So you’ve made your New Year’s resolution and set out to accomplish it, but did you ever stop think about the amount of resolve it would actually take to follow through for more than just a few weeks or maybe even days? I doubt it, because not many people truly take to heart the amount of discipline and energy it takes to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Sure, we can workout for a few weeks and eat a few more fruits and vegetables or even cut out alcohol, but how are you going to feel the following year knowing you’re setting out to accomplish the very goal you didn’t accomplish the previous year?
In order to have resolve, you must have a plan and prepare for what’s ahead. You must know your weaknesses and your triggers. You must know the things that will cause you to give up. In order to combat all that, it comes down to planning and preparation. Not only does this awareness apply to any of life’s plans, goals and intentions, but it sets us up for successfully healthy lifestyles.
Maybe you’re a business traveler with clients all over the country and you spend a good portion of your life living out of your suitcase and sitting in an airport. How can you possibly make healthy food choices and have a regular fitness routine with a schedule like that? Maybe you’re a mother of three with a full time job that barely has time use the restroom between getting everyone out the door in the morning, keeping up with laundry, dishes, dinners and bath time. Where will you carve out time for you that easily fits into your already demanding schedule? You might even be the health care worker who spends long hours caring for others and are simply too exhausted to care for yourself at the end of a stressful day. How will establish a routine that leaves you both energized and able to practice what you preach each day? Whichever lifestyle you live, there is always time for you because it comes down to priority and practice. How are you going to put into practice your resolve for making healthier food choices and being more active this year? The below is a brief list of choices we make in order live healthier for a lifetime and not just for a few weeks out of the year.
1. Prepare meals in advance.
This allows us more time to focus on the important things like faith, family, fitness and friends.
2. Pack healthy snacks.
If you know that you’re going to be out and about for a while, packing a snack will keep you from making a poor food choice just because you’re hungry with no healthy options to choose from. Always carry raw almonds, fruit or some of our fresh baked snacks that are always low in sugar and high in protein.
3. Travel with a deck of cards.
You may not always have room for tennis shoes and fitness clothes, but I bet you have room for a deck of cards. We’re famous for squeezing in a nice workout of lunges, push-ups, burpees and sit-ups by assigning these moves (or others) to one of the four suits represented in a deck of cards. As you flip each card from the deck you will perform the number of repetitions of the assigned exercise as it appears on the card. Taa daa… no equipment needed! Something is better than nothing even if it’s between flights, cocktail parties or life responsibilities.
4. Move more during breaks or lunch hours.
Little things like taking the stairs, using a restroom farther from your work area or walking the airport terminals during your layovers will increase your caloric burn. An extra 500 calories burned each day constitutes as a pound lost each week, as long as your calories stay within range as well. Work breaks are your right and your protected personal time. Use them!
5. Start the day with a healthy breakfast.
It truly is the most important meal of the day to get you going and your metabolism revved up. A bagel, cream cheese and grande soy latte doesn’t necessarily constitute as acceptable unless you’re heading off to run a half marathon. Add an ezekiel english muffin, half cup of oatmeal or a piece or fruit to our vegetable frittata and you’ll be all set.
6. Carry a bottle of water everywhere you go.
Water keeps us hydrated, fills us up and keeps us from downing coffee and sodas all day.
We have truly only scratched the surface with some of our healthy habits, and we’d love to hear what other strategies you use to make healthy choices every day. Share your tips in the comments below!