New Year Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

22nd December 2022 / Health / News

New Year Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Libby Limon

New Year resolutions to shed unhealthy habits and create healthy new ones are always popular. Often expectations are high, but January is when our systems can have the least in the tank leading to a recipe for burnout by the time February comes around. Let us talk you through how to make your resolutions sustainable to keep you on a steady health journey for 2023.

 

Let go of perfectionism and strive for balance.

 

For a healthy body, mindset, and relationship with diet and exercise, we must let go of perfectionism. Making a new years resolution where you eat the perfect diet and train yourself to Olympian-like levels is unrealistic and will set you up for failure. A healthy lifestyle includes more than healthy foods and exercise but also a space to enjoy everything in moderation and balance. 

 

Feel good about the exercises you're doing and the food you're putting in your body, and remind yourself it is okay to indulge from time to time. Let go of the guilt and self-criticism when you do indulge in "unhealthy foods."

 

Be the tortoise, not the hare.

 

There is a temptation with the "New Year, New Me" idea to sprint out of the gate, all guns blazing, with a new, and often unrealistic, routine. If you haven't exercised much for a while or spent enough prepping meals properly, it might be better to make small changes and build up slowly.

 

Quite often, with fitness routines, people use the last time they exercised as a benchmark of where they should be. The month, six months, a year or number of years of inactivity gets forgotten.  

 

Building up your new year routine will prevent injuries or feeling overwhelmed. So take things slowly.

 

 

Regular short sharp exercises rather than endurance

 

When it comes to exercise, more doesn’t mean better. Studies have shown that 10 mins of intense exercise 3 times a week can garner the same results as 45 mins of moderate cardio 3 times a week. Some people enjoy long runs or bike rides and the endorphins that come from this. However, if you are exercising for fitness, consider short, intense workouts.

 

Don’t do something you hate. It will never last.

 

Whether it is a new diet or exercise routine, don’t try to do something you hate to be healthy. Yes, it is good to challenge your comfort zone when it comes to new things, but if you don’t like doing something, try and find an alternative.

 

For example, if you don’t like cardio, you may be more suited to doing weights. Not a fan of running? Try walking instead.

 

Look for ways to mask the flavour of food you may not enjoy. For example, find a healthy sauce for those steamed vegetables. Or if you don't like a particular food group like fish, you can take a supplement, like Omega 3.

 

 

Become a sleeping beauty

 

Diet and exercise improvements can be an uphill battle if you are an energy deficit due to lack of sleep. Without good sleep, your body will crave high-energy, low-nutritional value foods and find exercise more challenging and stressful. Look to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, with the aim to take advantage of the golden quality hours between 10pm and 2am. Some top tips to help switch off are;

  • Hot bath or shower – as the body temperature drops, this will help bring sleep.
  • Body reading - follow this simple exercise: lie on your back, with your legs slightly apart, your head comfortably supported by pillows, and then start paying attention to each body part one at a time with each inhale (into the belly/diaphragm) and exhale. Focus/feel on your big toe, then your second toe, third, fourth, and little toe, then move to the sole, top of the foot, ankle etc. and move up the body.
  • Longer exhale belly breathing exercise – breathe in for a count of 2 to 4 and then breathe out for double that, 4 to 8. Try doing it for 5 mins before bed with your eyes closed. Breathing out for longer than you breathe in calms the nervous system.

 

Nourish don’t punish.

The toxic diet culture often tells us to eat less, reduce our portion size, create restrictions, and follow fad diets. However, these fad diets often miss the vitamins and minerals your body needs. They also ignore essentials like protein, carbohydrates and fibre to help your balance your blood sugar, reduce cravings, and help you feel fuller for longer.

 

An abundance of plant foods combined with adequate protein and healthy fats will nourish your body and for you to feel energised and create sustainable changes.

 

It's best to create 3 healthy meals a day and use modern nutrition hacks that can supercharge your progress;

 

Whatever your New Year resolution is, start out simple and slowly build an overall healthy lifestyle. It's a marathon, not a sprint!



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