Have you seen the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Nurse Ratched always saying “medication time”? Well, I feel like that with my New Year’s resolutions. So I guess I’m Nurse Ratched, “resolution time” everyone!
Resolutions. Or intentions. Or words of the year. Whatever you want to call them – this is their time. And like taking our medicine, they can be somewhat daunting. I get a little overwhelmed at the idea of making and keeping resolutions, but I like the idea of taking the time to reflect, reset and focus on the future.
So when I looked at resolutions less like taking my medicine and more like a reflection, I realized I had been thinking about resolutions – or things I could work on – all year long. And the new year is a great time to gather these thoughts, put them on paper, and come up with a plan to follow through on them. Here’s the start of my resolution list, which turned out to be pretty long. I’m sharing this with you today because you might find some of the information helpful too for making your own resolutions.
I organized my resolutions into categories, did some research and found new apps, articles, products or websites to help get them all done. I didn’t want to give you too much information all at once so I dedicated one post to each of my resolution categories. Today, it’s HEALTH & WELLNESS so grab a cup of green tea, sit back and enjoy!
1. HEALTH & WELLNESS
Health has been a hot topic for our extended family lately. We’re more conscious about it than ever. And I think we all want to make our lives and ourselves healthier. Here’s a few ways we can do this.
Fitness. We all know we should be getting some sort of physical activity. But how do we come up with a specific fitness resolution? How do we balance what we’re doing so we’re getting the most out of our time and effort? According to Dr. Martin Gibala, Ph.D. at McMaster University in Ontario, three workouts a week is ideal for optimal heart health. This should include one workout of interval training (short bouts of effort followed by a recovery period), one workout of strength training (lowers blood pressure and weight gain) and one workout of your choice (ie. running, swimming, spin/biking, tennis…). Click here to see my post on running tips and motivation.
Walking is another moderate exercise that has tons of benefits. According to James H. O’Keefe, M.D. of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, getting 150 minutes of brisk walking a week is ideal. That means a 20-25 minute walk each day. Not too hard, right? Click here to see my post on the benefits of a daily walk.
I found a few apps that will help with monitoring – or creating – a fitness routine that works for you:
Runkeeper is an app that allows users to track runs, walks, bike rides, and other fitness activities using your phone’s GPS. You can use it to calculate running pace, cycling speed, route distance, elevation and calorie burn for any fitness activity – in real time! Also, syncing your music is free!
NexTrack is an app that’s been featured on CBS, “The Doctors” talk show as the best fitness tracker for weight loss. The app tracks over 200 different activities and rewards your efforts with points that can be redeemed for fitness prizes and coupons.
FitStar Personal Trainer app offers dozens of exercises you can do outside of a gym, anytime, anywhere, and workouts can be easily personalized to meet individual fitness goals and capabilities. No additional equipment is needed and workouts can be performed in limited space.
The 7-Minute Workout app is based on the workout originally published in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. Users can see both video and text descriptions of each exercise, and it gives countdown timers and prompts for each exercise.
It’s proven that keeping track of your workout will make you more motivated, prevent injuries and help your workout progression. A printed fitness log is another option for those who like to have a visual plan of action. This one from Fitness Fashionista looks great. It allows you to track your goals, plan your meals and workouts and even do some challenges.
I have always been a runner but I wasn’t balancing out my fitness routine. I was junk running. Running just to run. My body was getting burnt out and then came the minor injuries. Not good. So I’ve cut back on running and added in PiYo classes and strength training. This year I plan on continuing with my new routine and pay attention to my body if I need to change it up a bit. And if I’m feeling really good (and a little crazy), I may even play in a women’s soccer league. I’ll get a few apps to help with my progress too.
Go ahead and set your own goals. Whether you’re working on being more heart healthy, feel better, or maybe you want to get back to playing a sport you love and relive your own glory days! And then find the best way to stick with your resolutions. An app, a journal or log – whatever it takes to get it done.
Eating & Drinking. I like my food. And my wine. So this is a tough one for me. And eating healthy means different things for different people. Are you looking to cut calories, fat, carbs, sugar? Do you want to eat more organic and less processed foods? Maybe you want to try the raw or paleo diet. Or maybe you think gluten-free or vegan would be a healthy change for you. There is so much information about different foods, fads and nutrition that my head feels like it could explode some days.
I found a few apps and articles that have helped me streamline all this info and provided some good options to eat and drink healthier.
The Dinner Daily is a website that will create custom meal plans for you and email them, along with shopping lists and coupon links to your favorite grocery store, right to your inbox each week. It’s $18 for a 3 month subscription. I haven’t tried it and it seems really structured for our schedule but maybe that’s what we need?
I love this food blog: Iowa Girl Eats. She recently found out she has Celiac’s so she posts a lot of gluten-free recipes. But all her stuff is so easy and delicious.
Lark is an app that works as a personal weight loss coach and nutritionist. Lark uses your phone to track food calories, nutrition information, exercise, and sleep information. It allows users to simply state what they ate for a meal and a personal nutritionist will respond with information within seconds.
Fooducate is an app that analyzes nutrition information by scanning a product’s barcode. It analyzes information often missing from labels, including trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG and artificial sweeteners.
This website focuses on going sugar free and offers an online course. This would be a big step for me but it might be something others want to try. You can also find her 50 sugar and gluten free snack list at Iowa Girl Eats here.
My plan is to cut out some of the bad and incorporate more of the good. It’s that simple. Less processed foods and artificial sweeteners. oh no, beloved Diet Coke! I want to replace them with more fresh or local options. And I will drink more water. there, I said it. I love the Fooducate app – and I think it will help me pick healthier options.
General Wellness. In addition to eating better and exercising, we also need to take care of our general well being. And for me that includes reducing stress. That’s easier said than done. It’s important to realize that stress is a choice. Our reaction, not the situation, controls our body’s stress response. We’re in control of our stress – so how do we deal with stress better? Besides exercise, here are a few other ways you can de-stress and cross it off your resolution list:
Meditation. Every year I go away with my college girlfriends to the Norwich Spa & Inn and this is the one class I don’t want to miss. It is awesome. My resolution is to incorporate it into more of my daily routine. Or at least weekly. There’s an app called CALM that helps users meditate, sleep, and relax.
A few other ideas on how to combat stress include: keeping a journal to help you worry less about the future and be more in the moment; adult coloring books are a trend that is alive and well, namely because of their de-stressing benefits. The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates motor skills and creativity. I’m a big Matisee fan so this one caught my eye. Also, checkout this article from The Huffington Post. Some other great de-stressing ideas that might help.
I also found this app Braingle that is suppose to relive stress and challenge your mind. It’s pretty good. Me, not so much.
Or try Lumosity – a popular brain fitness app that allows users to challenge their memory, attention, and cognitive skills.
I’m going to start using my Essential Oils. I just received my Young Living starter kit and I’m so intrigued. My goal is to learn a lot more about these “miracle” oils and put them to use. Click on the link on the right column of my home page to purchase your own Young Living starter set.
So less stress through weekly meditation, make necessary doctor’s visits, take my vitamins regularly, find ways to challenge my mind, and put my Essential Oils to use.
Whew! There’s my Health & Wellness Resolutions for 2016. There’s a lot here, and hopefully some of this is helpful to you too. One thing to remember, when making your resolutions, planning for the future is important but, we can all work on being more present. I’ll be following up next week with my resolutions to Get Organized and then Work, Home & Blog Projects. What are your New Year’s Resolutions?