Yes, People, we are getting all kinds of serious up in herre today. I decided to map out my year and, as long-term readers are aware, I always like to drag you along for the ride. This post is way too freakin long. Read now. Print for later. Bookmark. Whatever you choose—just join me.
Welcome to February.
The month in which most of us realize our New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside.
Panic not, oh misfits like I, if January is the month to identify what we’re striving for, then February is the perfect time to kick-off healthy changes.
Goal achievement in general (and healthy lifestyle attainment specifically) is all about setting ourselves up for success through a two-part plan:
1. Identify what you’re working to achieve. Instead of saying you want to lose weight or get fit, break it down into specific goals. For example running a marathon, losing 30 pounds, or eating healthier.
2. Break larger goals down into smaller more doable parts that you I can incorporate gradually For example, running a 5K or adding more fiber into your food plan. These bite-sized pieces help make even the most grandiose of notions feel down right manageable (can I get an AMEN?).
That’s precisely what February is about at Casa MizFit: taking the overall healthy lifestyle goal of January diving it up into eleven new healthy habits so that it all feels less freakin overwhelming.
Please to visualize each monthly change as adding a layer to the foundation of a home.
Each habit we add is a crucial element in keeping our foundation solid.
As a result, it’s important to retain our previous habits even focusing on the current month’s addition.
MizFit tip: Be me? Ive printed this out, cut it into 11 segments, and paper-clipped each healthy habit to the corresponding month on my paper calendar. #nerdalert
Set to git superfly organized with me & break it all down?
February: Keeping in mind the notion of setting ourselves up for success let’s begin with a fairly easy goal: vitamins. In an ideal world we’d get all the vitamins our bodies require from food-based sources. It’s become increasingly difficult to achieve this, however, even with the healthiest of diets.
This month commit to a daily multi-vitamin. Interested in taking this month’s healthy habit a bit further? You might decide to supplement your multivitamin.
Studies have shown that vitamin D and additional vitamin B-complex can be helpful. Vitamin D, gleaned also from the sun which is in short supply this time of year, can aid in regulating cell growth, boots immunity, and prevent bone loss.
Feeling a smidge sluggish? B complex vitamins might be just what you need. The B complex vitamins (actually a group of 8 vitamins) not only help give you healthier hair and nails, but also aid in the break down of carbohydrates into glucose (which translates into more energy for you).
March: Water, water, and more water. Experts may disagree on precisely how much water you need to drink, but there is no dissension with regards to the fact we all need more! The plan this month is to increase what you’re currently drinking.
Some people like to measure out their target water consumption *daily* so they have a visual reminder. Others choose to physically check off each glass they drink . Whatever method you choose this month focus on staying hydrated as studies show, by the time we feel our thirst, we’re already well on the way to dehydration.
Factors that impact the amount of water you might require are: exercise (how much fluid do you sweat out daily?), environment (hot temps will make you lose water through perspiration and heat during cold months can deplete) and illness.
April: Git out and WALK! Spring is here! Are you enjoying it? Have you headed outside for a long walk recently? If not, this is the month to start. The first thing we all tend to ask is how long or how often we need to do this.
Remember, we’re setting ourselves up for success. Are you currently walking once a week? Perhaps add in another day or two. Already walking three times a week? Maybe try increasing your pace this month. The benefits of walking are numerous. This healthy habit isn’t just about enjoying the weather you’re also controlling your blood pressure, decreasing your heart attack risk, and elevating your good cholesterol.
May: It’s time to ask that personal question: how regular are you? May is all about getting enough fiber.
Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plant cells and a crucial piece to living a healthy lifestyle. Not only does fiber reduce blood sugar spikes which increase fat storage it also reduces your risk of colon cancer and helps you feel fuller longer.
Getting in your 25- 35 grams of daily fiber is an easy task when you know where to look. Bran cereals, peas, beans and broccoli are all fantastic sources of fiber. It’s important to keep up April’s healthy habit during the addition of May’s. Fiber absorbs water so you’ll need to maintain or even increase your water consumption as you start this healthy habit.
June: Summer is finally here! The walk which felt great in April might be feeling a tad too hot. Did you join a gym in January? Now is the time to add in the healthy habit of using that membership. Don’t yet belong to a workout facility? This is the month try out a membership. Most gyms offer free trial periods in the summer to lure us indoors—look around your area and see what you find!
July: Can you believe it’s been six months since you set your goal? It’s time to check in and see how you’re doing. Have you been successful in adding new habits each month while maintaining the others? Have you struggled to stay on track?
This month’s healthy habit is focusing on recording your goals so that you don’t lose sight of them. This might be making a list and placing it on your fridge or using a goal tracking website or group. Whatever works best for you.
August: Stretching! Stretching will reduce soreness, help keep your joints flexible and make daily living easier! It’s perfect to fit in after your walk or gym-time as your core body temperature will be elevated and your muscles warm and pliable.
Remember, stretch slowly, don’t bounce, and if a stretch feels painful: STOP. Some people intuitively know what “feels good” with regards to stretching. If you’re uncertain begin by stretching your large muscle groups (back, chest, and legs) and progress s-l-o-w-l-y from there.
September: Whether you’re involved in the back to school rush or not—life seems to pick up pace in the fall. One thing that can fall by the wayside (given its need for preparation) is protein consumption.
The question continually arises regarding how much protein we should consume. This month the answer is: perhaps more than you’re getting. Whether youre a meat eater or a vegetarian take this month to get creative in the kitchen with your protein sources.
October: The call of the sugar is high this month. Everywhere you look Halloween candy is on display. While we might be able to stay resist the candy sugar by many other names is hidden in our foods.
This month start reading the ingredients in the foods you eat. Some sugars are, indeed, obvious (beet sugar, cane sugar) but did you know that many ingredients ending in ose (dextrose, fructose) are also sugars?
Become a label-reading informed consumer and check out exactly what you’re putting in your body. Search your foods for hidden sugars.
November: With the holidays approaching life once again picks up pace. This month’s healthy habit is fitting in exercise when life gets hectic. Your workout might not be at a gym, but you *can* maintain your fitness level.
Remember 10 + 10 + 10 DOES equal thirty! Studies show that breaking 30 minutes of walking into three 10 minute pieces gives the same results.
December: Holy CRAPBALLS It’s almost 2012. Can you believe how far we’ve come simply by layering healthy habits upon each other? (MizFit note: I knew we’d rock this!)
Take a moment and reflect upon the changes we’ve made. This month focus upon the incremental shifts you’ve made and the healthy lifestyle which is the result.
Is there still a piece you’re struggling with? Too much sugar? Not enough fiber? Have you slacked on the exercise? Identify what healthy habit you need to work on and make that your focus this final month.
There you go, People. A too too long post yet all my secrets for how I plan to kick ass and take names in 2011. Here’s hoping you join me (**raises her protein-shake filled glass in a toast**) or at least help me stay accountable.
This post is brought to you by the Fit Minded Peeps at Sears Fit Club.