About now is when our enthusiasm for our new year’s resolutions has waned. Here are some tips to keep you going:
Drink more water – My mom – who is an active 81- drinks a glass of water as soon as she wakes up. Add lemon for variety and to alkalize your body. Then bring a full 22 ounce metal or glass water bottle with you and drink from it all day. I advise only drinking only water or tea – I don’t recommend coffee because it is addictive. Avoid cow’s milk, juices and alcohol. How much water to drink varies greatly among individuals, (the Mayo Clinic recommends starting with 50 ounces a day and working up so that your urine is clear or light yellow; the Institute of Medicine recommends 80 ounces for women and 100 ounces for men)
Bring your gym bag with you – I keep a pair of sneakers in the car so I can go for a walk at any time. And if you exercise after work, you don’t have to go home to change. Going home between work and a workout is playing with fire: the chances you will be distracted by emails, the couch, family drama or snacks is too great. Bring your exercise gear with you so you can exercise right after you are done with your workday.
Prioritize sleep. We need at least 8 hours of sleep every night, folks. If you don’t get it, the next day you are apt to overeat and choose high carb, sugary foods. Set an alarm reminder 9 hours before you plan to get up (if you get up at 6am, yep that means 9pm) so you start unwinding (and turning off the TV – that blue light will keep you awake). Read a book or do a crossword in bed to prime your body to slow down. Turn out the light at least 8 hours before your wake up time.
Don’t use the Snooze button. Get up as soon as the alarm rings. If you have to put the clock across the room at first, go ahead. Snoozing is a bad habit that offers no refreshing sleep so it is best avoided. Get into a routine of getting up as soon as the alarm rings. This is especially important if you exercise in the mornings, as there is no time to waste!
Schedule it – Every Sunday, decide when you are exercising in the coming week, and mark the times in your calendar. Treat those hours like you would important meetings – don’t let anyone interrupt them! Writing down your workout times prioritizes them, and you are more likely to commit to regular exercise if you put it in your calendar days beforehand.