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Happy 2022! Many of us will be setting resolutions this month to bring in the new year but we often see that individuals don’t end up sticking with the changes that they make. Here are our top 5 tips to get you started so that success is in your future this year.
1) Make gradual changes
Many people will choose to do a huge overhaul of their lifestyle – setting an earlier bedtime, cutting out all sugar and working out every day all at the same time. This may work for a few weeks but it can become too overwhelming to continue. You may then give up and be back to exactly where you started. Instead, try to pick one thing at a time to work on. It generally takes about 3 weeks to create a new habit. Once you feel good about your new healthy habit, try to incorporate a new one or build upon the same habit such as increasing your number of work outs per week.
2) Avoid the extremes
In practice we see many people opt for a “black and white” style of living such as cutting out all carbohydrates, all sugar or coffee. It’s very difficult to maintain these habits and it also isn’t necessary. We don’t need to eat perfectly. If we try this way of living, we may tend to overeat when we can’t maintain these habits any longer. A reasonable goal is to aim for 80% of the time eating healthier foods and 20% of the time incorporating some indulgences.
3) Avoid getting injured
As mentioned above, we always want to make gradual changes. This applies to our physical activity too! Don’t ramp up your exercise too quickly (ex. weights, intensity, duration), especially if you’re just starting out. Having an injury may take a long time to recover and damper your effort to increase fitness. If you’re starting out a gym, consider meeting with a kinesiologist personal trainer to review proper form.
4) Focus on things you enjoy
If you hate spinach or going to the gym, don’t force yourself to do those things! You will not keep up habits that you dislike. If you’d rather eat some baby carrots or dance around your house for exercise, then do those instead.
5) Involve others
It’s always nice to have support in what you are doing. Ask your family, friends or coworkers to support and respect your new habits, ask someone to be your accountability partner for your workouts and reach out to your physician or diabetes team for evidence based recommendations.
Click the buttons below for some diet and exercise goal ideas to get your started: