With the New Year around the corner many people are planning on starting the year off right with better health and exercise habits. While people have good intentions, most do not maintain this change throughout the year. Change is hard! The easiest way to stick to the changes you strive to make is to not make drastic changes. Start off by making slow changes:
- Take it slow at the gym. Do not think your body is ready to handle being in the gym 3-4 times a week when you have not worked out recently. At APM we encourage people to follow the 10% rule: do not increase your activity more than 10% per week. That includes distance, intensity, weight lifted and time of exercise.
- Do not cut caffeine out completely. Start by slowly decreasing your intake. Instead of having a cup in the morning, at lunch and on your way home, try only consuming it twice a day. Caffeine is extremely hard for most people to cut out because they go through withdrawals. There are a few natural energy drinks on the market which utilize vitamins and a small amount of natural caffeine. These are also better options versus the popular energy drinks and coffee, especially when it’s laden with sugar and cream.
- Make healthier food choices. Start by making a little extra for dinner and then bring the leftovers for lunch. Lunch is a time many people fall off their “diet” because they are tempted by co-workers and quick, easy food choices that aren’t always the healthiest. If you do not have time during the week to cook, try making a meal on Sunday that you can eat during the week. Slowly by surely this will become your routine. There are many quick, nutrient dense recipes that are easy to incorporate into your diet.
- Drink more water. Our bodies are extremely dependent on water; every single organ system including the skin utilizes it. The easiest way to incorporate more water into your day is to carry around a re-usable PBA-free plastic bottle. Many offices have water coolers that are available to employees which can be used to refill your bottle throughout the day. By using the small plastic cups that are usually associated with the cooler, this decreases the amount of water accessible to you upon each refill. Even I notice when my refillable bottle is on my desk, I drink more water, just because it’s there.
Most people know what they should be doing to better their health. The hard part is actually making these changes and sticking with them. Like I said before change is hard, but by making slow, gradual changes, these become lifestyle changes which make it easier to continue throughout life. Before you know it you will be feeling better than you ever did before! If you have any questions on recipes, natural energy drinks or your overall health, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Candice or Dr. Max at Advanced Physical Medicine (203) 691-5581.