20140521-L98A3395

The Year’s Hardest Commitment: New Year’s Resolutions

Nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, but no one can seem to keep them. In fact, only a measly eight percent actually follow through. Given these statistics, we can all agree that it’s time to do New Year’s Resolutions differently.

The most popular resolutions have to do with physical and mental self-improvement. Instead of committing yourself to joining a gym and going everything single day of 2015, or eating only organic food and never drinking alcohol again, let’s approach it a little less aggressively.

Resolution 1: Just Move

Working out doesn’t mean joining a fancy gym or studio. It’s really just about moving and how efficiently you move. This at-home workout can be done in 15-minutes any morning to give your metabolism a jumpstart. You just have to set your alarm 20-25-minutes earlier.

3-minutes of light dynamic warm-up to get your heart rate up:

  • 1 minute of ​jumping jacks
  • 1 minute of ​squats in place
  • 1 minute of ​high knees

​10-minutes of full body toning:

  • 4-sets 10-15 alternating lunges on each leg
  • REST 30 SECONDS
  • 4-sets 8-12 push-ups (using your knees as a modification)
  • REST 30 SECONDS
  • 4-sets​ of 45-second forearm planks
  • REST 30 SECONDS

2-minute cool down​:

  • Feet together, reach down and touch toes, hold for 15 seconds, reach arms all way up and stretch to the right and then to the left.
  • Sit on the floor, straddle legs out, reach down to your right foot and hold 30seconds, switch to left, hold for 30 seconds, reach to the middle and hold for 30 seconds.

A great low cost way to improve your at-home workouts is subscribing to health/fitness magazines. Magazines like Fitness, Women’s Health, SELF, Men’s Health, all have monthly workouts that you can do at home with minimal equipment.

​Resolution 2: Clean Up Your Plate

Trendy buzzwords these days are eat clean, organic, juicing, cleanses. Scratch all that and you’ll see results, along with extra cash in your pocket since the most cost effective items in the grocery store are also the freshest. Avoid processed foods with high price tags and stick to these nutrition packed options.

Fruits

  • Oranges – Their hefty rind means buying organic oranges isn’t necessary. Use it as a snack with a punch of vitamin C, or cut it up and toss it in some quinoa as a fancy side dish at dinner.
  • Apples – It’s true, an apple a day not only keeps the doctor away, but it’s also filling snack full of fiber and nutrients. Plus it travels well, so just toss it in your bag and hustle through your day.aspen marketplace
  • Grapes – These low calorie, antioxidant packed fruits can be tossed into your freezer as a healthy dessert alternative.

Vegetables

  • Kale – Okay, so this is a trendy vegetable, but so versatile. Sautee as a side dish or make a salad with it. You can even throw it into an omelet or make your own kale chips. Whatever you do, put it in your mouth! It’ll only benefit you!
  • Sweet potatoes – A beta carotene you can slice up, roast, or bake. Low calorie and low fat, the sweet potato is a great complement to your dinner that will fill you up as a starch with good fiber.
  • Cucumbers – Low calorie with a long refrigerator life, you can chop them into a salad, scoop out the seeds and fill it with your favorite sandwich additions, or slice with 2-tbsp of hummus for a 100-calorie snack.

Protein

  • Beans – ½ cup provides you with 7 grams of protein with basically no fat whatsoever. Toss them wherever your heart desires – salads, scrambled eggs with salsa, mixed vegetables.
  • Greek Yogurt – You can purchase a large container which typically saves you money. A great healthy snack you can eat plain or substitute into recipes that call for sour cream.
  • Eggs – This little guy gets a bad rap, but it is a great source of protein for your body. Hard boiled or poached are the healthiest preparations.

​Resolution 3​: Be Patient

Most of the time people get too aggressive with their resolutions, going from zero to 100 in 24 hours. Then wonder why they couldn’t keep it up. Give yourself weekly milestones. Lay out the month of January by weeks and push yourself each week to achieve an extra 5-minutes on your walk, an extra set of 10 push-ups, or adding a new vegetable or fruit to your diet.

In the long run this will save you money because once you are ready to invest in a gym membership or some classes, you’ll be mentally prepared to commit, making it money worth spending.​