Regardless of if you chose to set formal intentions this year or not, with the new year brings a sense of a new beginning, a fresh start. And with every new beginning, comes the chance to recharge, restart, and renew.
One of my goals this year is simply that – to recharge and learn to relax more and slow down. I’m admittedly a little high on the stress factor at the start of this year, but I’m aware of it and working on deeper breaths, more yoga, and more down (tech-free) time.
What is your fitness, wellness, or health related goal in 2013?
Chances are, you have one.
The #1 New Year’s Resolution Americans make is to lose weight and #5 is to Stay Fit and Healthy. Statistics-wise (getting a little nerdy here, bear with me) well over 50% of all New Year’s Resolutions are health and wellness related.
That’s a lot – more than 1 in every 2 people – are starting the new year with the desire to be healthier, stay fit, and even lose weight.
It can be inspiring, but it can also be intimidating to follow through with health-related goals because most involve some sort of lifestyle change to be sustainable. Lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight. And they don’t happen seamlessly, perfectly, or without setbacks.
Now that we’re a little bit over a week into the new year, you (and everyone else) might be losing some steam on your health quest and accompanying lifestyle tweak(s).
And when you start losing steam, you might “slip-up” in your mind. If you slip up once or twice or even three times with your new goals, don’t beat yourself up. Seriously, please don’t. We’re human and it happens. It’s no big deal. Remember, to change a lifestyle habit, it takes some falling down and most importantly getting back up.
So when you falter or flat-out wipe out, simply stand up, brush yourself off and try one of the below tactics to get you back in the game.
1. Drink Water
Water is a macronutrient. That means you must drink lots of it to function and live as a human being (other macronutrients are fat, protein and carbohydrates). In fact, about 60% of your body is made up of water. How much to drink? It varies from source to source, but a good rule of thumb is to have a water bottle nearby so that you don’t have a choice to get thirsty.
2. Plan Ahead
If you have a goal to eat healthier or start a new fitness routine, you must plan. Get your calendar out and schedule in your workouts and grocery shopping and prep time. If you are going to the yoga studio or gym before/after your workday, check out this post for tips on packing and preparing.
3. Breathe Deeply
When you breathe deeply and get oxygen flowing through your body, you promote a relaxation response in your body. If you’re trying to lose weight, pay attention: It is impossible to have optimal metabolism (read: calorie-burning capacity) if you’re stressed out. Simply taking 10 deep breaths can move your body from a stressed-out-I-can’t-digest-and-burn-calories state to a relaxed one.
4. Don’t Hate It
Make sure that you actually want to achieve your resolution. This is particularly useful when thinking about exercise. If you made a goal to “hit the gym” more often but you absolutely hate to work out, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that you’re going to fizzle out.
The best advice for “exercise”? Find some movement that you enjoy – running, walking, yoga, dance – truly enjoy – and stick with that. Believe it or not stressful and super strenuous exercise can send your body into a stress response and thereby be counter-productive to your health and fitness goals.
Even if you don’t have any resolutions or fitness goals for the new year, you can still apply the above tips to your everyday life. My guess is that if you read this blog, you care at least a little bit about your own health and well-being!
So on that note, leave me a comment below: What’s your favorite get-back-on-track tactic?