Tips to Help Achieve your 2018 Health & Fitness Goals 1

DIET

Make 2018 the year of doing better. Skip the extreme diet programs and do the best you can. Make small steps. Be aware of how you feel. Connect your mood and energy levels to what you choose to fuel your body with. What makes you feel good? What makes you feel bad? What works for you? Make it happen. Here are some diet tips to help you do better.

Clean it up in general! Make good food your norm and bad food your exception–no excuses! Unhealthy fast food just isn’t necessary anymore. Kansas City has many clean, healthy and delicious on the go eateries such as t.Loft, Enjoy Pure Foods, Simple Science Juicery, the UnBakery, Eat Fit Go and more.  

You feel better when you consume real food. Your body was designed to process, utilize and be fueled by food that came from the earth. Make an effort to stay clear of ingredients you cannot pronounce. Be intentional and mindful of what you eat. Think about where it came from and how it will make you feel.

Get organized and plan meals. This is key! No one can make rational choices when they are hangry. Have your meals prepped and ready. Find the time and make it a priority.

Drink water. Your body uses water in all of its cells, organs and tissues. Your brain is 70 percent water. Your lungs are nearly 90 percent water. There is a reason you feel bad when you are dehydrated—your organs are drying up.  

Too much sugar will make you feel crappy and tired a few hours after you eat it, always. Find your control over the sugar. Empowered, not deprived. You will feel better.

Plan around your protein but be sure to add in good fats, fruits, veggies and good carbs. Protein is good for muscle, brain, mood, energy levels, to stabilize blood sugar, etc.  

Eat healthy because you feel better.  

FITNESS

Do you exercise regularly? Do you elevate your heart rate three to five times a week? If not, why? Write all of the reasons down on a piece of paper. Here are some of the most common reasons I hear often:

Need motivation and accountability: Find a program that will hold you accountable, either online, on an app or locally. Find a friend that will hold you accountable. Workout buddies are a huge help with motivation. Choose someone that is positive and driven, but keep in mind that you are ultimately responsible for yourself. Even if they bail, stick to the plan and get it done!  

Intimidated to start a studio fitness class: This is a justifiable concern. Luckily, YouTube is full of beginner workouts. Want to try yoga? Search beginner yoga. Be smart and take it slow. You can give it your best shot in the comfort of your own home, and you don’t even need to brush your teeth. Do it daily. You will get stronger and more willing to try a studio or new videos.

Not enough time: Make time. Write down how many TV shows/movies you watch in a week. Also, write down if you have been on any social media sites in the past 24 hours. Can you cut out a TV show to go to bed (and get up) 30 minutes earlier? Can you skip scrolling through your Facebook feed over lunch and walk? Pack your sneakers and get a co-worker to walk the office stairwell during a break. Do 10 squats every time you reach for your phone to peruse the internet unnecessarily.  

My knees/back/hips/feet hurt when I exercise: Talk to your doctor. Ask them what you can and cannot do. Once you know your limits, this city is full of studios that offer low-impact options such as spinning, swimming, yoga, Pilates, etc. It is important to understand that excess body weight will worsen almost any ailment. If you doubt this statement, walk up a flight of stairs carrying a 20-pound dumbbell. Carrying less weight and strengthening the surrounding muscles and tendons will decrease strain and pain on joints. Choose an exercise regime that works for you and your doctor. It will be worth it.

Above all else, be good to yourself. Positive thoughts equal positive actions. Find something you enjoy and get moving. This is your year.

Shawna Wright is a fitness instructor at Fusion Fitness in Corbin Park.