With a new year, come a bunch of resolutions which will probably never see the light of day. If your resolution is to lose weight and keep fit, don’t let it fall through the cracks for another year.
Toning your body and losing a few extra kilograms certainly won’t happen overnight, but it will be worth it in the long term. Just think of how far you could come in a year from now? Incorporate a few of our tips into your daily routine, to create a happy, healthy life in the future.
You can still enjoy the occasional homemade pizza without compromising the delicious carb-filled taste. Substitute a few ingredients fatty ingredients for a healthier alternative, and your meal will taste better (and guilt-free!). This could mean anything from creating a low-calorie base made from cauliflower, to removing the cheese in favour for more crunchy vegetables. The choice is always yours!
Even if you don’t have the time to go to the gym, it is really important to get up and walk around. Instead of driving, catching the bus, or even grabbing a lift with a friend, walk to your next destination (of course if it is close enough). This could make a great impact, and think of all the money you could save on tickets.
Don’t buy junk food
Out of sight, out of mind really applies to some of us who love to pig-out on a regular basis. If the food isn’t in the house, then the craving pretty much goes away. This won’t always be the case, since you might find yourself driving to the closest supermarket for that block of chocolate, but it is definitely a start!
Keep a few bags of frozen fruit and vegetables in the freezer as a back-up meal. This way, you always have something in the fridge which can last for months on end before it expires. You can create smoothies, juices, and even delicious soups from almost anything in the fridge.
Processed foods are packed with extra ingredients which could be adding a few centimetres to your waistline. Where possible, eat homemade food as much as you can, and cook from scratch. Making your own tomato sauce instead of buying a pre-made jar could save you from so many hidden calories.
Alcohol that is! Many women don’t often think about the invisible calories which almost all alcohol contains. Rather than choosing a vodka-lime-and-soda as a ‘healthier’ alternative, it’s better to just stick to a refreshing glass of water. You will thank us the morning after!
What are some of your tips to live healthier in 2015?
Image via The Good Calorie
Barbell’s are one of the easiest ways to keep your fitness routine interesting, especially if you’re a beginner and wanting to stick to the New Years Resolution.
But sometimes women find it discouraging to train using weights since so many of us believe that we could develop a muscular physique, but this is far from the truth! Tone your entire body from head to toe with just five of these easy barbell exercises.
It is true, this exercise sounds a lot more difficult and scary than it actually is!
In reality, it will work your buttocks, and carve out those toned, sculpted thighs in no-time. Bend forward holding the barbell, then push back and upwards. Keep your head up to avoid causing strain or injury to your neck.
Take your squat to the next level by using a barbell to maximise your entire workout routine. Stand with legs wide apart, and squatting, lift the barbell slowly upwards as your body begins to straighten out. For best results, keep the barbell as close to the body as possible.
Incline bench press
Use an inclined bench to help workout the upper chest, as well as the arms and core abdominal muscles. Keep your back as flat as possible, then inhale and lower your arms until they are level to your chest. Grab a friend to come and spot you, as it can sometimes be scary if you’re a beginner.
Stand with your feet apart and curl your biceps until they have completely contracted. This is a must-have workout if you want to define your arms, and lose any body fat before swimsuit season!
Bent over row
Straighten your back with this effective lifting exercise which feels amazing once you get the hang of it. Slightly bend your knees for extra stability, then pull your arms back, and roll towards your chest. Make sure to stretch well before any of these exercises to avoid the dreaded muscle strain!
Images via ThinkStock, Body Building, Elite Fitness, Supt, Gallery Hip
Is one of your New Year resolutions to curb your alcohol intake?
Mine too. Indeed, after our great nation overindulged over the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday season, I’d hazard a guess that every second person would have this one top of their list.
Alcohol can make us feel euphoric, warm and fuzzy, bolder and sexier, and with the combined dance moves and finesse of Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers. But drink too much and it can negatively impact every facet of your life, from your relationships through to your work productivity.
The Federal Government recently estimated the societal costs of alcohol abuse in Australia to be in excess of $15 billion, with $10.8 billion attributed to tangible costs (for example, labour and health costs) and $4.5 billion to intangible costs such as loss of life through violence.
Alcohol is the most widely-used social drug in Australia, with heavy drinking or binge drinking said to cause serious health, personal and social problems.
What’s more, you can have the best diet and/or exercise program to rival Jane Fonda’s, but drink too much alcohol and the empty calories will be sabotaging your hard efforts.
So, how do you tell if you or a loved one has a drinking problem? Health experts say signs it might be time to get help may include: you can’t go a night without a drink; you frequently pass out drunk by 9pm; you regularly can’t remember the night before; you have an increased tolerance to alcohol and drugs and/or you’re regularly binge drinking.
And, according to experts, another good question to ask yourself: Is my drinking negatively impacting my relationships?
Leading Sydney dietician/nutritionist and author Susie Burrell (pictured below) who just launched her new program: Shape Me, The 30 Day Plan, said drinking too much alcohol was a very serious and common problem in Australia.
Susie, who herself enjoys the occasional social drink or two, said many people use alcohol as a crutch to relax and escape from their personal issues and problems.
“Unfortunately, this is the type of drinking that we see far too often in Australia – ½ a case [of beer] or a bottle or more on a daily basis that is not helping you to relax and unwind like you are telling yourself,” she says.
And, as any health professional will tell you – the demon drink is like kryptonite when you’re trying to lose weight. If you can’t budge that final 5kg of baby weight, for example, chances are your excessive alcohol consumption is to blame. Then there are the significant adverse health effects of alcohol abuse, Susie says.
“From a health perspective, excessive alcohol consumption causes two main issues,” Susie says, “the first is that alcohol is relatively high in calories and hence it is easy to gain weight when we drink too much.
“Individuals who drink too much alcohol over many years often develop an alcohol fat apron around the abdominal area – for women this can make them appear pregnant, while for men it’s often a hard-packed solid mass which is exceptionally hard to budge.
“The other issue, which is perhaps the worse of the two, is that excessive alcohol consumption results in disinhibition and lethargy – you do and say things you should not, far less gets done, your mood is impeding and basically you function at a much lower level than you could be at any point in time. Occasionally, this is no issue, but on a daily basis, this pattern of behaviour starts to destroy lives.”
Susie says going cold turkey may be enough for many people to serve as a reminder of their unhealthy reliance upon alcohol to relax or socialise. If not, and you still can’t quit the grog, it’s time to seek medical attention.
“If the issue is bigger than this it is time to get professional help, as our lives and relationships are far too precious to be lost over beers or a cheap bottle of wine,” she says.
If you need help, visit www.beyondblue.org.au and/or www.lifeline.org.au.
Main image via www.rehabcenterforwomen.org and secondary images via www.pixabay.com.
Dr. Mary Casey, author of How to Deal with Master Manipulators says: “The reason we make resolutions in the first place is to be happier, more creative, more aware of our direction in life, and improve our sense of wellbeing. December and January are the perfect months for detoxing our emotions by reassessing our relationships and living decisions we make daily.” Dr. Casey’s 7 New Year’s resolutions for 2012: 1. Prioritise your happiness and health It’s important to decide for your health and happiness as number one. As simple as it sounds, if you don’t have these, you are not in a position to contribute to others or yourself. Everything stems from here. 2. Spend more time with the right people Rather than resolving to spend more time with everyone – which can be exhausting – spend time with people who are naturally positive and uplifting, and who are going in the direction you want to go in. You’ll find these people have an energising effect on you. 3. Deal with toxic relationships You can identify the relationships by the way they make you feel. People who are controlling, overly emotional, or in blame put everyone else in a negative state. Stand your ground, set your boundaries and make it clear to them what behaviour you won’t accept – even with family. You may need to disengage altogether from particularly toxic people. Your health will thank you for it. 4. Reassess your happiness at work This is must for those in negative work culture that’s leaving them feeling overworked, uncertain of their future, anxious or stressed. It’s important to know that as an employee you can address the issue with your manager. If you know you can’t, it may be time to look for a healthier work environment. 5. Review your daily routine It takes courage to admit there are decisions we ourselves make that deflate us emotionally – from accepting a job with a long work commute, to running around too much, to not giving ourselves enough ‘down’ time every day, to spending too much and putting ourselves in financial stress. By resolving to develop a strategy to solve them, you can be in an entirely different place by the end of 2012. And you’ll be glad for it. 6. Don’t let any negative emotions control you Negative emotions – however small – can overwhelm anything positive. Resolve to develop awareness of when you’re feeling upset or frustrated before it spoils your day. Examine your part in this. What can you do personally to make yourself feel better? Each time you begin to feel down, take a walk in the park or go out in the sun to help centre you. Nature and movement nurture positive emotions. 7. Strengthen your relationships Deep and meaningful relationships, not just with your life partner but with all those close to you, are important for a fulfilling life. Make a list of all the factors you need for a meaningful relationship, identify what you do not want, and stick to your guns. You can also find deep fulfilment and connection in philanthropic or charitable work, so try getting involved in a community group, nursing home or the like, and volunteer some of your time. Do you keep New Year’s resolutions? What are yours for 2012?