion and the effect that health education has upon health outcomes. Dr. McLaughlin has a diverse professional background which has involved clinical management, teaching, health promotion and health coaching and brings a unique passion to his work.