Staying fit is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions. However, many people don’t find it quite as easy as they expected. However, there are lots of ways to work with your diet and exercise to help you get and stay fit. Here are some ways to work it into your daily routine in a sustainable way.
The first thing to do is examine your diet- after all, you are what you eat. A gradual decline in the amount of junk food you eat is the first thing that you should do. Gradual declines are much easier to sustain than cutting them out entirely cold turkey. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll never eat ice cream again as part of your new commitment to getting fit. Instead, spoon out the portion you will eat into a bowl. Next time, scoop out one less scoop. The time after that, eat half of that amount. Alternatively, you can try eating low-fat or fat-free ice cream, sherbert, or sorbet for a cool treat with a lot less saturated fat.
Aerobic exercise is also a very important part of a fitness routine. Most people think of running and other cardio exercise like stepping and bicycling. However, these can also be very monotonous and tiring. Start with jogging and biking on a stationary bike, where you can do a low-intensity workout, before you move on to running and spinning. Listening to music can also help make these workouts less boring.
Strength training is also very important to your health. It might seem like it takes more and bulkier equipment than just going out for a run. However, it’s not quite as difficult as it might seem. Weightlifting equipment known as water weights are available for the casual lifter- you fill a collapsible plastic bag on a rod with water, with different bags available for different weights. Alternatively, you can lift one or multiple gallons of water, which are 8 pounds each.
Stretching is very important to prevent injury. It warms up your muscles to increase blood flow and gets them ready to work. Just five minutes at the beginning and end of every workout will do a considerable amount to keep you flexible and ready to exercise without straining your muscles.
Many people are tempted by the promises of supplements to grow muscle mass without all the extra work. However, creatinine and taurine and other exotic amino acids really won’t do you very much good unless you’re using the muscles- your muscle growth is your body’s response to exertion. Your body is a lot smarter than you give it credit for; just like smart people put their money into a savings account and don’t spend it until they need it, your body puts its calories into fat until it needs muscle to move things. Protein shakes can be useful for eating on the go, but you’re usually better off just eating low-fat sources of protein, like soybeans or a combination of beans and rice.
Hopefully these tips will help you get fit and stay in shape, and give you a way to maintain your health.