January is the time of year when many of us start to think about getting in better physical shape, losing weight, dieting, and exercise. After weeks of feasting throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, it seems like a New Year’s resolution is just the ticket.
But we all know those resolutions don’t necessarily get the job done. Staying fit is a lifestyle, not a sudden surge of short-lived will-power. Here are some tips that can help make fitness a regular part of your life from now on.
A major component in losing weight is to burn fat. You’ll need to burn fat every day for long-term weight loss results. Remember that small steps each day can add up to big results after a period of time. If you follow these tips, you won’t be in the same place six months from now that you are in today.
Move around Every Day
Exercise is an important component in burning fat. You want to walk fast, skate, swim, dance, and hike. Do whatever you can to keep moving during the day. If you have a sedentary job, consider asking your boss for a stand-up desk or a treadmill desk. Studies show that sitting more than four hours a day is deadly.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
When you get up, within about an hour of rising be sure to eat a healthy breakfast such as steel cut oats and berries. Add some almond milk for added delicious flavor and nutrition.
Get in Daily Cardio
Aside from purposeful movement every day during work, it’s important to add in purposeful cardio for at least 30 minutes a day. You want your heart rate up for about 30 minutes through running, fast walking, dancing or other movement. It should be hard to carry on a normal conversation and impossible to sing if you’re getting in the right level of cardio.
Stress can cause a build-up of body fat due to increased production of cortisol which tends to cause fat to build up around the belly. People with a high level of belly fat are more likely to have cardiovascular issues and/or diabetes. Try meditation, prayer, silent reading and other stress-reducing activities.
Add in Strength Training
Any type of resistance training can help you build your strength, whether by resistance bands or weight lifting. You don’t have to build bulky muscles. You can do daily planks for your strength training if you want to.
Eat More Vegetables
Try filling half your plate with vegetables without added fat, salt or sugar. Vegetables of all kinds are good for you. There are no “bad” veggies. Not even potatoes are bad for you. It’s what you put on them that could be bad.
Eat More Fruit
Unfortunately, fruit like bananas and avocado have gotten a bad rap due to advertising by the processed food industry. But, the truth is, fruit is good for you and you should eat it in abundance.
Supplement Where Needed
No matter how good a diet you eat, there are times you may need to add supplements. The very best way to know is to get tested by your doctor to find out where your levels are. Ask them to look at your vitamin B12 and D levels specifically.
And since I am writing this in January, where it’s wintertime for many of us, remember that we all need extra vitamin D during the shorter days of winter.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is very important to aid in burning fat and overall weight loss. Most people need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. But, the best way to figure out how much sleep you need is to go to bed earlier and earlier each night until you can wake up consistently at the time you need to rise for work each day without an alarm.
Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration is very important for proper digestion of nutrients, as well as eliminating fat. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and drink more when you sweat, ingest caffeine or during dry weather.
Burning fat is easy when you know how. The important thing to remember is to do at least one or two things each day to work toward your goal. Avoid doing things that are contrary to your goal and you will end up successful.