Let’s face it: nothing about losing weight or getting fit is easy. It takes an incredible amount of determination and willpower. But there are tiny tweaks we can all make while trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Here are 10 easy ways to switch things up in January.
Upgrade Your Alarm Clock. This scenario happens way too often: you have big plans to work out in the morning but instead you wake up at 5 a.m., think “Hell no,” turn off the alarm, roll over and go back to bed. This $2 Alarmy Pro app forces you to take a photo of some place in your house other than your bed to prove that you are really awake. We tried it, and it is genius.
Start a Water Habit. If eight glasses of water feels impossible, Lifehacker suggests training yourself to drink one glass in the morning when you get up and one before you go to bed. OK, now there’s only six more to go!
Prep Smoothies Ahead of Time. To save time in the morning, you can prep all your fruit and greens in advance and stash the goods in plastic bags in the freezer. That way you can just pull the bags out and dump the contents in the freezer. The Kitchn has a cool how-to guide, and you can even write on the bag if there’s any ingredients to add, say a cup of coconut milk or half a cup of Greek yogurt.
Switch Up Machines at the Gym. Redditors who get bored running on the treadmill for 30 or 40 minutes say that doing 10 minutes of elliptical, then 10 minutes of cycling, then 10 minutes of treadmill or arc trainer works for them. One writes: “By the time the boredom sets in, I'm switching machines!”
Change Your Exercise Focus. Instead of looking far into the future at all the work you have to do, focus on exercise as an immediate gratification, says behavior expert Michelle Segar, author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness. Say: “I feel so energized after that dance class,” and be happy with that.
Take Progress Photos. Make like the Kayla Itsines BBG army and take photos every few weeks, beginning with a "before photo" when you start your plan. Seeing the results of your hard work with diet and exercise could be a major motivation boost.
Find Entertainment to Obsess Over at The Gym. Get hooked on a podcast or a Netflix show and promise yourself you’ll only listen or watch while exercising.
Write It Down. Instead of vaguely saying you’ll work out today, pick a block of time, put it in your calendar, and respect that the same way you would a meeting. Some exercise studio apps even have an “add to calendar” button for their classes, so it’s as easy as pushing a button.
Make Like Beyoncé. Bey is always an inspirational figure, and we can copy the visualization tip that she says helps her get through tough workouts. "When I want to give up," she says, "I picture that one person I love more than anyone. I picture them wherever they are in the world. And I imagine myself running towards them. I see their face—they’re smiling, they’re cheering and they’re so proud of me. I make it to the end. I push past the pain, and I find love."
Forgive Yourself. Don’t let a night of pizza and drinks throw you off course from your plan entirely. Let it go, move on, and Today health/nutrition expert Joy Bauer recommends working out the next morning as a way of pushing the reset button.
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