With a brand new year and a fresh start right around the corner, many of us are thinking about the new habits we want to form in 2021. It’s easy to talk about but a little more challenging to implement. Let’s discuss how to build healthy habits in 2021..
New Year, Better You: How to Create Healthy Habits
Because your health and fitness include a number of facets, let’s break this down a little bit more, with examples.
Improving Your Training Routine
Want to give your fitness programming a makeover? Here are a few new healthy habits you should consider committing to.
Training More Consistently
If you make it to the gym three times one week, then you skip the next week, then you go once the following week… well, this is probably hindering your results.
We know it’s not always easy to get your workout in on a consistent basis. Maybe family responsibilities are keeping you busy, or you’re buried in work at the office.
This might mean that you have to get a little creative — like waking up 20 minutes earlier to get a quick workout in at home, or squeezing it into your lunch break. Or perhaps you shift your training days around and add one into the weekend, when your schedule is a little less hectic.
Remember, too, that you don’t have to go to a gym to work on your fitness. Bodyweight workouts in your apartment still count. So do park WODs or any other outdoor activity. The point is to move, break a sweat, and get your heart pumping.
If you can do this on a consistent basis each week, you’re already building healthier habits.
Working on Your Weaknesses
This is another big one. We all have weaknesses. Because we’re not as good at them, we avoid doing them. Because we avoid doing them, they remain weaknesses.
And the cycle never ends.
If you want to know how to build healthy habits in 2021, start with your weaknesses. If you can’t pull off pull-ups, commit to getting in 10 reps — even if you need a band — at the end of every workout.
If you’re struggling with your deadlift, add in accessory work to strengthen those muscles, like back extensions.
If your mile run time is lagging, commit to workouts that will target your endurance, speed, and explosiveness.
Don’t run from your weakness in 2021. Confront them head-on.
Boosting Your Nutrition
Food. We all love it. And while we need it for fuel, it’s also an emotional experience for so many of us. That’s why it can feel harder to control. Here are a few suggestions.
Prepare Your Meals Ahead of Time
Do you find yourself grabbing for whatever food is closest to you? Are you scrambling last-minute to throw together whatever you can find, or worse, making a trip to the drive-thru?
You can eliminate this by simply preparing your meals and snacks ahead of time.
Find a window in your schedule and prep your meals for the next few days. If this feels overwhelming, start small. Maybe you begin with only prepping dinners, or making sure there are healthy snacks ready so that you don’t reach for junk food or processed stuff.
Drink More Water
Did you know that roughly 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? With up to 60% of your body made of water, if you’re not getting enough of it, you literally cannot function properly. It goes beyond feeling thirsty. You might also experience fatigue, dizziness, and confusion — and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
We all know the rule of thumb to drink eight glasses of water a day, but this doesn’t account for body size. A 200-pound man is going to need more water than a 120-pound woman. Instead, aim to drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight. If this feels like a huge stretch, create mini-goals and work your way up.
Prioritize Your Recovery
You don’t get strong during training. Training is when you break your body down. Recovery is when you build it back up again, stronger than it was before.
If you want to start healthy habits in 2021, this should be on your list.
Try Active Recovery Over Total Rest
Research shows that active recovery can help you heal faster than passive recovery. Instead of spending the entirety of your rest days parked on the couch or laying in bed, make a little time for a brisk walk, a few leisurely laps in the pool, or a 15-minute pilates session.
Use Electric Muscle Stimulation to Speed Up Healing
Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) can work wonders for your recovery. By triggering tiny muscle contractions, it keeps the blood and nutrients pumping to the tissues that need it. As a result, you’ll notice that muscle soreness and tightness disappear faster, your mobility improves, and you’ll even make some strength gains.
Supplement your training with PowerDot on a consistent basis and your fitness will reap the benefits.
Recovery wouldn’t be anything without sleep, which brings us to our next point.
Sleep Like Your Life Depends on It
… because it does! All of the new healthy habits you’re building could be derailed if you’re not getting the sleep your body needs.
Put Your Gadgets Away 30 Minutes Prior to Sleep
The blue light that your phone is emitting suppresses your body’s production of melatonin — a hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. As entertaining as it is to end your night endlessly scrolling through social media, resist the urge and put your phone away.
Have a Sleep Routine
Aside from melatonin, there are other little rituals you can commit to that will tell your body, “Time to relax!” Find a routine that helps you settle down and stick with it.
Maybe a hot shower helps you feel calm and quiet, or perhaps you like to do a little light yoga before bed. Some people enjoy reading, journaling, or listening to soothing music. The point is to give your body clues that it needs to prepare for sleep. If you do this nightly, you’ll likely notice an improvement in the quality of your Zzzs.
Start small, but just start somewhere. Creating healthy habits in the new year is within your reach. Which of these tips will you start with?
Are you spending more time at home as opposed to the gym? Learn how to stay active at home.
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