By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations
It’s no secret that the holidays are rough on our waistlines and our health. By all means, eat, drink and be merry this December! But once the new year starts, it’s time to rededicate ourselves to health. After taking a holiday break, what’s the best way to get back into shape?
Find a Diet That Works For You
There are literally thousands of diet plans. They come in the form of books, videos, pay-by-the-week webinars, meals delivered to your home… You’ve likely tried at least three diet fixes. Trendy diets, like cleanses, are appealing because they promise a quick fix. But most trend diets are, in practice, worthless.
Make your own “diet”. You can’t go wrong if you focus on these four things:
- Eat whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables than you do meat.
- Practice moderation. Serve yourself smaller portions, but go back for seconds if you’re still hungry. Remember that a treat is okay; an occasional “bad” day is okay, too.
- Try to cook at home more often than you eat out.
Ease Into an Exercise Routine
When we panic about our health or recent lethargy, we sometimes take drastic measures. Hasty, grandiose New Year’s Resolutions feel good to write down on paper. But they’re much harder to put in practice. If (when) we can’t keep our outlandish goals, we feel let down. Sometimes we quit.
Exercise, like diet, is best done in moderation. Recommit to a realistic exercise regimen.
- Make realistic exercise goals. “I will try to hit the gym three times a week,” is a better resolution than “I will go to gym every morning at 6am!”
- Try something new. A dull exercise plan won’t motivate you.
- Experiment with solo and group exercise. Some people find classes invigorating and push themselves harder. Others may revel in the alone time while exercising solo. Try both and see what works for you.
- Keep a gym bag in the car. Being prepared means you have one less excuse when your resolve weakens.
Finally, seek wellness, not weight loss. We often give thanks for good health during the holidays. Wellness, our overall health, should be the end goal of diet and exercise.
If the sight of the scale is getting you down, stop looking at it. Don’t obsess over your weight. You weight is not the only, or the best, measure of your health.
When you go back to the gym after the holidays, measure your progress in meaningful ways. Track your progress. Can you lift more weight? Can you complete more sets than before? Are you swimming or running faster? Are you more flexible than you were a month ago? Do you feel better?
Work towards wellness, always.