Fitness, Nutrition, & Healthy Living Tips for 2020
This is the time of year that most will evaluate their goals, look to change up their routines, and seek out better habits. And you should - but you also shouldn’t feel that you can only do it once a year!
That said, the new year is a good reminder to do an overall review of our lives and see how we’re doing. Here are six helpful questions to get you thinking:
- Do you feel well, often enough, to accomplish your goals?
- What would you like to improve about yourself - physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally - that you may have been putting off?
- Have you done a relationship check lately? Do the people that matter to you know that they matter to you and have you given them everything that you want to give to them lately (energy, time, attention, etc)?
- What are some bucket list items you can check off your list this year?
- How often do you practice self-care?
- Are you aware of your mental health? In what ways and how often are you checking in on yourself?
Without getting too overwhelmed, consider your answers to these questions. You might even write them down so you can reflect back on your answers later, or just give yourself a real opportunity to reflect on your honest answers.
Many experts would recommend keeping your list short, and achievable. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
With that in mind, here are some very bite-sized expert tips to help you with your resolutions for 2020.
3 Tips For Eating Better in 2020
- Focus on what should be on your plate: celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque says “I’ve realized… a lot of people live by ‘do no eat’ lists. We tend to bucket things as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for us and it all becomes paralysis by analysis.” Instead, she encourages you to focus on what should be on your plate - protein, fat, fiber, and greens. Keep it simple and focus on the glass half full perspective.
- Focus on fat: yup, you saw that right. Healthy fat that is. It may seem counter-intuitive, but especially if you want to achieve glowing skin, “oiling your skin” from the inside out, is another one of food guru Kelly’s tips for healthier living. Kelly reminds us that “fat is essential for producing hormones, absorbing fat-soluble vitamins, hydrating skin from the inside out and effectively balancing blood sugar.” Here are some of our top picks for healthy fats to use in your daily diet: avocado, egg yolk, coconut oil, fatty fish - read more about Kelly’s guide to living well on The Chalkboard Mag.
- At least start your day off right: if you do nothing else right in a day, start it by drinking lemon water. Certified holistic nutritionist, Elissa Goodman (creator of the vegan mecca, Cafe Gratitude, among other lofty achievements), explains that she starts each day with her version of a strong probiotic cleanse which is to say that she simply drinks a detoxifying glass of lemon water on an empty stomach at the start of each day. “I use this to boost my immune system and as a focus on gut health first thing in the morning.” Plus, knowing that you started the day right can help motivate you to stay on track for the rest of the day.
3 Tips For More Effective Workouts in 2020
- Leverage technology to take the guesswork out: the ladies at Tone It Up have designed their mobile app with specific fitness programs that you can customize to your own individual goals - because let’s face it, like most everything else in your life, most things are not ‘one size fits all.’ “Whether your goal is to build strength, tone up fast, or get fit post-baby,” you’re likely to find a program on the app to fit your needs, not to mention a community of people all motivated to help you reach your fitness goals.
- Make the most of your time with micro-HIIT: “while many of us try to fit a HIIT session into our busy schedules (the recommended time being 20-minutes of HIIT)” - high-intensity interval training - for many, finding even 20 minutes to dedicate to exercise can be challenging. Enter micro-HIIT, the new fitness trend in 2020. “That means finding any opportunity to fit in one, two, or three minutes of HIIT, while you wait for your coffee to brew or for your boss to get back to you.” As Pamela Peeke, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and Health Advisor at Equinox explains on ELLE.com, “‘the healthy stress your body undergoes during HIIT triggers autophagy, which rids your body of cellular debris and stimulates the production of stem cells, the primary regenerative cells int he body. The more stem cells you have, the better you are able to induce super atrophy - it’s a cycle.’”
- At-home (or anywhere) workouts: to further the no-excuses movement, with the adoption of solutions like Peloton (and lucky you if Santa leaves this under your tree this year!), and other similar fitness programs that can literally be done anywhere, you have fewer and fewer reasons to not fit in that 20 minutes of exercise daily. If you need something a bit more “Zen”, then you’ll be happy to know that in January 2020, Lululemon Ambassador and founder of Mind Body Bowl, Annie Clarke, is launching The Practice, an online platform for yoga classes for a small flat monthly rate.
- Complement your workouts with a body sculpting procedure: take that extra step to stimulate muscles with a body sculpting device. Some of the most popular procedures today include Emsculpt, CoolTone by Coolsculpt, and truSculpt flex by Cutera. These non-invasive procedures work for both men and women and are designed to help you build muscle and sculpt your body.
3 Tips For Better Mental Health in 2020
- There’s an app for that: you’ve got your phone with you everywhere you go, so take the time to use it in a way that will benefit you from the inside, out. To start, here’s a helpful list of the top 10 best mental health apps you can download to help with everything from daily reminders to breath and meditate, to building a community related to topics like addiction and sobriety. The Calm app is our top choice for helping to break habits, tapping into gratitude, mindfulness, concentration, and so much more!
- Get out: whether you go for a hike, a long walk, or full-on nature retreat, time spent outdoors can be very beneficial to your mental health. It has been proven that time among nature can help to lower stress and anxiety, improve mood, increase self-esteem, stimulate creativity, and improve your memory. As further outlined in Forbes.com, “research suggests that even activities like gardening and green exercise promote relaxation and reduce cortisol levels in your body.” If you really want to embrace this practice, and explore the idea of “Shinrin-Yoku”, which means “forest bathing”, pick up Your Guide To Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature which covers the science and practice of forest bathing. This could really transform your 2020 and beyond!
- Check your ego, and talk to a therapist: the stigma of seeing a therapist or counselor is virtually a thing of the past. Mental health is now a very relevant and publicly discussed topic, so any qualms you may have had in the past about seeing a therapist should dissipate and open the door for you to find a qualified professional to help you explore your own mental health. Working with a therapist is like having a coach who constantly helps and pushes you to maintain good mental health… whether you’ve had trauma or toxic relationships in your past or perhaps more simple problems that are affecting your wellness, a therapist can help you change your thought patterns and bring about new, healthy habits that can lead to real improvements and change. If you’re looking for more ideas, read more on this article for 12 Therapist-Approved Tips for the Good Mental Health.
So what are you waiting for? Here’s to a fit, healthy, and balanced 2020 - go get ‘em!
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