You’re not the only one that falls completely off the health wagon during the holidays.
Even as I write this, I’m regretting the moment I decided to bake those chocolate chip cookies that I just polished off.
No one is safe from holiday goodies, alcohol at holiday parties and the endless amounts of gift baskets this time of year. We’re surrounded by food! On top of that, your workout schedule feels impossible to keep up with because of all the festivities.
That’s why people ramp up their healthy habits in January, the second after the holidays are over. But how often do those habits really stick?
Here are five ways to step up your healthy lifestyle in 2017 and actually keep it up.
1. Dabble in meal prep
Meal prep isn’t just for fitness fanatics who want to bulk up. Prepping food in advance lets you control what goes into your body and when.
Trying to stay lean? Batch cook healthy meals packed with vegetables and protein. It doesn’t have to be complicated! You can throw chicken or fish and some vegetables on a baking sheet, pop it in the oven for 20 minutes and you’re done. This method works because you’ve already made the decision to eat healthy meals ahead of time, instead of being so hungry in the moment, you end up eating something that you regret later. Don’t know where to start? My blog, Workweek Lunch is a resource dedicated to meal prep for busy people.
Trying new exercises after doing the same old workout for months will help you reach your fitness goals faster. It’s important to change it up to use build different muscles, break through a weight-loss plateau and beat workout boredom.
January is a great month to join gyms and studios since so many of them offer discounts at this time of year. That’s definitely something you don’t want to miss out on. Try exploring different types of exercise, like kickboxing, barre, crossfit and dance.
Have you ever wanted to perfect your handstand or pick up some aerial skills? Check out The District. Maybe you feel like you need to improve your flexibility and posture. Try taking a few yoga classes at Mobile Om.
This year, claim some more “me” time by staying in instead of going out. Sure, hitting bars and checking out new restaurants with friends is a good time, but your body and wallet will thank you for trading a few nights out for some cozy nights at home.
You can even invite your friends over for a casual potluck or ask one of them to host. That way, fried bar fare and greasy temptations after drinking will be completely out of the picture.
4. Pick one exercise to do you get up and before bed
Just two months ago, I started doing eight pushups when I woke up and eight more before bed. Now I can do 15 proper pushups in a row, and I’m actually happy with how toned my arms look for once.
The exercise you choose doesn’t have to be pushups though. It could be squats, a plank, crunches, burpees or lunges – whatever you prefer. While it doesn’t count as a work out, it’s something you can do every day to build some muscle. No joke, my arms and shoulders felt stronger and looked more toned after just three weeks.
We do things every day that are non negotiable, like showering and brushing our teeth (hopefully).
You leave time in your morning or evening routine for showering because you just have to do it. What if you woke up just twenty minutes earlier to take a morning walk or meditate? If you want to meal prep, why not set aside two to three hours on Sunday to get it done and plan brunch around that? This is how healthy habits truly become a part of your routine – you make them a priority instead of waiting until you have time.