Are you ready to take on a do-able plan that will revamp your eating and lifestyle habits? Are you ready to kick start your body into the best shape it has ever been in? If so, then read on! Here’s what you are going to do starting TODAY….you are going to incorporate one new healthy habit each week and stick with it. Each week you will build on your new habits so that within 12 weeks you will be properly hydrating, eating right, working out and taking valuable time for yourself.
These new habits will make you feel so great you will be hooked for life. So, jump on board and take the Healthy Habits Jump Start Challenge. And remember, I would love to hear all about your results along the way and of course if you run into any valleys (which we all do at some point) be sure to pick up the phone or email and I will help to get you on the right track again.
Week 1: Start Your Cardio Program – Start working out today. Do anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on your current fitness level (you can split up your hour into three 20 minute segments throughout the day if you need to). Aim for 60 minutes if possible even if you go slowly. Then, over the next 7 days do cardio daily – no excuses…even if it’s just 15 minutes! Remember, you’re trying to start a habit, 7 days in a row is not something you do over a lifetime.
Week 2: Eat Every 3 Hours – That’s 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks in one day. The trick: each meal should contain a palm sized serving of protein, two fist sized servings of veggies and a fist size serving of healthy carbs. For snacks, mix protein with fruit. Try 12 raw nuts and a fistful of grapes.
Week 3: Prepare Healthy Meals For The Entire Week – This sounds tough, but it can be the answer to getting your eating habits nailed down. Each week choose out several healthy meals to make for the week. Go to the grocery store and get the ingredients you need. Spend the next 1-2 hours preparing the meals and store them in airtight containers in the fridge. You will have all your meals ready to take to work with you, so when you get hungry you won’t be tempted to reach for the junk food.
Week 4: Add in Strength Training – While cardio is essential for losing fat, strength training will accelerate your efforts. Strength training builds muscle which burns more calories at rest than fat tissue. Begin with 1-2 sets of 12-15 reps of light to moderate weight twice a week on non consecutive days. Already lifting at an advanced level? Use heavier weights and do more challenging moves.
Week 5: Drink Water – Lots of it, to flush out bloat and puffiness from excess sodium. Water also helps aide in weight loss and makes you feel full. Aim for at least 64 oz of water a day.
Week 6: Take a Multi Vitamin as Extra Insurance – Sometimes we just don’t get all the vitamins we need from our daily food in take. Taking a multivitamin is just a little extra insurance that our body is getting everything it needs. During the winter time we need to pay extra special attention to our Vitamin D levels and make sure we are getting enough. Fish Oil or Cod liver Oil can also be wonderful supplements to add to your regimen.
Week 7 Add in Stretching – Start by doing 3-5 minutes of very gently stretching in the morning. Finish the day with gentle stretches too, especially if you’ve been sitting behind a desk all day. Most importantly, do a full stretching routine after your cardio workout when your muscles are warm.
Week 8: Floss – Study after study shows that daily flossing will increase your life span and reduce the risk of heart disease. Stay heart healthy for your family by flossing and exercising.
Week 9: Portion Size Check – If you’ve been eyeballing the amount of food you put on your plate you must go back to day 2 and follow the guidelines for portion amounts. If you’ve been hungry at any point then examine your plate and make sure you haven’t been opting for white flour carbs instead of heartier choices that keep you feeling fuller longer.
Week 10: Get 7 or more hours of Sleep – There is endless research that shows the benefits that 8 or more hours of sleep can bring to your body. Your mind and muscles recover during this period and robbing them of this essential sleep time can lead to a breakdown in your body along with weight gain.
Week 11: Use Sunscreen Daily – Yes, even in the winter time! We’ve all heard it, but do we do it? Now we are making it a habit! Just find a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher and put it on your face every day, even when it’s raining outside.
Week 12: Posture Check and Reflect – Remind yourself at least twice a day to stand and sit tall. Spend just a few minutes and look at yourself in a mirror. Draw your shoulders back, press down your shoulder blades, lift your chest, pull in your abs…and try to maintain this good posture while you breathe normally. Lastly, reflect and add something restful too your life – whether it’s a bath, massage, or just kicking your feet up on the couch. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!
If you have any health and fitness questions you would like answered please feel free to email jessica@stormfitness. com or call 703-869-8376. Jessica is ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor Certified and owner of Storm Fitness LLC, a personal fitness training company specializing in In-Home training.