As we quickly approach the July 4th holiday, we are reminded about the priceless freedom that we enjoy in our country. Flags, fireworks, and fun cookouts all symbolize the bravery and determination of our forefathers as they fought to secure our freedom and help our country gain independence.
With so much emphasis on breaking free, July 4th is a good time to take a close look at where you are with your exercise and nutrition plans. How are you doing? Are you pleased with your daily habits and progress? Are you in a slump from which you need to break free?
We are 6 months into the New Year—how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?
Daily life keeps us so busy we gradually lose motivation to work out and eat healthy food. Before we know it, we’re off track and old habits are slowly getting the upper hand.
You know you are in a slump when you look back over the past few weeks and realize that you are not working out much (or your workouts are very low intensity), you are being more lax with what you eat, and worst of all, you feel discouraged. The further behind you get, the harder it is to focus and start again.
If you are in a slump, this is a perfect time to break free. The hardest part of breaking out of a slump is taking action, but once you get moving again and take some positive steps, you will quickly find your feet and resume your forward momentum to fitness and health. Try these tips:
– Schedule some exercise time into your day today. It does not have to be a long session; it can be 10 minutes. Just move. The biggest predictor of whether you work out tomorrow is whether you work out today. The tough part is to begin. Take a walk, make several trips up and down your stairs, jog in place—it doesn’t matter what it is, just do something.
– Start keeping a food log for three-five days-long enough for you to see patterns. Try to note how you feel, what you are doing, and what time of day you eat to identify patterns in your eating habits. Do you miss breakfast but snack late night? Do you eat better on a Monday than you do on a Friday? What can you do to better plan for disruptions in your healthy eating? Consider consulting a health coach or nutritionist can help you get back on track if you feel lost.
– Get a workout buddy or take group fitness classes. When temperatures heat up, it can take a toll on your body and your motivation to move is lost lost in a puddle of sweat. Try recruiting a buddy to work out with or take group fitness classes in a gym. When you are hot and tired from a long day, it is easy to talk your self out of that workout, but when you know you have a friend waiting for you at the gym, you will be more likely to stick with it.
– Stay hydrated! A good rule of thumb is to drink your weight in ounces divided by two. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would aim to drink 75 ounces of water each day. Try drinking 8-16 ounces first thing in the morning when you wake up. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even make you eat less.
– Decide on your July 4th eating plan. You will likely be in the presence of unhealthy holiday food at your next 4th of July cookout. What is your plan? One of the best things you can do to get back on track is draw a line in the sand and don’t step across it. If you go into a tricky food situation without a plan ahead of time, you will be more likely to over-indulge in food you know you should be!
Once you take the first step, the next will be easier, and the next even easier. Declare independence from your slump, dust off those resolutions, and make the second half of 2018 the best half!
By Contributing Author, Brooke White, Owner, Personal Trainer, USATF Level 2 Coach, SOUND FITNESS