YearEnd Resolutions by Stephanie Nickel
We all know that New Year’s Resolutions are easy to make … and even easier to cast aside.
So, here are a dozen reasons to make your health and fitness resolutions before the holidays.
1. Many of us aren’t as inclined to exercise when the weather turns colder. If we make a plan with this in mind, we may overcome our tendency to bundle up and vegetate.
2. The store shelves are overflowing with yummy, attention-getting holiday goodies. (Kudos to all of you who aren’t tempted!)
3. Fewer hours of daylight can mean decreased motivation and increased lethargy. The good news is that regular exercise gives us an energy boost … even if it is dark by 5:00.
4. Christmas parties galore … we need a plan to avoid overdoing it. Here are a few pointers: avoid the pre-meal munching, don’t go back for seconds of the main course, limit yourself to one small piece of dessert, and if you enjoy a special holiday beverage, limit yourself to one.
5. If you start now, you may just find that outdoor winter activity you actually enjoy before the snow disappears.
6. Is your recipe file overflowing with holiday favourites handed down for generations? Now’s the time to get creative. Do some research and replace the not-so-good-for-you ingredients with healthier options. There are those so adept at doing so, no-one knows they’ve made the substitutions. It’s a fallacy that all healthy food is bland, boring, and tasteless.
7. Yeah … yeah … you know this, but exercise warms you up. Instead of pulling the covers closer, why not pop in that DVD and get moving? (That’s rhetorical. Please don’t post reasons why you shouldn’t.)
8. If, like me, you enjoy warming up with a hot drink, choose herbal teas more often than hot chocolate, lattes, and cappuccinos. While there are shelves and shelves of flavours in most grocery stores, why not treat yourself to loose leaf teas from a local David’s Teas or Teavana? They often have samples and can mix two or more varieties together for just the right blend. (I recommend the loose leaf varieties even if you do pick them up at the grocery store. I find them more flavourful.)
9. Cardio burns calories. Resistance training builds muscles, which burns calories even after you’ve completed your workout. (I love the idea of physical activity that will mean I can curl up and read or watch TV and still burn calories. Bonus!)
10. People have a tendency to gain weight over the holiday—an average of ten pounds according to some studies. Even if you maintain your weight, you’ll be ahead of the game come the New Year.
11. Plan for healthy trade-offs. For every less-than-nutritious meal, eat two extremely healthy ones. (The point is not to skip meals. That has too many negative effects to list here.) For every hour spent vegging, plan at least 15-30 minutes of physical activity. Get creative.
And as I said at the beginning …
12. New Year’s Resolutions are extremely easy to break—before the end of January.
Check out these other articles by Stephanie