New year fitness resolutions that work!

Happy new year!

So here we are, in 2016, and we’re all cringing a bit at the heavy food we ate over the holiday season.

The ads are on TV for every kind of weight loss program and fitness machine you’d care to name, right? And every time we even think about fitting into our tightest pants, we heave a sigh of regret.

That’s how a lot of us feel, anyway.

But before you go signing over your money to the next program that doesn’t work, take some time to reflect. Not on the fastest way to lose weight, but on what will work for you.

Consider me, for example. I hate running. I’m 45 years old, and I know enough about myself to know that I hate running, hate exercise machines, and there is no way in hell you’ll get me on an elliptical at the gym.

Sure, I could do it for a while, but inevitably I’d stop and stall, and the program would end.

Likewise, although I love to swim, it’s too hard for me. The nearest pool is a fair distance away, I’d have to book a lane, it’s expensive, and I feel insecure in my swimsuit.

On the other hand, I love to go for walks. I live in a relatively flat area, with lots of beautiful scenery and few cars. Walking is easy. I can take my music player, and I find it relaxing and enjoyable.

I also love lifting weights. I love the challenge, and I’m really good at it. My gym is close by, and it’s cheap and friendly for women.

Now, you might be different. You might love swimming or adore running, while hating the very thought of lifting weights or going for a walk.

What I’m saying is, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it, and keep on doing it. And the only way that will happen is if you genuinely enjoy it.

Tips for choosing a sport

Do you have good hand-eye co-ordination?

If you’re the kid who was picked first for teams at school, then yes, you probably have good hand-eye co-ordination. Consider ball sports such as soccer, netball, cricket, football, volleyball, tennis.

Do you prefer: Group activities or singular activities?

If you love being with others for sport, try team sports. If you don’t have good hand-eye co-ordination, try rowing, sailing, group dance, lawn bowls, yoga, judo, a bushwalking club.

If you prefer to work alone, consider billiards, swimming, running, weightlifting, sculling, archery, golf.

Diet tips

You probably already know what to eat, and the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are out. Marion Nestle explains them well at her blog:

  • Less than 10% of calories from added sugars (esp. sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages)
  • Less than 10% of calories from saturated fats (esp. meat)
  • Less than 2,300 mg sodium (esp. processed foods and junk foods)

It’s not rocket science. Just clear your pantry of junk and processed foods, drink water, and limit meat serves. Then make sure you bring lunch from home and cook dinner instead of eating out.

Follow these guidelines and those extra chocolates and cake will be sure to come off in no time! 🙂

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