There’s never a bad time to set new health and fitness goals, but right now is definitely the time of year when most people are amping up for some New Year resolutions. Whether you’re getting a head start or waiting until the holiday celebrations wind down, Happy New You 2022!
While big goals are great, keep in mind that setting realistic short-term goals might be a better way to tackle your big goal for the year. Each little success will fire you up to progress to the next step in your ultimate end goal. Here are some super simple tips to get you going if you’re still in the planning phase.
Cold weather isn’t a good excuse to avoid being active outdoors—it just requires more preparation. Otherwise, fresh, crisp air can boost your mood and motivation.
Plus, there are plenty of indoor options if it really is too cold out or if you just prefer not to be bundled up while you’re moving. If you’re already active and working out regularly, you’ve probably got your game plan, but if you’re just getting started or coming out of a long layoff from physical activity, even increasing regular daily activities will start building up your momentum.
Running, jogging, hiking, biking, and even walking at a good pace are great ways to increase your activity, burn some calories, and get your blood flowing.
Eat Based on Your Goals
Not everyone needs to go on a diet to reach their goals, and the fact is, no one should really “diet.” The fact is, you should develop good eating happens and the right meal plan based on your goals so that you don’t have to make severe changes you might not be able to stick with.
Whether you’re increasing calories for muscle gains, reducing calories for fat loss, or customizing your meal planning for specific performance goals, the occasional treat or “cheat meal” isn’t a bad thing–emphasis on “occasional.” If you eat based on your goals 90% of the time, that gives you plenty of room for fun foods, and those variations can help both mentally and physically with reaching your goals.
Too many people forget to stay hydrated most of the time, but that’s especially true in the winter when you might not be sweating and feeling hot as often. Dehydration has several negative effects on almost every system in your body, so not drinking enough water is literally bad for your health. On the other hand, a well-hydrated body assimilates nutrients well, flushes itself of toxins, and even moves fatty acids out of storage and into the bloodstream for improved fat burning among countless other benefits.
Get Enough Rest
Rest is always a crucial part of recovery, and that’s true whether you’re exercising or not. Stress only adds to that need, and that’s particularly true during the holidays for a lot of people.
Taking a few moments here and there throughout the day is a great way to recharge your mental, emotional, and physical batteries. Regular exercise increases that need for rest, yet rigorous physical activity can help relieve stress, so the key is finding the perfect balance.
And before you start telling yourself that you don’t have time to stop and rest once in a while, remember that rest and relaxation are the best ways to improve productivity. Let alone the fact that lower stress and good rest can lead to a longer and happier life.
Don’t Wait to Start
Although a lot of people do like to wait until January 1 to start their new goals because it feels like a fresh start with the beginning of a new calendar year, there’s really no reason to wait. In fact, by putting it off, you’re just giving yourself a higher chance of not following through with it.
Start working on your goals today! If you are starting from scratch our coming out of a long layoff from exercising, you can use the time before the first of the year as a break-in period anyway. That’ll allow you to get through the inevitable soreness, figure out your weights, distances, or whatever type of workload you’ll be using, and you can figure out the perfect schedule you’re most likely to stick to.
Whatever your goals and however you plan to reach them, Happy New You 2022!