Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Revitalizing New Year's Resolutions for Spring

Did you set any New Year's Resolutions a few months ago? If so, how are those going? If you're like most of us, these questions may have prompted something along the lines of, "Umm...what resolutions? Oh...yeah...those..."

Perhaps it was a fitness-related goal to work out more or eat healthier. These are great goals since they improve your overall well-being and (usually) make you happier. However, goals like these need to be more specific. Goals such as strength training twice a week, running for 30 minutes 2-3 times a week and walking outdoors when the weather cooperates are better goals because you can measure them.

Now is the perfect time to take your workouts outside to mix things up. I don't know about you, but running outdoors always makes me feel so much better. There's not much that decreases stress like a long run on gravel roads (except maybe the shooting range, but that's a topic for another day). Find what you enjoy or try out something new. Fresh air is always a good thing. Walking on a lunch break is always a good option too, especially if you have some scenic areas near your workplace.

If you have a Fitbit, it's a very useful device. It is a little creepy how it knows exactly when I fall asleep and wake up though. Anyhow, it can help keep you on track with simply taking enough steps and moving each day or you can connect it with apps like MyFitnessPal to sync your food entries with everything else. A few years ago I picked up a pedometer to track my steps. It wasn't fancy, but it got the job done until I lost it in a hay field. I've been pleasantly surprised how much my new Fitbit has helped me literally step it up the last two weeks. I'm killing it with my workouts because I can see my progress on my wrist and on my phone. It holds me accountable so others don't have to. I'll appreciate this during swimsuit season.

Speaking of tracking your food, if you haven't done this it may be an interesting exercise to try. It's so easy to mindlessly snack on trail mix or drink pop or too much alcohol and wonder why you've been sticking to your exercise routine and are still gaining weight. Protein is a very important nutrient to fuel your muscles. Did you know an 8 oz. glass of chocolate or white milk has 8 grams of protein? I really like Fairlife Chocolate milk, which has about 13 grams of protein per 8 oz. Fiber will keep you full. Think fruits and vegetables, but if you still aren't getting enough, there are supplements that may help too. Wash it all down with water to cut calories.

Apps like MyFitnessPal also help to track important nutrients like protein, fats, carbohydrates and others. As one of my college dairy professors always says, you can't manage what you don't measure.

Everyone has a weakness. Maybe it's sweets or starchy foods. Perhaps comfort foods like macaroni and cheese. Whatever it is, make sure you don't completely give up the foods you enjoy. Cut back on portion sizes and eat slowly so you can thoroughly enjoy each bite. I love ice cream and for a few weeks was eating ice cream like it was its own food group. My personal trainer wasn't a fan of that, but luckily it was just a reaction to some stressful situations and it's long gone now. Don't stress eat. It's not healthy. Exercising is a much better outlet.

The first few weeks are going to be tough if you are cutting back, but remember why you are doing it. To look good in a bikini is a good reason, but try not to do things just for specific events since afterwards you may lose motivation and slide back to where you were before. That's never fun and quite honestly, it's depressing. With that said, you can still have that as one of your reasons, but also do it to improve your health and feel better.

After all, that's what it's all about - continuous improvement and giving ourselves grace when we screw up. No one is perfect and it's nearly impossible to stay on track 100% of the time.

What goals did you set for yourself this year and how are they going? One quarter down, three more to go. Let's make 2017 the best year yet!

For some healthy recipes, check out these delicious options:
Rosemary Baked Halibut
Lemon Pepper Tilapia
Chicken Taco Bowls (Crock Pot)
Balsamic Beef Roast (Crock Pot)
Tropical Fruit Salad
Apple Parmesan Pork Salad
Kiwi Cheese Crackers


  1. At 74 I just try stay healthy??? Had planned on a personal trainer 2x a week but seems like I make it to see her once a week on average!!! :) :)

    1. Every little bit helps! Farm work is a great workout in itself. I don't know that I've seen my brother at the gym since college.