Posted by Dan Cromar on 1/13/2016 to
Everyone wants to truly enjoy the beauty of the holidays, relishing the season by savoring special treats we only indulge in December. However, January is the time to get back on track with our health goals. Whether or not your clothing is a little snug, chances are your body may feel sluggish and your mind may feel slow. What are some great ways to get back the energy, vitality and health that you once enjoyed?
1. Get moving.
It almost goes without saying, but any form of exercise is better than none. If you haven't been getting any moderate exercise, take a walk or a short run on the treadmill. If you've been exercising a bit, step up your game. Try a new sport (racquetball or skiing, anyone?) or class (spinning or barre). Ask a friend to be your workout partner or join a gym. Rates are low at the beginning of the year, so take advantage of the great deals.
2. Set some health goals.
Be realistic in these, but have a target to aim for with your health. It might involve pounds or inches lost or it might not. Maybe it's that you want to fit into your skinny jeans by Valentine's Day or work out 3 days a week for six weeks. Whatever the goal, set one and stick to it. A partner for accountability doesn't hurt in this area, either!
3. Detox your body.
If you do nothing else, drink lots of water for several days. Your body has most likely become used to other types of liquids and needs to be refreshed. If you're wanting to really rid your body of toxins and start afresh, consider one of the many juice cleanse programs. You can purchase one or make your own juice from raw fruits and vegetables, a safe juice cleanse according to experts. They also recommend only three days at a time of solely juicing in order to clear your body of toxins.
4. Discipline yourself to say "no" to something.
Similar to lent, take 30 days to say "no" to something in an area that's a challenge for you. Maybe it's that morning latte, Friday night pizza, fried foods, wine with dinner or sugar. Experts and probably your own experience show that the less you have something, the less you desire it and the less it actually tastes good. Also, exerting self-discipline in one area tends to carry over to other areas (think exercise, finances and more!).
5. Purge your kitchen of extra, indulgent food.
A new year is a time to start with a clean slate. It's probably past time to donate some nonperishables (cookies, chips, etc.) to a needy cause like your local food pantry and throw away any lingering holiday sweets. Don't forget about the pantry, cupboards, fridge, freezer and any extra food stashes like ice cream in your extra freezer.
6. Stock up on healthy foods and try some new ones.
Fresh fruits and veggies are your best friends, alongside lean meats. Grab some tried and true favorites to whip up some of your best, healthful meals and give some new ingredients a try. Ask some friends for favorite recipes and do some research to have a list of new creations to attempt.
7. Try a new cooking tool or style.
If you've never tried a crockpot, steamer or smoker, be adventurous. Lots of waist-friendly meals can be cooked in these ways and more. Even a new kitchen tool can be a fun way to add a new twist to meal preparation. Some fun ideas include a zester, a melon baller or garlic press.
8. Once you've reached a health and fitness goal, reward yourself.
Your initial goal may be small, but once you've reached it, buy yourself flowers, indulge in a pedicure or reward yourself in another non-food-related way.
Challenge yourself to accomplish even a few of these tips and end January feeling energized, strong and healthy.