It’s that time again. Resolutions are made, gyms grow crowded, and people toast to a healthier New Year over the latest juice cleanse. It’s easy to commit during the glow of the holidays but then lose steam in the months that follow. Set yourself up for success this year and give your willpower the boost it needs with the help of five simple tips that fit into your regular routine and stick around past February.
Strength in Numbers
Don’t go it alone this winter. Find a friend, family member, or coworker who wants to revamp their routine as well so that you can swap recipe ideas, do workouts together, or take a lap around the office at lunchtime. There’s no need to broadcast your goals on Facebook (in fact, research shows that might do more harm than good), but sharing progress with one other person will hold you both accountable. Your resolution buddy doesn’t have to be local: Reach out to a relative or friend you don’t see as often and set regular times to chat on the phone while walking around your neighborhood.
One Harvard study shows that walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day can cut the risk of heart disease in women by as much as 40 percent. Plus, a little exercise boosts your mood and lowers stress hormones all while burning calories, according to the Mayo Clinic, so chill out, lace up, and get going. If hoofing it isn’t your style, see what bike share programs are available in your city, walk just a little bit more to a farther public transportation stop in the morning, or, if you aren’t an urban dweller, go for a hike on a weekend. (Too cold, you say? Snowshoeing is great exercise, too!)
We live in a busy, multitasking world, so sometimes it helps to automate those little reminders to take care of ourselves. Let your smartphone be your health coach whenever possible. There is a wide range of helpful apps – from shopping aids to exercise trackers to mediation guides – that can help keep you honest about your resolution status. There are lifestyle apps that will remind you to stand up and stretch at your desk or drink a glass of water, as well as apps that will record your workouts and suggest new ones. Recent research shows that fitness apps help facilitate higher levels of activity for those who commit.
Bring Your Lunch and Eat It Too
The Simply Cafe Steamers Unwrapped Burrito Bowl
You’ve seen the articles before: Prepping meals ahead of time helps ensure healthier choices and lower spending at lunchtime. But sometimes you have things to do on Sunday besides make your lunches for the week, and stopping by a fast-casual restaurant seems like the easier solution to planning for a slew of meals.
Make easier choices at lunchtime by shopping right. To stave off those unhealthy lunch temptations, get strategic in the store. Try buying ingredients to make healthy versions of your fast-casual favorites: Beans, rice, and grilled chicken and vegetables make for an excellent homemade burrito bowl, or you can throw some roasted sweet potatoes, shaved almonds, and avocado into a salad to give it a little professional flair.
But for those moments when you run out of time to meal prep, head to the frozen aisle and check out the latest selection from Healthy Choice – culinary-inspired steamer meals. The Simply Cafe Steamers collection from Healthy Choice includes dishes made with organic ingredients and nothing artificial. Try the new spinach and tomato linguini, the unwrapped burrito bowl, and other delicious favorites that only feel indulgent — even though they're lower in calories and higher in nutrients than other brown bag lunches.
Write It Down
To minimize cheating and to give yourself credit for all of the small-but-mighty healthy choices you make each day, keep an informal resolution journal. Record your favorite healthy meals, your daily exercise you might otherwise forget you did (yes, aggressively cleaning the kitchen counts), and those delightful "cheats" that are great in moderation. You’ll be able to see your progress and the impact of the small adjustments to your routine as you enjoy a healthier 2017.
It’s never been easier to keep one of those pesky resolutions. Find the new Healthy Choice Simply Cafe Steamers with organic ingredients in the frozen aisle to make a first small step towards a healthier lifestyle.