New Year, New Healthy Habits

The new year gives many of us another try at finally getting on a workout and/or diet program that we can actually stick to. Unfortunately for many us, once the new year high fades away, so does our motivation and consistency with sticking to a healthy program.

There are many workout programs, DVDs, fitness products and even more get slim quick diets, cleansing detoxes and miracle pills that “guarantee” results which seem almost too good to be true. Well folks, they are!  There is no miracle drug, piece of equipment or workout routine that will transform your body over night — Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will a better body.  The only sustainable way to get in better shape is by making consistent and long term healthy lifestyle changes. It will require work, focus and some will power but it may not be as hard as you may think.

To get you on the right track and keep you on track, here are a three simple guidelines to making healthy lifestyle changes.

Start off with a small, manageable workout program that you can incorporate into your schedule. Where many new years’ workout programs fail is when people try to incorporate more exercise then they can realistically fit in their already busy day. Start with two to three times a week for 20 to 40 minutes. Once your able to successfully and consistently incorporate that into your schedule, increase to three to four times a week, then five-plus times a week. Try to keep your workouts to under an hour. This will keep your time spent in the gym efficient and give you enough time to shower, change and travel.

Workout first thing in morning. I know, I know… waking up half an hour earlier doesn’t make being healthier sound any better but consider the benefits:  A) You get the workout out of the way before the day overwhelms you. B) You get a natural energy high from the workout. C) Your body will actually burn more calories over the course of the whole day due to a boost in your metabolism! In addition to these benefits, working out at the start of your day as opposed to the middle or end can make it easier to set up a regular workout schedule which will lead to long-term healthy lifestyle changes.

Make your first meal of the day a healthy one. Because most Americans usually eat breakfast at home or skip it all together, it can be the easiest meal to make healthy. Stay away from simple sugars (donuts, children cereals, white bread, etc) as they are the culprit of late morning sugar crashes. Instead, incorporate complex carbohydrates (oatmeal, wheat bread, whole grains, etc) and protein. This will give you sustained energy throughout the morning and avoid the crashes. A protein bar with a banana is an easy, portable choice. If you prefer your food cooked instead of engineered, try an omelette or egg sandwich with whole wheat toast. Another option is getting a protein shake at your gym or a smoothie shop.

For some people, the encouragement and guidance of a personal trainer can be a smart investment. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to create a consistent routine by giving you that added motivation to stay committed to a workout program, particularly in the early stages. There are many trainers to choose from so making the right selection often has to do with personal preference. When choosing a trainer, always make sure they are certified, insured and are current with their CPR. I recommend hiring a trainer who has a degree in the health and fitness field to ensure that they have the proper education, training and experience.

For more information on healthy lifestyle habits, health and fitness questions or to schedule a consultation with one of our certified and experienced go to

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