You didn’t think I would go into 2012 without a New Year’s Resolution fitness post, did you?
I’m going to be even more fit and healthy this year. 365 days of commitment – Strength training, endurance training, rest, mobility and lots of healthy eating for fueling. How can you join me in being fitter and healthier than ever in 2012?
Since you will probably quit reading after this list, here’s what not to do in 2012:
- Nothing/be sedentary
- Endless hours of steady state cardio
- Avoid lifting weight / lifting little pink dumbbells
- Put bad foods, drinks and other toxins in your body
- Skimp on sleep
- Put yourself behind everyone else all the time
- Hold on to stress / let the small stuff stress you out
- Tell yourself “I can’t…”
Let me expand now by telling you how you can be fitter (and healthier!):
- Do something – if you are sedentary, start moving. I don’t care if it’s getting up to walk down the hall once an hour. Just be more active. If you sit at the desk all day, get up and pace while on a phone call, walk to the farthest bathroom in the office, take advantage of that free on-site gym…you get the picture. If you are pretty active, read on…
- Steady state cardio is pretty counter-productive if you are trying to get fit and maintain fitness. Your body adapts and it adapts FAST. You need to be doing a variety of training protocols, from short bouts of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to training longer intervals at about 80-85%. Save the steady state, long slow distance for endurance events. If you train higher intensity intervals, you condition your body to be better at the longer, slower distances, plus you get far more caloric burn from it. Bonus – less risk for overuse injuries (in case you haven’t had the pleasure of an overuse injury, once you have one it will plague you forever. You can still perform, but you’re going to feel the past injury in some way).
- Hello, Jane Fonda called and she wants her pink dumbbells back! You are doing yourself a HUGE disservice if you aren’t lifting actual weight. Fact, lifting heavy outperforms any other kind of lifting format (high rep, low weight = set yourself up to be disappointed again this year). LADIES, WE AREN’T GENETICALLY BUILT TO BULK UP LIKE MEN! Stop living in the shadow of that lie! Pick up heavy weights, give yourself just enough rest to feel a little uncomfortable, then repeat until your training session is over. Then get home and refuel!
- Don’t overdo it. Rest is essential for body mind and body. You will not get fitter or healthier if you run yourself into the ground. Define what rest means to you, be it some gentle yoga, a light bike ride or no workout at all and embrace the rest day! This includes sleep. It’s nearly impossible to be healthy without getting enough sleep.
- You will completely sabotage any effort to get fit if you put junk in your mouth. Looking and feeling good is about 80% nutrition-based. If you eat junk, you will feel like junk. Refer to my last post on 2012 healthy eating.
- You have to put yourself first when it comes to your health. You need to find an hour in your busy day to dedicate to yourself. It’s your time to focus on being healthy.
- Don’t let stress rule your life. Show stress who’s boss. Don’t let stress win. Most of what you are stressing over is not worth the health impact that stress has on you.
- And finally, don’t tell yourself that you can’t. You can get your butt off the couch and take a walk. You can bundle up and take a walk in less than optimal weather. You can give up wheat because you are gluten intolerant (you won’t even miss wheat in a month)! You can learn to like Kale. You can step foot into a gym without feeling embarrassed. You can go to a CrossFit gym and complete a WOD. You can run a marathon in October. You can stop letting your boss stress you out. You can take an hour a day for yourself. You can eliminate worthless tasks from your schedule to get more sleep.
So, are you going to join me in making this your fittest and healthiest year ever?