What Does it Mean to Be Healthy?

diet tips goals misc Jan 04, 2019

Check out this guest post from Cristina Panagopoulus. If you’re in the Chicago area and want an in-person trainer, be sure to look up Cristina.

What does it mean to be healthy? 

Being healthy is a broad term. There is no "one" way to be healthy BUT there is a way for you to be healthier. I always tell clients that making smaller steps in the right direction can do wonders. For example, if you eat out every day for lunch try bringing your lunch instead. Or perhaps you don't care for vegetables. Start incorporating them week by week. Try something new at the grocery store you don't normally eat. Being healthy, for the most part, is making small steps to living a long life. Make your food instead of buying it pre-made. Eat out once a week. Exercise 4-5 times a week. Eat more vegetables and less processed foods. Taking the steps to change your lifestyle will keep you living a healthy life.

How can people stick to their New Year’s Resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions is always a great time for people to start fresh with their fitness goals. However, the rate of failure can be high if you don't set your goals appropriately. So how does one set New Year’s resolutions with the goal of accomplishment? There’s a few things you'll need to do. 

  1. Make short term AND long-term goals. The short term will keep you moving forward to each small goal while the long term will give you a long-term plan. When you stick to something for a long time the likelihood of it working is higher. 
  2. Do something you actually enjoy! When I hear people making all these resolutions of taking out things they enjoy I know they won't stick to it. Why would you deprive yourself of something that makes you happy? There are ways to become healthier without taking out the things you love. For example, if you like to drink wine. Drinking wine every night may not be the healthiest so try finding the healthiest wine (red has less sugar) and aim to only drink 1 glass on Friday or Saturday evening with a healthy dinner. This will curb your craving but keep you sane and on track! 
  3. Have a good support system. Many times, our households can be the culprit of good health or bad. It takes a team to live healthy for the long run. If your family isn't on board chances are your resolutions won't stick. Make a plan with your family to do it together. Even something as small as night time yoga before bed (kids included) can be a great step!

What kinds of goals should people set?

If you're  new to the gym or if you've been away for a while, take it slow. No need to jump back in at 110% because the likelihood of it sticking is small. Start SLOW. If you're just coming back, aim for 2-3 times a week. Set small goals. Work on some basic bodyweight exercises with little weight and work your way up.

If you've been a regular at the gym but feel like you've hit a wall, then use the New Year to set some new and fun goals. Why not switch it up?! Try a class you've never done. Do you cycle? If not, try it! How about swimming? Or perhaps a boot camp? Getting involved in fitness classes you don't normally do is a GREAT way to challenge your body and meet like-minded fitness buddies! 

What are some ways to eating right?

Eating right during the holiday season always seems to be the hardest for people. There are parties galore along with sugar, alcohol and fatty foods. If you seem to have a schedule filled with office parties and family get-togethers, plan ahead. Ask if you can bring a dish. Bringing a dish can prevent you from eating bad food and you'll know exactly what's in it (just make sure it’s a healthy dish!). Try to only indulge 1-2x a week. Not every night should be a party. Stick to the veggies and foods that aren't drenched in creamy sauces. If need be, have a hearty snack beforehand that way you aren't super hungry! 

Submitted by Cristina Panagopoulus.

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