Making the Most of Your New Year’s Resolutions for Fitness and Better Health

Are you looking to feel good, look good and boost your energy? Amping up your fitness routine is the perfect way to boost your energy and get those feel good hormones pumping. You can do that by starting an easy exercise routine or by kicking up your current one up a notch. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues while it stimulates various brain chemicals that make you feel happy and more relaxed. This works to boost your mood and confidence.

You can add any number of different options to your daily life to improve your fitness and health, even just a little will make a difference. Whether you want to use a foam roller to stretch out and massage sore muscles after a long and demanding day, or add a balance ball trainer to shake things up a bit during your workout, there are numerous different options you can use to add extra interest to your routine.

Warming Up

Warming up is one of the most important habits to get into before you work out. There are numerous reasons to warm up your muscles, but the most important one is that it can prevent injuries to your body that you might get if you do not warm up. Other reasons include: it helps activate the muscles you will use while working out, it improves range of motion and body awareness, and it enhances performance during your workout.

If you are not sure how to warm up or want to add something extra to your warm-up checklist other than stretching, a foam roller is a great option! This instructional roller comes with a sleeve with 9 stretches printed right on it so you don’t have to look too far for instructions on what to do. A set of rollers is another great choice, these come with multiple rollers; this set, for example, includes a larger high-density foam roller, a smaller lighter-weight roller and a deep tissue massage stick.

 Your Workout

Mixing cardio with strength training has been proven to be effective. If you are up for it, mixing the two together is fairly easy to do. Battle ropes are easy to set up in your home. Simply choose a length, wrap it around an anchor, and you are set for a rewarding, tough workout that will work numerous muscle groups as it gets your heart pumping. If running is your preference, or you enjoy track, football or soccer, a speed chute will help you improve your speed while simultaneously strength training.

Targeting muscle areas is another important part of a good workout. Most like to target abs, arms or leg muscles to train and define them. An ab roller is great for working on the stomach including abdomen and obliques. The rolling motion also helps tone the arms and back muscles. Balance ball trainers are another option for targeting special muscle groups. 

Strength training helps you build your muscles and define them. Push-up stands are great for targeting your shoulders, chest and arms. With the rotating handles you can do any number of push-up style ranging from beginner to more challenging 1-armed push-ups. Also, if you are really interested in weight-lifting, a barbell bar is a great addition to your lifting routine. All you do is add the weight plates to the sleeve of the bar and secure it with a clip and you are ready to rock those workouts like squat, snatch, clean, deadlift, row, and bench press in the comfort of your own home.

Cooling Down & Recovery

You can gradually recover your muscles after a hard workout to regulate your blood flow and give your heart and blood vessels a chance to ease out of your session. You can do this by slowly ending your workout and then rolling out muscles with a foam roller, like this great 13-inch option that will help release muscle tension. A vibrating foam roller is another great option for releasing muscle tension. This particular option features three speeds: low for longer stretching sessions; medium for targeting specific muscle groups after a hard workout; and high for the deepest massage for muscles that need the most pressure. Plus, if your feet are sore and tired afterwards, a massaging foot roller will help your aching arches, heels, and balls of your feet.

Healthy Living Outside of Your Workout Routine

A lot of life happens outside of your workout schedule. There’s work, family time, eating and general well-being as well. A few habits can help you be a healthier person without having to give up everything that you love. A lot of people think that changing your overall health starts with going on a diet, sometimes that it is what is needed if your doctor informs you, or you just want to eat healthier. However, in many cases, it can be handled with simple portion control. A food scale makes it easy for you to measure out your servings so you know how much you are getting. You can also make it a goal to eat one extra serving of water, fruit, and/or vegetables per day each week and generally bump it up until you get to the daily recommended value. If your goal is weight reduction, you can track how the portion control or diet is going by purchasing a bathroom scale.

Sitting at a desk all day without getting up and moving your body really isn’t very good for you. Think about it, if you work a desk job in an office you can spend up to half your life sitting. There’s the commute to work, sitting at work, and then the commute home where maybe you sit down on the couch to unwind after dinner, and then go to bed. It’s no surprise that this much sitting can lead to weight gain and maybe some other health issues. You can combat this by getting up every half-hour to move around, arranging for a sit-stand desk, or even by using a ball chair which helps improve your posture and engages your core while you sit. A little bit of bouncing here and there will burn some calories so you aren’t so sedentary.

Just Try It!

The hardest part when beginning to tackle fitness and health goals (or really any goal), is just starting to do it. Take it one step at a time, and set smaller goals that should help you eventually get to where you need to be. Make it a habit and work hard to attain your goals in health, or fitness to make yourself feel happier and more confident. Remember Aristotle said: 

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” 

You can do this!