If you, like many of us, have spent the last couple of weeks in holiday land where time spent tanning at the beach replaces toning at the gym and you opt for an evening glass of wine instead of a liver-saving dandelion tea, we’re here to break the bad news – the new year is underway and it’s time to get back to your healthy routine.
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Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom and getting back to business also means the beginning of a new and exciting year. We’ve got some tips from Exercise & Sports Science Australia’s Executive Officer Anita Hobson-Powell on how to ease back into things.
Pick yourself up and dust yourself off.
Remember that every day is a new chance to start again. “Don’t beat yourself up over kilos gained during the holidays,” said Ms Hobson-Powell. After all, guilt doesn’t burn calories: exercising does.
Don’t aim for perfect.
Skip those grandiose declarations that may not be achievable, such as, “I’ll go to the gym every single day.” Why set yourself up to potentially fail?
“It’s far more fun to make realistic goals, and then celebrate successes,” shared Ms Hobson-Powell.
It takes two.
Make only two resolutions. Keep them simple: “I will walk for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week”; or, “I will switch from full-cream coffees to skinny milk.” Then, commit to doing your best at fulfilling those two concise goals.
No, not with desserts, but with a fun reminder that you’re back on track. Buy yourself a new fitness outfit – at post-Christmas sales prices – to boost your confidence as you work out. Or, sign up for a fun activity you’ve always wanted to try, such as stand-up paddleboard lessons.
Friends are more fun.
“Surely you’re not the only one ready to kick-start the New Year with healthy resolutions,” noted Ms Hobson-Powell.
Find a friend who’s as committed as you, and book some morning walks, set a tennis date, or pop on your togs and grab a swim in the surf together.
Antipodeans are luckiest of all when it comes to the New Year. Given it’s the height of warm weather, it’s a great time to indulge in outdoor sports, from bodysurfing in the summer swells to hinterland hikes in the cool of a rainforest. No excuses about having to don winter layers and brave the snow, like our Northern Hemisphere friends!
Bond with your family.
January is the perfect opportunity for quality time with the kids. With schools out and many families enjoying a bit of a break, it’s a great chance to get the whole gang moving. Visit a theme park (think of all the walking you’ll do!), or engage in a rousing game of beach cricket.
Do some good for the “future you”, starting now. New research shows that the processes that cause the body to decline with age can be influenced positively through healthy eating and exercise. The trick is, you have to keep at it, even if you just make a small effort each day.