New Year, New You: Getting Back into Shape

January 10, 2022
Exercise Healthy new year Healthy eating
4 min read

WRITTEN BY

Craig Turner, manager, Mount Nittany Health Fit for Play


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Another holiday season has come and gone, and many of us are still enjoying memories of family dinners, happy hours with friends, and holiday baked goods. Along with those memories might be a few pounds gained and a drop in energy. Don’t worry—with a little effort and focus, your body can recover from holiday excesses.

If you’d like to enter the new year with renewed energy, here are a few tips:

Set realistic goals. By including just a few changes to your diet and daily routine, you should be able to take care of any damage done over the holidays and even lose additional weight.

It’s best to take it one week at a time—don’t try to overhaul your diet overnight. If you make too many changes at once, you might get discouraged and give up altogether. Strive to make lasting changes to your eating habits rather than aiming for weight loss or a number on the scale. It is not recommended to adopt a diet that is too drastic or too calorie-restrictive, and it is best to avoid fad diets. Adopting healthy eating habits over the long term is a more effective approach to promote wellness and weight loss.

Eat more often. People who have kept their weight off for more than a few years tend to eat an average of five times a day. Light, frequent meals curb your appetite, boost your energy, improve your mood, and even speed up your metabolism, since the process of digestion itself burns calories.

Load up on the healthy stuff. After the holidays, lighten up on rich foods and focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Have a variety of produce on hand to ensure that you’re getting essential vitamins and minerals that you might skimped on over the holiday break. When grocery shopping, choose healthy snacks such as yogurt or mixed nuts.

Drink water. It’s a common mistake to confuse thirst for hunger. Next time you feel like snacking, drink a glass of water instead. Drinking water also helps you feel full, so drink as you eat to add volume and weight to your meal.

Quit smoking. Smoking not only affects your physical health, but your vitality as well. Freeing yourself of tobacco is one of the best things you can do to improve your well-being and quality of life.

Find a new exercise routine. Sometimes, it’s hard to get back into an exercise routine at the beginning of the new year, especially if you’re bored with it. Consider finding something new, such as a different walking or running route or a yoga class.

Easy does it. Your first workout after a holiday break will probably feel more difficult than you remember. Don’t be disappointed—it happens to everyone. Every day, push a little harder and go a little further. Give your body a chance to regain momentum. Gradually re-introduce your favorite activities. Exercise will bring you balance and a good dose of energy.

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