Happy new year! Has your dedication to health waned over the holidays? Kristy Robertson of Auckland’s KLR Body Architect shows how to reclaim a life of vitality.
With the silly season behind us and a fresh new year ahead, now is a popular time to embark on a ‘detox’ diet, but it’s also an ideal time to ‘reset’ your entire being: your mind, by sharpening focus; your body, by shaking up your workout; and the soul, by reconnecting with what you enjoy. It all comes down to a renewed dedication to a healthy lifestyle that supports you in achieving your personal goals.
Amid work, wedding prep and everything in between, it’s all too easy to lose your way on the path to optimal health and wellbeing. Gain a sense of clarity that will help you stay on track by choosing exercises that evoke peace of mind – during this ‘you time’, you can reconnect and recharge. Try activities that encourage you to focus on your breathing: yoga, swimming, stretching. Do your best to eat mindfully; ask yourself why you’re eating certain foods, and identify whether your choices are taking you towards or away from your health goals. Take the time to chew your food slowly and enjoy the textures, flavours and goodness of what you’re eating. As much as possible, choose foods that are rich in essential fats, vitamins and minerals to nourish your cells and support your nervous system, such as leafy green vegetables, wholegrains, fish, nuts, avocados and olives.
Make it happen
Identify your goals, write them down, then send them to a friend or personal trainer who will support you and hold you accountable to ensure success.
Block out time in your diary to reconnect with yourself. Consider it a non-negotiable daily commitment that can’t be cancelled.
Complement mindful exercise with movements that build muscle and burn fat on alternate days. Kick-start your spring revamp by devising a new routine that combines resistance and core exercises with fat-burning sets, in a quick-fire sequence that you can do non-stop for 20 minutes; ask your personal trainer to support you in creating this, or get advice from the professionals at your gym. Foods that are high in protein will help your body to repair itself after intense workouts – think eggs, amaranth, lean meat or an organic protein shake. Be prepared by stocking your cupboards with healthy options and planning your weekly meals.
Make it happen
Book a trainer once a week for six weeks until you’re back in an exercise routine, or train with a friend to ensure you make it to the gym and work hard when you’re there.
Try grocery shopping online to help reduce the temptation to impulse-buy treat food. It’ll save you time, too.
It’s no fun spending your free time doing something you don’t like, so choose exercises that you actually enjoy. Many gyms offer an array of out-of-the-ordinary activities designed to get your heart pumping, from dance-based workouts and boxing to kettlebell workouts and rock climbing. Don’t be afraid to try new things; consider signing up for a new class and take a friend along for the ride. When it comes to your diet, choose flavours that stimulate the senses – think chilli, lime, ginger and black pepper. Wake up your taste buds with exotic fruit from an Asian market or take pleasure in home-roasting a variety of nuts for a protein-rich, energy packed snack or grain-free cereal.
Make it happen
Reward yourself with a monthly pedicure, massage or acupuncture session.
Find something to look forward to every day. This can be as simple as meeting a friend for a walk, taking a bath, trying out a new recipe or listening to a podcast on a topic you want to learn more about.