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To Start the New Year Successfully, Incorporate Your Fitness Goals Into Your Holiday Wish List

Self-care tools may be the greatest gift of all.

Getty Images
Getty Images

If you want to mentally reframe how you view fitness, start with small, attainable, and sustainable wins. Last year I committed to drink a glass of water every morning before eating or drinking anything else. It will help to rehydrate you after sleep and start you with a healthy habit first thing! I keep one by my bed to make it an easy reminder.

We all want real results, real fast – but shift your focus to the inside too, not just the way you look.  Find a workout that improves how you feel in your own skin. Do you feel strong, empowered, accomplished? That is a big motivation factor! 

Relatives asking what they can get you for a holiday gift? Make it something that motivates you to move! A new sports bra? Sneakers? A package of classes to your favorite studio? Make it something you want to use and will support your health during and after the holidays!

Here are my top 3 tips for incorporating movement into your day:

1) Consistency is key! Make moving your body part of your routine every day. Can’t make it to the gym? Take a walk. Do plank holds – get your blood moving even for 15 min and your body and spirit will thank you! 

2) Compound movements – work head to toe for more calorie burning and faster results. Think lunges with light dumbbells or a resistance band. No dumbbells? Use soup cans! 

3) Keep the weight light for long lean lines while you still get improved definition, calorie burn, and bone strengthening work! It doesn’t have to be heavy to blast fat and create lean muscle.

Here are three sneaky ways to work in movement during daily activities:

 My favorite one is while doing dishes! How many of us get that little tiny hole at the front lower edge of t shirts? It’s from rubbing up/leaning on the sink!! To tone your core AND improve low back pain while doing dishes (washing bottles) at the sink here’s my best advice:

  • stand with feet 4″ apart
  • have head stacked over shoulders, over hips and over ankles
  • check your pelvis – postpartum it’s probably tipping forward when you stand, think about your tailbone melting to the floor to level it out
  • lastly, think about your pubic bone internally being drawn up at a diagonal towards your low back – you’ll immediately feel your deep abs engage, and pressure lift off of your low back – Try it now!

Stuck at the desk? Place your feet flat on the floor with knees just in front of ankles and imprint the entire soles of your feet down – think about the bones reaching through the floor as your muscles draw up like a pair of pants. Find that deep low belly connection and legs working – while you type!

In line at Trader Joe’s? Place your feet with heels together and toes turned out. Without changing your height at all (this is how you can do it without stars from your shopping mates!) – softly bend your knees. This activates a deep core connection because your body is reaching up as knees bend down in opposition. Tones booty, inner thighs, pelvic floor and belly!

Here are my tips for workout motivation: 

Starting your day with your workout. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the festivities and put your wellness on the back burner – so make it your first priority before the rest of your day happens and you’ll be so glad you did!  

Schedule your classes in advance. Naturally during the holiday season, studios tend to fill up faster! make sure you book in advance to save your spot & use it as motivation to get in & get it done!

Pilates in particular has a variety of mental benefits.

Pilates requires focus and attention to the present moment, and often uses lots visualization cues to help you find the best form. Being present in the room becomes a form of meditation without having to sit still and silent. You may notice yourself yawning in class sometimes – this is due to your Central Nervous System (CNS) down training in class. We often have so much going on in our lives that taking time for a Pilates class helps us mentally and physically to re-center. One of the greatest rewards of this work is walking into your workout stressed and hunched forward – and 45 minutes later walking out with a smile, standing tall and feeling amazing!

Why don’t fitness resolutions stick?

I don’t believe in resolutions at all! EVERY single day is a new day and an opportunity to establish a healthy habit. Don’t wait for the calendar to tell you when to take care of yourself. If you start off strong but get off track by February 7th, start again! Every day is a new day!! Aiming for a specific weight? Nonsense. A scale = data and nothing more. Are you feeling strong and empowered and good in your own skin? That’s the goal! Is the food you ate today fueling a feeling of wellness? Did it have ingredients from nature that help you feel satisfied and strong? That is far more powerful and doable than any “diet.”

When do fitness resolutions stick?

1) Sustainability, do more than you’re doing now and schedule your workouts into your calendar. Work at your level consistently 3 – 4x week if possible, and move on your non-Pilates days in a way that you love — hike, bike, swim, walk etc.

2) Make every exercise a compound movement – add props whenever offered – like the ring, resistance band, ball, or weights.

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