If overhauling your lifestyle all at once feels intimidating, slow down and make one small change at a time by following this 12-month guide. The changes are meant to be cumulative, so as you progress through the year, hold onto those from the previous month and add each month’s new habit to your routine. Didn’t start in January? That’s OK. Jump in at any time and treat month one as “January.”
January: FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Give yourself some credit. Focusing on only the negative and what you don't like about your body can actually make you more susceptible to illness and lose motivation. Find things you love and put more emphasis on those.
February: KEEP A FOOD DIARY
Tracking your meals can make you more aware of the calories you are ingesting. Seeing where you struggle can allow you to make smarter choices. Argus is a great app for this!
March: CUT OUT ADDED SUGAR
Ok, the holidays are far behind and the swimsuit season weather is creeping in. Fruit is good...but not too much.High consumption of sugar is linked to weight gain and can increase risk of heart disease. When you crave something sweet, reach for fresh fruit instead. Most fruits will be coming into season, but remember that fruit is only food for you in limited quantities.
April: MAKE IT A MEAL PREP MONTH
Eating clean is easier when you’ve prepared ahead of time and it's ready to go. Set aside a day to plan and prep food each week.
May: START A NEW WORKOUT PROGRAM
Avoid a fitness or weight-loss plateau by changing up your workout. Start lifting weights; if you’ve already been lifting weights, start adding some cardio to your workout. If you really enjoy your workout plan and don't want to abandon it, then look for a way to turn up the intensity.
June: DRINK WATER!
Look for ways to add more water into your diet. Making sure you get the right amount each day should be your goal! It’s not only a refreshing habit, but can also help with weight loss.
July: AIM FOR 10,000 STEPS
Walking helps burn calories and helps to combat a sedentary lifestyle. Look for reasons to go for a walk or to walk a little farther. Whether it be taking the dog or parking at the end of the parking lot, it doesn't matter, just get walking! Walking can help break up your day as well. If you're feeling bored or in need of some mental clarity, take a walk.
August: GO JUNK FOOD FREE
Highly processed food loaded with sugar, salt, chemicals, and trans fat can lead to a host of health issues ranging from obesity to diabetes to cardiovascular issues. This may be a hard one, but you’ve come so far so why not give it a shot!
September: ADD MEDITATION TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
Too much stress can impair muscle recovery making those hard workouts even harder. Meditation has been shown to reduce the impact of daily stressors and psychological issues by up to 44 percent!
October: MEATLESS MONTH
October is National Vegetarian Month. Going meat-free for a day can introduce you to new healthy foods to love, reduce your carbon footprint, and help lower your BMI. Check out our favorite vegetarian recipes for some inspiration.
If you really can’t see yourself getting rid of meat for a month try a different food group, as long as your choosing smart decisions and not cutting out the essentials!
November: TRAIN FOR A TURKEY TROT
Sign up for a walk or run and then make every workout count all leading up to the big race at the end of the month. When you focus on performance, you’re more likely to be satisfied with your training and achieve your goals. Try setting three race-day goals; for example run a 5k in under 25min, don’t walk, and keep a good pace. A lot of times it’s best to set goals as hard, medium, and one easier goal.
December: GET MORE SLEEP
Sleep is essential to our well-being. Making sure you get enough shut--eye during the holiday season can help with the mindless eating due to fatigue. Poor sleep can lead to weight gain, but getting seven hours or more of good sleep a night can help to speed up weight loss.
Devoting to one small change each month will help you ease into a healthier lifestyle! So give it a try! Maybe even track your progress using the Argus app.
Tesa is new to blogging, but hopes to make a big impact with her vast knowledge of athletics and experience. Tesa recently earned her bachelor's degree at the Pennsylvania State University. While majoring in Athletic Training and minoring in psychology, she worked with various division one collegiate sports teams. Tesa is continuing her education by pursuing her Master's of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in sports pedagogy at The Louisiana State University. Tesa is a board certified Athletic Trainer and a Performance Enhancement Specialist. Outside of the training room, Tesa enjoys going on runs and working out for leisure.
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