By Zina Kumok, Media and Communications Coordinator
It’s easy to get caught up in the New Year. Everyone around you is promising to be more grateful, more kind and of course, more healthy.
If you want this year to be the year you alter your lifestyle, read these tips below to see how you can make meaningful changes instead of temporary ones.
- Find a workout you like
Studies show that people tend to stick to workouts they enjoy so if you’re trying to become a runner and dread jogging, put down your sneakers and find something else.
There are lots of Groupon deals for gyms and classes so it’s easy to try a new sport without committing to a year-long membership. Think about what you enjoyed as a kid. If you played soccer in high school, see if you can find an intramural league to play in. If you always wanted to try kickboxing, find a place in a town that offers classes. You want your workout to be another hobby that you enjoy, instead of something you dread.
- Add one piece of fruit or vegetable to every meal
Instead of worrying about how much Vitamin C or fiber you’re getting, aim to add one fruit or vegetable to every meal. Eating oatmeal for breakfast? Add some strawberries. Making a ham-and-cheese sandwich for lunch? Put some avocado in the middle. Making a pot roast for dinner? Steam some carrots for a healthy side.
By increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables just one at a time, you’ll find yourself eating healthier all day.
- Choose realistic exercise and nutrition goals
Any goal you set for the New Year should be smart – that’s specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Instead of saying, “this year I want to lose weight,” say, “This year I will go to the gym three times a week for 60 minutes each. I will add two servings of vegetables to each meal and I will aim to lose one pound a week.”
When you set goals that have such broad meanings, it’s harder to motivate yourself. Instead of just setting a goal, you have to explain how you will accomplish it. You might decide you want to start doing yoga, but a smart goal would mean researching different studios, finding the best time for you to go and trying out some classes.
- Track everything
If you’re trying to lose weight or start an exercise plan, keep a journal. Studies show that people who track what they eat have better results than those who don’t. If you’re starting to work out, keep an exercise log. The more you do it, the more motivated you’ll be to keep going, even if you get off track. Apps like MyFitnessPal are great for those looking to chronicle their nutrition and exercise plans.