Better Health for the New Year: Have You Given up on This Resolution Yet?

New Years has come and gone, and with it so have many people’s resolutions to implement a new health regime. Starting a new fitness routine is easy, but maintaining it is a different story. Just take a look around the gym, and you’ll see a lot more exercise equipment available now than you did the first couple of weeks of the year. One of the major reasons this particular resolution fails has to do with proper nutrition, or the lack there of.

If you think you’re alone, think again. In an article for The New York Times online, Alex Williams writes “research shows that about 80 percent of people who make resolutions on Jan. 1 fall off the wagon by Valentine’s Day,” according to Marti Hope Gonzales, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota. But before you beat yourself up for being part of that 80 percent by giving up your new health plan, take a look at some of the reasons this happens.

I don’t have anymore energy to exercise

Like many other people, you probably cut back on your caloric intake and stepped up the exercise you do, in order to lose weight. While you will see weight loss in the beginning by doing this, it will quickly taper off and you will gain it all back and than some very fast. This is because the weight loss you experienced was muscle tissue, which weighs four times more than fat. On top of that, muscle tissue is vital in burning actual fat, so you do yourself no favor embarking on this rollar coaster of weight gain and loss.

When you work out you actually need to increase your caloric intake, because your muscles need this to repair themselves and provide your body with the energy and nutrition it needs to keep up with your new fitness routine. Eating three well-balanced meals a day and two snacks consisting of 10 nuts (of any variety) and one piece of fruit, will maintain the energy level you need to keep up your workouts. This nutritional combination of protein and carbohydrates not only helps with your energy level while exercising, it will also help repair the muscle tissue you’ve broken down while working out. This cycle is what helps build your muscle tone, which in turn, helps burn fat.

I want to keep exercising, but I injured myself

So your will to workout is still there, but your health won’t cooperate. This is very common and goes back to nutrition as well as implementing a proper exercise schedule. To begin with, your muscles need protein in order to repair tissue damage caused by working out. Secondly, you have to take a look at what your fitness level was in the months leading up to your resolution. You have to build up your exercise slowly, so if you didn’t work out at all in Nov and Dec, walking 30 minutes a day three days a week is plenty to start off with. You also have to rotate the body parts you concentrate on. For example, if you’ve worked out your upper body on Monday, switch to your legs on Tuesday. This gives your upper body a couple of days to rest and repair itself. If you don’t allow for this rest period, you can experience what is called catabolism.

Catabolism happens when muscle tissue is broken, which is what you are doing when you work out, and you don’t give it the proper amount of time to heal. Furthermore, if you throw yourself into a hard core workout routine too fast and don’t allow the correct amount of rest time, the weakened muscle tissue can no longer support your ligaments and tendons. That is when injuries occur and your health goes down the tubes.

Improving and maintaining your health is a great goal to have. But without following the proper steps, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. Good fitness involves proper nutrition as well as exercise, and setting up the right plan ahead of time will help you stay on track. Have you experienced anything i’ve discussed here? Have you fallen off the fitness wagon, and if so why? Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions, and let me know how exercise and nutrition have impacted your life.

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2 Responses to “Better Health for the New Year: Have You Given up on This Resolution Yet?”

  1. Weight Loss Plateaus: How to Breakthrough « New Performance Nutrition Says:

    […] Better Health for the New Year: Have You Given up on This Resolution Yet? […]

  2. The Two Key Componants in Attaining Killer Abs « New Performance Nutrition Says:

    […] help, or you want to take it on yourself, remember to start off slowly and build up, incorporate a healthy diet that will lower your body fat and do your crunches in an unstable environment and you will be well […]

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