By Liz Reid
Well, it’s already February 2022 and it’s been good to get back to normal routines post-Christmas. A New Year is a new start but try not to have too onerous objectives because the demands of life easily scupper your new good intentions. Look again at your goals to make them a little more achievable?
Most resolutions include a fitness goal. Even little improvements to your health routines can make such a positive difference. If you’ve joined a gym, have a personal trainer, enrolled on a fitness course or decided you want to do a sport regularly, schedule it! Not having enough time for exercise is often said but you must MAKE time for your fitness, just as you do to shower or brush your teeth! The hardest part in mid-winter is getting yourself out the door. Just go! Take your sports kit with you if you go from work and set an alarm on your phone if you exercise from home.
Self-motivation is difficult but exercise is a necessary time out for YOU. No matter how busy you are, stepping out for 30 minutes clears your head and lowers stress levels. You’ll return renewed and more able to focus. Ride on the endorphins post-workout and enjoy a simple treat, like a cuppa outside or watch a favourite TV show. After 2-3 weeks, your new routine will become familiar and you’ll start to build stamina, improve circulation (feeling warmer in winter) and ease tension, all encouraging a more restorative sleep.
With the excesses of Christmas, you may have gained a few extra pounds but some of this can be water retention. Foods over Christmas are richer and saltier so, your body retains more water to deal with the additional salt intake. Drink more water to flush out your system and you’ll lose that water-retentive weight. When you’re thirsty, your brain sends you the same message as when you’re hungry, so having a small glass of water before you eat, tests if you’re actually only thirsty.
Reducing your calories doesn’t mean depriving yourself. Watch your food intake with your energy expenditure by incorporating some easy food swaps! So, if you like two biscuits with your tea, have just one with some grapes. Swap added salt with pepper or herbs. Think ‘Meat-free Monday’ and mid-week too? Many chefs offer delicious and inspiring veg recipes, it’s easy to create tasty and quick meat-free meals.
With a balanced diet and a few healthier food swaps, drinking more water and 2-3 weekly cardio sessions (a brisk walk can be as good as a run!) complement this with Pilates to build strength from within. Performed properly, Pilates keeps you flexible, improves muscle strength and coordination, releases tension and is a hugely corrective form of exercise.
So, address your 2022 health goals as a whole and be kind to you. Making just a few changes can help you gain confidence, lose some of those unwanted inches, as well as pounds so, feel better!