The New Year may have passed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some goals to absolutely CRUSH 2019.
The #1 resolution people make is to live a healthier life and to lose weight, but while that motivation might be strong at the beginning of the year, as time passes it can wane. That’s why it’s best to make a plan! When we make a solid plan we’re more likely to stay on track, or to get back on track if we find we’re straying away from what we know we need.
These are just 5 habits that will help you keep your eye on the prize without stumbling over something small!
1. Define and remember your “why”
One of the reasons people bail on their resolution to get healthier, or can’t ever get into a consistent routine, is they don’t have a “why.” Without a true and emotionally connected reason for moving your body more, it’s easy to back off at the first sign of struggle.
When your fitness goals are tied to something that’s important in your life, you’re more likely to stick with it. This year, find your fitness “why.” Try not to make it as simple as “I want to lose weight”, the more precise the better!
Here are a few examples:
- Stay healthy for your young and growing kids.
- Train for a race that supports the foundation that saved your dad’s life.
- Spend time with your sibling, who’s also making fitness a priority this year.
Once you have your, “why” the habit is to remember it; to bring it to mind every time you’d rather stay on the couch than lace up your shoes. The best way to do that: put reminders in places that you see all the time. Write it on a post-it note to keep next to your desk, hang on your fridge, or stick to your mirror.
2. Take better care of your active wear
Active wear is expensive, so if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend less money, this is an important area to focus on. The good news is: taking better care of your expensive yoga leggings and cute workout tops is easy. Just add these simple habits into your routine:
Let them dry: Don’t throw your sweaty workout clothes right into the hamper. Instead, let them dry first. Bacteria thrive in a damp, warm environment, which can lead to clothes that never lose their stink. Hang them to dry before tossing them in with the rest of your dirty items.
Wash with different detergent: This may be inconvenient, but it’s ultimately one of the best ways to take better care of your fitness clothes. Most are made with high-tech fabrics that require different care. Pick out a mild and eco-friendly detergent that allows for a gentle wash and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals. Get into a habit of doing small washes throughout the week with these items, rather than throwing them into your main load of laundry.
Read the label: In addition to needing gentler detergent, the same laundry experts suggest that your fitness clothes may need to be washed differently altogether. Their suggestion: simply read the label to make sure you’re following proper care instructions.
3. Prepare healthy workout fuel ahead of time
The workout itself is one important aspect of fitness, but the other essential component is nutrition. In order to boost strength, endurance and muscle tone, you have to fuel your body with the proper nutrients before and after a workout.
To make this easier, prepare your pre-workout and post-workout fuel in advance. Instead of just a quick granola bar, which contains artificial sugar and processed additives, make healthy and portion-controlled snacks ahead of time. Look for healthy recipes that can be stored and eaten on-the-go with the perfect balance of protein and carbs.
4. Prioritize warm-up and cool-down stretches
After a long workout, the last thing you want to do is stretch, much less doing so before you get started—the goal is to get in and out. However, this part of your routine is crucial for activating the muscles before a workout and stimulating their recovery afterward.
Choose something low-impact. The goal is to warm your muscles through chemical enzymes and oxygenated blood-flow, which produces the stamina needed for staying power and intensity. Make this a habit by setting aside five minutes for a brief warm-up walk on the treadmill. Better yet: walk or bike to the gym if you can.
The static cool-down is just as important because it lowers your heart rate back to normal, purges lactic acid from the body, and decreases the risk of a post-workout injury.
5. Track your results
If you don’t track your efforts, it’s harder to see all the progress you’ve made, which can keep you from sticking with it. If you feel like your workouts are having no effect, you’re more likely to walk away from your goals altogether.
The good news is that mobile workout and fitness trackers are easy to use and readily available, either for free or on a monthly subscription basis. Just type in ‘fitness’ on your app store and choose which one you like the most!