December is a time of celebration and indulgence, and that often extends to our diets. If you’re anything like us, that means you’ve spent the better part of the month craving foods (we’re talking sugar cookies, eggnog, and the like) you might normally steer clear of—and perhaps those cravings are a bit stronger than your urge to hit your usual spin class. The end result: that sluggish, bloated feeling we try so hard to avoid.
Eager to ensure we don’t totally derail our health and wellness goals in a matter of days, we got in touch with two of our favorite bloggers, Marni Harvey and Lindsi Lane, for expert tips for starting off the new year on the right foot. And what better way to get started than by partnering up with someone else to get your workouts in? It's the ideal way to make sure you're holding yourself accountable for clocking in the sweat sesh. Their top takeaway, though? Forget dramatic resolutions: In 2017, make balance the mantra you abide by. (Yes, that means it’s okay to enjoy a gingerbread man or two.)
Keep reading for more of the bloggers’ advice on prepping now for a healthier new year, and shop the Casio watch they rely on to keep them on track.
Break a Sweat
This first one’s a no-brainer: Start scheduling in some sort of workout—however small—daily, even before the New Year rolls around. The key is to find a form of exercise you actually enjoy (one you’ll be able to fit into your schedule once you’re back at work) and to do it with a friend. Do you both have a gym membership? Try out a few classes now in an effort to find a new go-to for 2017.
Remember that exercise doesn’t have to be extreme or intense—even the simplest forms can make a difference. “Walking around NYC is definitely my favorite,” Harvey shares. “Whether you’re walking to your cycling class or meeting up with friends, that extra 20-minute walk helps get you in shape.”
Stretch It Out
All the extra food we’ve consumed this past month means we’re feeling a bit more stiff than usual, and the bloggers say a daily session of stretching is a great way to gain back some nimbleness. Now’s the ideal time to look up some new stretches to incorporate into your routine. Once the New Year rolls around and you head back to the office (where you’re likely sitting for a good portion of the day), keep it up; you might try getting in a few gentle stretches in at lunch or on a break.
Lane recommends meditation with deep stretches to release tension before heading to a workout. “It actually feels amazing to let go of that body stress, and I always feel so much relief after stretching,” she tells us. “I love any basic form of meditation, whether that’s deep breathing in or out, or going into pigeon pose. To achieve this pose, sit on the floor and swing a leg forward, bending it into your body. Release the opposing leg straight out behind you, and lean forward. It’s the ideal deep stretch for your hips and legs, and it forces you to let go of any tension you’re holding in your core.”
Finally, there’s no better way to prep for the New Year than by kicking back and unwinding (mentally and physically). For this reason, the bloggers suggest taking some time post-workout to engage in an act of self-care. Whether that means cooking yourself a nice healthy meal or taking the time to meditate, the resulting bliss you’ll feel is essential for starting 2017 off on a happy note.
There’s one easy way to make sure you don’t go into full hibernation mode after unwinding, the bloggers say: Time your breaks. Harvey uses her Casio G-Shock watch to set at least 15 minutes aside for relaxation. “Timing is of the essence, so the best way to succeed is take a minute for yourself and regroup,” she notes. “[My watch] allows me to set timers so I can stay on schedule and never fall behind.” (Sounds like a solid plan to us.)
Shop the Casio G-Shock Watch Here
How are you setting yourself up for health and happiness in the New Year? Tell us in the comments below.