It’s the beginning of a new year. For most of us, it is time to celebrate and greet new friends. Some have been savoring wonderful moments from the previous year. Many are relieved that the year is over and are welcoming the New Year with a renewed sense of hope. For some, it is time for new resolutions – professional and personal. A healthy lifestyle is a common resolution for many. To eat good, to become fit, and to lose weight are on the to-do lists and wish lists of many people. We all dream of these things, many of us make plans to achieve these goals, and some of us follow these plans with considerable success. There are several roadblocks en route – some of us may stumble, some may change their plans, and some decide to give up.
Here, we are not sharing a how-to plan to achieve your lifestyle goals (our genetic counselors can help you chart out such plans). This is just a list of habits that can help you reach nearer to your goals.
Our goals may be lofty, but they aren’t impossible to achieve. We just have to start small. Let us start with an activity to do today or this week. For those of us who are used to a sedentary lifestyle, a high-intensity workout may cause enough pains and aches to make us give up. How about something simple like jogging or brisk walking every day? If done with the right warm up/cool down exercises like stretches, this can be a fabulous exercise. For those of us who want to hit the gym, or start a new fitness routine, easing into it with low-intensity workouts can make things seem doable.
We may pray to God to lead us not into temptation, but a yummy spread or even the sight of a slab of chocolate can prove to be too much of a temptation. This is because most of us believe that diet calls for deprivation. Even our genes, which control our appetite and satiety levels, may not agree to this. Nutritionists recommend a limited serving of oils/ghee every day. Today, there are alternative healthy choices and even superfoods available. All we have to do is to cleanse our kitchen of terribly unhealthy foods and introduce some healthy changes. We can go slow here too – start with something as simple as consuming an additional portion of veggies or fruit every day. For the hunger pangs that may occur at 11:00 am or 4:00 pm, let us be prepared with a small healthy snack.
When We Eat Out
We are social creatures. There are days when we eat out. We don’t have to stick to salads and watch our friends eat yummy food. Today, every menu offers choices that are Grilled/Poached/Roasted/ Stir-fried. Mediterranean and Thai cuisines offer several healthy options. A small portion of tandoor-cooked food is healthier than deep fried or butter-laden choices.
Nutritionists often recommend the use of a journal – write down what we eat and review it. Today, there are several apps that can help us. For instance, the GOQii app recommends its users to log their food with pictures. Such apps also remind us to eat at the right time. For those of us who don’t want to pay for a subscription, there are free apps.
Similarly, wearable trackers or even apps such as Google Fit enable us to keep track of our fitness activity. This can help us assess several parameters such as calories burned and time-effort applied. Over time, these numbers can help us in fixing our fitness routines and in stepping up.
Hydration is a key component in achieving our fitness goals and tracking the amount of water consumed can help us. Given our busy schedules, it is so easy to forget to drink water. Some apps offer reminders to consume more water.
As we step up our workouts/diet, there may be times when we are fatigued or hungry. Tracking these patterns can help us in avoiding unnecessary snacking and improving our fitness routines.
There is an old African proverb – If you want to run fast, run alone; if you want to run far, run together. Our fitness buddies can prompt us to do better in our fitness habits. Many tracking apps today have social features that enable us to share our dietary and fitness achievements every day. Even a simple WhatsApp group of like-minded people working on similar fitness goals can be of great help in motivating us to do better every day.
Comfort food is a term most of us are familiar with. When we are stressed, we tend to make unhealthy dietary choices and forget our fitness routines. Researchers have proved that meditation reduces the levels of stress hormones in the system. A meditation routine can help us in relieving stress. Several apps offer guided meditation – a technique that can help us in forming the habit without falling asleep.
At Mapmygenome, we have a group for team members focused on fitness. Nazia from our team had achieved her fitness goals in 2017 with the help of this group. Do you know of any hacks/habits that can help you achieve your fitness goals? Would you like to share your fitness journey with us? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share your story with our readers.
About the Author
Geethanjali Tanikella is part of the Corporate Communication team at Mapmygenome.
Mapmygenome Can Help You
Our product Genomepatri Fit can help you look inwards and learn about your genes and their impact on your lifestyle. If you are interested in learning about how genetics can help you achieve your goal for a healthy lifestyle, write to email@example.com or call 1800-102-4595 or visit https://mapmygenome.in/genomepatri-fit/.