New Year, New You!

If you’re feeling pale, lethargic, or stressed after the Christmas and New Year festivities, then get your body, mind and muscles in tip top form now, and you can stay and remain feeling 100% until the Spring! This is the ideal time to sort out and start afresh – start afresh means clearing away the past, forgetting about what you did – or didn’t! – do yesterday, past eating habits, and think positively and energetically ahead, looking forward to a slimmer and healthier you in 2013.

Every January most of us make New Year resolutions to get fitter, healthier, slimmer, or just to enjoy life with more energy, but this year they may have been postponed due to all that snow. However the following resolutions should now be top of your list! (yes, Miss Julie!)

Resolution 1 : Stay Active!
Wave goodbye to the winter blues, steer clear of bugs and keep that healthy glow by getting back to classes regularly – or even just getting out and doing some brisk walking. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that increase alertness, improves your mood and suppresses feelings of fatigue. Going into hibernation in the winter months will only increase your risk of getting the winter blues and make it harder to get fit again in the Spring. Missing a weekly class for as little as 2 weeks in a row can result in 20% loss of your fitness levels as well as flexibility. You will also be less able to burn stored fat for energy and within 2 days the amount of blood circulating around your body can be reduced by 10% which makes everyday tasks more difficult and you will have less energy. After 4 weeks you will notice a decline in muscle tone.

Resolution 2 : Eat Breakfast!
Yes, the most important meal of the day – it kick-starts your metabolism for the day, and gives you energy to get through the morning. If you miss breakfast, your body is still in fasting mode from over night, preserving any fat as it thinks there is no food coming, so you don’t start to burn calories until you’ve fired up that metabolism by having something to eat! Healthy breakfast options are fruit, yoghurt, wholemeal toast, cereal – especially porridge in this weather!

Resolution 3 : I will eat my 5 portions of fruit and veg a day!
Yes, how many times do we hear this advice, but fresh fruit and veg contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and many other nutrients, which together can reduce the risk of cancers and heart disease – and they are all low in fat and calories!

Resolution 4 : I will eat wholegrain complex carbs with every meal!
Wholemeal bread, pasta, potatoes, rice provide energy and B vitamins, and are filling without being fattening. If you eat starchy foods at every meal you will find that you eat less fat and sugar, but remember to go for the wholegrain, not refined or white versions.

Resolution 5 : I will eat more fish and chicken in place of processed meats!
Fish and chicken (skinless) provide valuable protein and B vitamins but without the saturated fat content of some of the fattier red meats, plus fish is good for your heart health. And protein helps build muscle fibres.

Resolution 6: I will swap sweets and chocolates for healthier snacks!
Yes, have we finished the Christmas tins of sweets and boxes of Thorntons divine chocolates??!! Then now swap these for healthy snacks, e.g. fruit, raw vegetable sticks or dried fruit (most of the time!), for weight loss and better nutrients.