7 Expert-Approved Health Resolutions That Will Keep You Fit All Year Long
For many of us, 2016 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2017! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.
You closed out 2016 strong, successfully avoiding the holiday bulge by fitting in some high-intensity workouts in between Christmas cookie eating sessions. But if you’re looking for even more motivation for a healthy 2017 (beyond some awesome Instagram fitspo) or are just getting started on your wellness journey, we feel you. We spoke with Tiffany Harlan, co-owner of Composition ID, and Steve Shewmake, owner of Onward Fitness, for their expert tips on ways we can stay fit AF in the new year (without fully giving up our Scandi comfort food obsession).
1. Alter your everyday. Make an effort to change your lifestyle, not just go on a crash diet or workout binge. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, ride your bike to work, cut your sugar intake in half all the time instead of going on a no-sugar diet and save the rosé for weekends only. Making these minor lifestyle changes makes more sense long term than simply signing up for a series of spin classes.
Harlan explains that “making small, attainable changes… creates a longer lasting healthy habit that will ultimately lead [you] to achieving [your] goals.” Shewmake agrees, reminding us that “you typically don’t have to do as much as you think, just more than you’re currently doing,” to see results. So to start out, set realistic goals you’re confident you can stick to and ultimately fit into your everyday lifestyle.
2. Start a 30-day plan. Speaking of habits, science says it takes about a month to develop a long-lasting one. To reinforce this, Shewmake suggests you “set a goal of completing a certain number of workouts in your first month. Even if some workouts are better than others, the fact that you followed through and stuck with your commitment is a source of pride and helps you build that ‘exercise as a habit’ mindset.”
3. Do what you want. Shewmake reminds us that “the most effective workout is the one you’re going to do,” so think about what you actually enjoy doing with your time and body and start there. He suggests trying new things to find something that you love doing and doubles as a workout (yass). Plus, we always find that switching up our routine (whether it’s trying a new class at the gym, going on a hike or switching up our walk to work) motivates us to stick with our goal.
4. Stay accountable and consistent. Harland suggests sharing your efforts on social media for additional motivation, recruiting friends with similar goals to join you on your journey for support and tracking your progress in apps like My Fitness Pal to maintain consistency.
If you want to get serious about working on your fitness, Shewmake suggests investing in a personal trainer at first for a “proper program design and instruction on proper form. You can save a LOT of time and energy learning the right way to do the right things from the start with a knowledgeable fitness professional. On top of that, if you’re using incorrect form, it can not only be ineffective, but dangerous as well,” he says. Sure, even Blake Lively hides from her trainer, but that’s just a testament to how hard they’ll make you work your booty.
5. Focus on wholeness. Remember that being healthy isn’t just about nutrition or exercise on their own. Shewmake emphasizes the importance of embracing “the connection between the positive end results — feeling better, toning up, better balance, sleeping better, getting stronger — and the process that gets us there.” It’s the journey and the destination, got it?
Additionally, Harlan warns about the dangers of the scale, saying “the scale is not a good enough measure and often discourages women from continuing with their programs if they’re not seeing weight loss,” so don’t put your focus solely on losing those pounds!
6. Reward yourself. And no, we don’t mean brunch and a Bloody Mary after barre class. Treat yourself to a non-food reward, like a pedicure or new workout outfit, whenever you reach smaller goals like sticking to a workout schedule for a full month. Go bigger and plan a beach vacation when you attain your major fitness goals (time to show off those Michelle Obama arms!).
7. Manifest your intentions. Harlan says she “literally has a six-foot whiteboard resting against one of my bedroom walls where I can see my goals, track my workouts and nutrition plan and see my week-by-week accomplishments. It reinforces that I’m doing something on a daily basis to achieve those goals.” Simply writing down your goals in a notebook will make them feel more real and easily attainable. Get it, girl.
Do you have any wellness resolutions for 2017? Tweet us @BritandCo and tell us what healthy habits you’re hoping to highlight in the new year!
(Photos via Getty)