1) Never miss a Monday workout.
Simply put, this is a great way to start your week. You start right, you stay right. Get a good sweat sesh in every Monday – whether it’s first thing in the morning, during your lunch hour, or in the evening. Find what works for you and make it happen. Skipping a workout is skipping an opportunity to improve yourself. How do you want to start your week??
2) Make working out a priority.
Treat your workouts as important dates with someone you respect. Would you schedule a conference call with your boss and then blow him/her off at the last minute? Doubtful. Would you promise to take your mom to dinner on her birthday and then minutes before, decide you just don’t care enough to show up? I didn’t think so. Why should your workouts be any different? You’re making a commitment to yourself – to be healthier, to grow stronger, to feel sexier… and to look better naked! If those aren’t reason enough to schedule your workouts and stick to them, take a long look in the mirror and figure out what is holding you back. Because there is nothing more important than training your mind and body to be better. Every. Single. Day.
3) But don’t forget to take a rest day.
For those of us who have drank the kool-aid and love working out, this can be a tricky one. Resting our bodies and being cognizant to not over-train are vital in your health and fitness journey. The muscles we break down during each and every workout need to rest. They need to regenerate and have an opportunity to heal – otherwise you risk losing strength and endurance while also opening the door for possible injuries. So, while it’s critical to schedule those workouts and make them a priority, don’t neglect 1-2 rest days!
4) Get shut eye!
A good solid night’s sleep can boost your mood, increase your memory, improve heart-health and more. An article in Health Magazine discusses the multitude of benefits – but the long story short is sleep works. So get those jammies on and hit the sheets.
Back in college, thanks to late night partying and even later night eating, I was always looking for the next diet fad to lose the freshman 15 that so rudely stuck around past graduation. I tried the South Beach Diet, Atkins, eliminating entire food groups, cutting myself off from all alcohol… you name it, I tried it. But the common denominator with all of the diets above, is that none were sustainable for long term use. It’s been 10 years. and lots of research and trial and error for me to realize the only thing that works for me is everything in moderation. I aim to eat lots of protein, fresh fruits and veggies and whole grains 80 percent of the time. Admittedly, my weeknight dinners consist of baked chicken and roasted veggies (Sriracha, anyone?!) so I can enjoy my weekends. I don’t go completely off the rails, but I think it’s quite possibly sacrilegious to go out to a nice restaurant and NOT order a great glass of wine and molten chocolate cake. I approach each day with the 80/20 rule – eat clean 80 percent of the time, leaving 20 percent for fun and semi-healthy cheats (dark chocolate and red wine ARE heart-healthy, after all!)
6) Eat clean. You cannot out-train a bad diet. Let me say that again. You CANNOT out train a poor diet. Eat like crap and it’ll make no difference how many hours you log in the gym. ‘Nough said.
7) Look for reasons, not excuses.
If it were easy, everyone would be fit. Plain and simple. The part that’s so gratifying for me is that it’s NOT easy. I put in hard work to stay healthy and feel confident in my skin. Fitness is more of a mental challenge than a physical one. So figure out why you want it – summer beach trip? Fighting genetics? Upcoming wedding? Whatever the reason is, write it down. And on the days when you feel like quitting, when you feel like bailing on a workout or ordering a burger and fries, bust out the list of reasons and will yourself stronger. Stay the course. You can feel sore tomorrow or sorry tomorrow. The choice is yours.
8) Sundays are for planning.
Long gone are the days of Sunday Funday brunching with bottomless mimosas. Now my Sundays are for early morning workouts, grocery shopping and meal prepping. Similar to #1 above, you set yourself up for success when you plan. Ever hear the saying, “Fail to plan, plan to fail!” It’s true! I stock up on fresh veggies (cut them up and put them in individual ziploc baggies for week day snacking), bake chicken breasts for quick dinners when you’re tired from a long work day and exhausting work out, and pre-wash fresh fruit so you’ll reach for the late-night apple instead of the ice cream.
9) Limit alcohol.
Booze is empty calories, simply put. So if/when you’re going to partake in a few libations, make smart choices. One glass of red wine is around 120 calories. A vodka tonic has approximately 100 calories. Margaritas can have up to 750 calories. Choose wisely – and a little trick I try and stick to is to alternate one drink with one glass of water. You’ll win the award for most trips to the restroom, but chances are you won’t wake up hating yourself in the morning!
10) Stay dedicated, focused and determined.
No one gets fat in a day, and no one gets fit in a day. These things take time. Check in with yourself often, reminding yourself why you started this process. I recently took a CYC Fitness class and was reminded by my Cycologist (how genius is that?!) Jessica that “every day is a chance to start over” – how encouraging to think that as we wake every morning, we are full of limitless possibilities. And when you’re in the gym this week, and heavy weights are staring back at you… pick them up. Weight lifting doesn’t make women huge. Cupcakes do.
Any health and fitness habits you want to share??