With the holiday season upon us, 2017 is not far behind. New Year’s Day stands as a holiday that welcomes in a new year of opportunity for all. The opportunities are endless with a new year in mind, regardless of the set-backs in the previous year. It is a day that represents a new beginning for those who want it. Opportunities in the new year include healthy lifestyle changes in exercise, mental health, and diet.
The New Year’s resolution…we hear about it, talk about it, but do we ever actually pull through with it? 2017 can be the year of change for those who crave it.
The Power Hour
Ring in the New Year with an open mind to try new, extended exercises. There are many ways to attain the daily dose of exercise — simple or complex. On average, individuals should receive 30 minutes of physical activity a day, but this year, consider aiming for up to one hour — one power hour.
If indoor cardio in the comfort of your home seems too easy to push off, try joining a local community center such as YMCA. In this power hour, you can focus on cardio by incorporating running, rollerblading, dancing, or jump roping to ensure weight loss, increased bone density, and stronger heart and lungs.
If cardio is just not your thing, try free weight lifting. Free weight lifting is more beneficial than the machines provided by gyms because you are in control of the weights and stabilizing your body. Being in complete control, with no extra support, strengthens each muscle in just one repetition. Not only will you receive these various benefits from exercising daily, but also you can reduce stress levels, which improves mental health.
A healthy lifestyle on the exterior is apparent, whereas a healthy lifestyle on the interior is not as evident, but just as important. One in four people globally will experience a mental health issue at some point in their life. A healthy mentality is crucial when setting New Year’s resolutions.
Set realistic goals. Not everybody is built to be a bodybuilder or stick slim. Everybody is different, because every body is different. Never compare yourself with anyone, for you are your own creation. If realistic goals are set, stress levels are already lowered. If stress is lowered, it is much easier to cope.
Surround yourself with positive people. Having an inspiration can go a long way, or even a friend with a similar goal for a healthy lifestyle. This ensures a constant supporter or a potential new workout buddy.
Take care of your body. Exercise is a key component in living a healthy lifestyle, mentally, and physically. But exercise will not resolve the new year goal alone; a healthy diet must factor in.
Why diet? Why not? Enhancing your diet will not only enhance the outer being and inner being, but also your quality of life. Constructing a healthy diet can go a long way and show immediate results.
If this is your first time dieting, take it step by step. First, try cutting soda out of your diet completely. Yes, this includes diet soda. Instead, increase water consumption for benefits such as weight loss, improved skin complexion, and to relieve fatigue. If water is too bland for you, add lemons for a quick detox that will help with digestion. If possible, steer clear from simple carbohydrates and aim for vegetables instead. Replace your nightly potato with sautéed mushrooms and onions. Lastly, instead of stashing away candy for snacking purposes, substitute fruits or smoothies to fulfill that sweet tooth craving.
The New Year is almost here, do you crave a healthy resolution?
Written by: Kelly Ashby, Marketing Intern, Special Olympics Florida, Healthy Community Tampa Bay