How to Kick off Your Healthy New Year

With the new year rolling in, many are thinking about the various diets and exercise programs they're going to start come January 1st. I'm not one to preach any particular diet or exercise program because I believe everyone should follow what's best for their own body and lifestyle, but I am definitely here to help anyone that wants to know how to start living healthier and how to stay motivated to do so. 

Whether you're trying to lose some weight, drink less alcohol, be more active, gain some strength, whatever the goal may be, here are some hacks to help you stay on track.

1. Make a Plan

You might not be able to predict your entire month, week, or even day, but having a general outline for what you want to accomplish can definitely help keep yourself on track. If you're trying to eat healthier, write down some of the meals that you want to eat and what you want to stay away from. If you're trying to be more active, make a plan to attend at least 3 activities each week. Sometimes being too specific with times can make it more difficult to stay on track when days don't go as planned, but having a general idea of what you want to accomplish and giving yourself the flexibility to move it around can always help.

2. Don't Skip Meals

It may seem like an easy solution to eat less to reach goals faster, but I can't emphasize enough how much it can hurt. Not consuming adequate nutrients can affect the metabolism, energy levels, and overall mood. Plan ahead if you have to, but don't skip a meal!

3. Do What's Best for You

When it comes to working out, don't feel like you have to lift weights, run miles, or have a gym membership. Find something that fits with your lifestyle and schedule, and most importantly, find what you enjoy.

When it comes to eating, do not try being gluten-free/dairy-free/meat-free/sugar-free/fat-free/carb-free/whatever-free, just because someone else is doing it and it works for them. I'm not a nutritionist, but I've worked with them enough to solve my own food allergy problems to understand that nutrition is completely dependent on the person. My tip to others is to eat healthy and substantial foods most of the time, and everything else in moderation. Don't restrict what you love if you don't have to - life's too short for that.

4. Get Sleep

There's no point in waking up early for a workout if it means you're only getting four hours of sleep at night. You will never be able to put 100% effort into a workout or even your normal work day if you're not getting enough sleep throughout the week. Aim for at least 7 hours a night!

5. Don't Skip Rest Day

Just like a full night's rest, a full day off from working out is just as beneficial. Once you start seeing results, it can be tempting to skip the rest day, but don't do it. Your body needs a break in order for muscles to recover. If you're like me and have trouble with this, find some other outlets for your energy - maybe some meditation, a book, a walk, or extra time with family. 

Give those five tips a try, and you should be on your way to a healthier you in the new year. Cheers to a positive, healthy, and happy 2018!

xo Erin