I figured the beginning of the new year would be a good time to talk about this. It’s a new month, a new year, and warmer temperatures are just a little bit away, or so we tell ourselves. You start to see magazines and commercials about detoxing, weight loss, how to shed the pumpkin pie and be a healthier you. It’s a new start, a new beginning, and new goals. For some that can work! They just need that motivation of a new beginning, like a new year, to get them motivated. That’s great! Do what works for you.
I thought that was me. I thought that’s all I needed. Then a few weeks into the year, I start sleeping in the extra 30 minutes – 1 hour instead of working out. Yogurt and fruit is great in the morning, but that warm banana bread with a latte seems more appropriate that time of year. Not that it’s right, but for me, it’s definitely harder to be focused about my goals. Here in Dallas, January and February are cold and rainy, and some of the most ugliest gray days we have all year. It’s hard for me to be motivated to go full-on changing my whole routine, with absolutely eating healthier, and exercising.
So I decided this month to share a few things I’ve done to get my body and routine prepared to change in March when the sun is back out, you can start to smell spring in the air, and my motivation is naturally there. That way, I can “go all in” in March without it being a drastic change in my routine and life. I’m better equipped to maintain a healthier routine when I can prepare myself in the winter months with small routine changes to get me to the point where a huge shift of my routine can happen and I can really go after my goals when I’m the most motivated.
I’ll be posting more about these healthier habits throughout the month in more detail, but these are the things I want to have already in motion if they are not already there.
Get A Good Sleep Routine
I start making sure my sleep routine is normal. Doesn’t matter if it’s the weekend or not, I try to wake up and go to bed at the same times. Not over sleeping which is easy for me to do with dark mornings. Getting your sleep routine under control will help with your metabolism, your mental state, and also making working out in the morning that much easier.
Drink Water First Thing In The Morning
I usually get off track with this healthy habit too. I start to wake up later because it’s dark outside and then rush around and start drinking coffee or going ahead and eating my breakfast before drinking water – plain water, lemon water, or water with apple cider vinegar. Your body detoxes through the night and bodily functions, although slower, still are working throughout the night. It’s been 8 or more hours that your body has had water and that’s needed for every function in the body. You wake up better, your digestion and metabolism starts waking up as well, and you’re hydrating your body first thing.
I wake up, brush my teeth (including scraping my tongue – very important), and then grab a glass of water before doing anything else and I don’t drink my coffee or eat my breakfast until I have done so. After a while if I’ve gotten off track it can be a hassle to remember, but once you start your body will automatically be thirsty in the morning.
Healthier Food Habits
We know those buttery processed pastries in the morning can’t last forever. That almond croissant at Starbucks in the fall… oh man! If I know my eating habits have gotten away from whole foods, I make sure to bring it back in line. Even if some of my foods contain whole foods, a lot of time it will become more processed and further away from what it really should be. Goodbye pumpkin bread and hello oatmeal! I also try to make sure my foods are not as fattening, and sugar I try to cut it out completely other than fruits. After a few months of having pies, mashed potatoes, and cream in everything, it’s time to get back in line. So although I might not be watching my food as closely, and somethings might not be the “healthiest” option, it’s a step in the right direction and something I can continue to build on. Which brings me to my next thing to keep in mind.
Whether it’s a walk around the block, running for a few miles, or doing strength exercises get into the routine of actively and consciously doing something for your body’s physical health everyday. Since working out and an exercise routine is the hardest for me to keep up with, it’s easier when I have in mind that I have to do something that day that requires me to move. Mix it up. And since it’s not a strict schedule, do something with the time you have on hand and the time you know you can commit to. 10 minutes? 20 minutes? Whatever it is, just get back into a simple routine of physical exercise. The other thing to keep in mind is that on average they encourage 20 minutes a day, which doesn’t mean it has to be 20 minutes at once. Doing a few minutes of stretching in the morning, talking a walk around the block at lunch, doing a 7 minute ab routine before dinner, and then stretching at night will easily add up to 20 minutes a day. Do what you can with what you have and the time you have to give it.
As a Recap
- You don’t HAVE to go “all in” at the beginning of the year
- Know what motivates you
- If you are not motivated, start taking healthier steps now to improve your health
- Any step in the right direction is a good place to start
Stay tuned for the next few weeks as I go into more detail about these 4 healthy habits.