Throw the standard resolutions out the window! This year, commit to quirky, fun and challenging resolutions that really stretch you. The unusual bent of a different resolution will encourage you to stick with it, and in the process, your life just might change.
Machines are wonderful things, but it's time to let elevators and escalators rest. Commit to carrying yourself from floor to floor using your own two feet. Not one, not two, not three fitness experts suggested this one, but four! Clearly, it's a resolution worth trying.
Lisa Harvey, a medical student and Girls Gone Sporty adventure guru, put it best, saying, "Healthy living is more than committing to using your gym membership. Keep it simple and don't make resolutions that you can't keep for a whole year."
There's one exception — if you work or live in a high-rise, no one expects you to traipse up and down 30 flights of stairs every time you head out for coffee with friends. Decide in advance how many flights you'll walk — three, five or 10 — and then catch the elevator for the rest.
Scarfing down your food while watching TV or staring at your computer is a surefire way to eat more than you planned. Plus, you're less likely to really taste or enjoy your food, making you more likely to turn to food again before you really need it. Shannon Colavecchio, ACE-certified group-fitness instructor and owner of Badass Fitness — a small group-training studio in Tallahassee, Florida — suggests sitting down for each meal and taking at least five extra minutes to eat.
But I say take it one step further by shutting down your electronics during your meal. You can live without Facebook notifications for 20 minutes, and disconnecting from screens enables you to connect with your food and your family, leading to a more enjoyable, fulfilling eating experience.
Believe it or not, there was life before cars. With a little careful planning, you can cut back on gasoline expenses and increase your weekly step count by turning one day a week into a car-less day. Erin Kreitz Shirey, master trainer and CEO of Dig Deep, Play Hard, terms this type of day "Lifestyle Fitness." The idea is that you then have to power your own movement throughout the day, walking to the store or to the park, riding your bike to work, or finding entertainment near home rather than driving to the movies. It does take some finessing to make it work in today's world, but you'd be surprised at how addicting it becomes once you get started.
Your cellphone is great for many things, but now's the time to invest in a real alarm clock. With more and more people struggling to get enough sleep — especially high-quality, uninterrupted sleep — keeping your cellphone in your bedroom is a recipe for disaster. Holly Perkins, Promax's fitness ambassador, says you should charge your phone in an entirely different room. This way, you're guaranteed not to be woken unexpectedly by social media notifications or drunken texts from unruly friends.
Inversion exercises — those exercises that place your head below your heart — are great for lymphatic health, and they can enhance energy and provide mental clarity. Perkins suggests adding yoga moves to your daily regimen to get a quick boost throughout the day. Even if you're not ready for headstands or crazy poses, a simple downward dog can do the trick.
Registered dietitian Serena Marie admits that her first advice to clients is a little odd, coming from an R.D., but it makes a huge difference in people's lives.
"My No. 1 resolution to clients may not sound all that health oriented at first, but I promise you that it will help you fulfill your healthiest dreams! Whenever you encounter a task that will take you less than a minute to complete, just do it. That means instead of throwing your dirty clothes on the floor, pick 'em up! Or instead of leaving the dirty dishes in the sink, put 'em in the dishwasher! Instead of saying you'll answer your mom's email about what to make for dinner, just decide and respond! You will be amazed at how much easier it is to prioritize meal prep or gym time when your home is a bit tidier and you don't have a to-do list containing a million silly little one-minute tasks. Seriously, eliminate clutter, and your resolutions will be all the easier to achieve!"
"Add garlic to your green juice! Despite its zesty taste, garlic is extremely effective at warding off viruses and keeping you healthy," says Christy Dean, a holistic health coach.
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