It’s that time of year when everybody is taking on a New Year’s resolution to get healthy after the Holidays. Typically, the first few weeks of the New Year are the easiest to maintain that resolution. The rest of the year is usually another story.
Amy Scott, Globe Education Network’s Associate Dean of Health Fitness has some tips to maintain that healthy lifestyle throughout the year.
Eat more fruits and veggies. There is a lot of talk right now about getting more vitamins and minerals by consuming vegetables. Author James LaValle encourages people to get up to nine servings of vegetables a day and one to two servings of fruit per day. That is not as hard as it looks. Perhaps you have a smoothie with half a cup of strawberries in the morning for breakfast. For lunch, you could have one cup of spinach with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and beets with roasted chicken or even grilled salmon. You could also have a side of carrots and celery with hummus. For dinner, roast some artichokes, bell peppers and zucchini as a side to your meal.
Set a goal for yourself. For instance, a company that designs rowing machines challenges rowers to row 100,000 meters for three weeks. That works out to be about 10,000 meters a day; roughly 40-60 minutes per day. This is a great way to stay active and have fun working toward a goal. If you don’t row, perhaps you can create a mileage goal for walking or cross country skiing. Or, set a goal to do 30 minutes of activity per day.
Take breaks throughout the day to walk the stairs in your building or do some dips down in the weight room on campus. Blue Zones author Dan Buettner suggests that it is healthier to move frequently throughout the day rather than work out for 45 minutes after work.
Minimize your sugar intake. Sugar is an addictive substance and it wreaks havoc on your body. If you need some inspiration to slow your sugar intake, go to You Tube and listen to the lecture Sugar: The Bitter Truth.
Try something new. Have you ever done hashing, Parkour or aerial yoga? Find a class that sounds interesting or fun to you and treat yourself!
Go for a walk after you eat. Sometimes it can be tempting to relax on the couch in front of the television after eating. Instead, bundle up and go for an invigorating walk outside. You’ll be happy you did!
Change the way you think about food. Instead of looking at food as a reward, think of it as a way to fuel your body to achieve great things. You wouldn’t put substandard gasoline in your car would you? Why would you put substandard or nutrient-deficient food in your body?
Make healthy snacks and treats. Instead of sugary desserts, try making spiced nuts with cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Give yourself a gift to encourage fitness. Treat yourself to a gym membership, a new pair of running shoes, a weighted jump rope, or some new workout gear.
Start a journal. If you want to really stay on track, keep a food journal from now until the end of the year. Remember to be honest!
Scott earned her master’s degree at the University of Minnesota, and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been Network Associate Dean of the Health Fitness Specialist program for Globe Education Network since October of 2007. Her professional experience includes Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, University of Minnesota, Women’s Athletics; Academic Mentor and Tutor, University of Texas, Women’s Athletics; and Assistant Rowing Coach & Recruiting Coordinator, University of Texas Women’s Rowing.