Did you spend the last few days of December painstakingly crafting your 2019 New Year’s resolutions?
If so, chances are that you’re hoping to improve your health and well-being in one way or another. According to a YouGov survey, the four most popular aims for 2018 included eating healthily, doing more exercise and focusing on self-care (alongside that classic, elusive objective of saving money).
On the other hand, resolutions are famously hard to maintain. It makes sense – after all, we generally choose goals which require tasks we’ve previously been unable (or unwilling) to do consistently.
Here at Wynsors, we think it’s time to get fitness and nutrition tips from the experts.
How Long Do People Keep New Year’s Resolutions?
Stepping into January with one or more goals for self-improvement is something that one-third of Brits do each year, but the number of people that successfully make a change is a very different story!
In fact, a commonly-cited 2007 study from the University of Bristol suggests that just 12% stick to their guns and achieve their objectives for the whole year. The latest NHS research takes a slightly gloomier view, with a predicted nine-out-of-ten aspirants giving up before Jools Holland starts to count down again.
More recently, a study by private healthcare provider Bupa discovered that 63% of people failed to keep their resolution in 2015, over half of whom (66%) lasted one month or less. So, how do we ensure that our health and fitness goals are achievable in the long run?
Maintaining Your Resolutions
NHS psychologists suggest a number of tips for setting an attainable goal, which includes breaking it down into measurable, bite-size steps.
Similarly, our top tip for achieving health and fitness goals is to create one or more “Daily Wyns”.
These are small changes you can make on a daily basis, in an effort to improve your wellbeing. That way, you’ve taken at least one positive step toward improving your lifestyle and the sense of achievement will give you a boost too.
Quick and Easy Nutrition Hacks
When we use the word “diet” these days, it tends to be in a much healthier context than it has been used previously.
Rather than conjuring up images of meal after meal of lettuce leaves, the word is being revolutionised by nutritionists like Frida Harju-Westman (of Lifesum), who work to help us see healthy eating as a lifestyle, whereby we fuel our body with foods that nurture and power it.
Frida was kind enough to provide us with a couple of quick and easy daily changes to improve your health in seconds!
- As you reach for your morning cup of coffee, add a spoonful of coconut oil to it.
Frida told us: “You will get the desired energy boost, as well as giving your metabolism and immune system a boost, due to the medium chain triglycerides found in coconut.”
We’re always pleased to find yet another reason to love coconut oil. Better put an extra jar in the shopping basket this weekend!
- Whenever you are cooking, add a bit of cinnamon, chilli or garlic to the dish.
Frida knows that spices can also work wonders in our bodies. She says:
“Not only will adding spices make your food taste delicious, but it will also make you less hungry, improve your digestion and speed up your metabolism.”
Why should we suffer for good health? Snap up the cinnamon for a truly satisfying meal.
The 18-Minute Daily Workout
With optimistic crowds bustling around and aimless workouts attempted, it’s no surprise that 60% of new gym memberships opened in January end up not being used.
So, if you’re not sure that you’re brave enough to decipher machine instructions on your own, or you just don’t have the money to splash on a membership right now, why not try the 18-minute daily workout from Fit as Fugly founder Annabel Breakenridge?
This exercise enthusiast suggests a full-body session, involving various 40-second bursts of high-intensity movement, from squat jumps to tricep dips, followed by 20-second breaks. The whole circuit takes just 18 minutes when repeated three times, so it is certainly doable.
Check out the full routine below and find half an hour to get moving on a daily basis! Before you know it, you’ll have justified your Friday night out.
Quick and Easy Ways to Up Your Step Count
If you don’t think you’re quite up to interval training yet and you’re looking to introduce gentle exercise into your routine, try some simple hacks for upping your step count on a regular basis.
- Hide the remote when you’re watching TV.
Frida suggests that we make lazy evenings on the sofa a bit healthier by hiding the remote control. She explains:
“Whenever you want to change the channel or increase the volume, get up and do it manually. An Australian study found that even a bit of light activity contributed to weight loss. You can apply this at work too – instead of emailing, walk over to your colleague and talk to them.”
So, just because you want a relaxed night in, doesn’t mean you have to go from one extreme to another – you can still positively improve the amount of activity you get through each day!
- Take a walk to fill up your water glass.
The nutritionist also highlights the need to drink plenty of water, and advises taking the opportunity to walk around a little more. Frida tells us:
“It is important to drink a lot of water during the day to get rid of waste products, make sure all the cells get what they need and have a stable blood flow. Why not combine it with a leg stretch once every hour and a half, by taking your glass and filling it up with fresh water. Try to finish the glass before the next time you get up.”
Boost your Mood
There’s a lot to be said for improving your mood and the impact it can have on your health. If you work in an office, take Frida’s final piece of advice and sit up – or stand up! – at your desk as much as possible:
“Instead of slouching at your desk, straighten up and hold your head high. Not only is this good for your posture, but it will also give you a boost of dopamine and serotonin, which are the hormones that are responsible for our good mood.
“And even better, if you can, then stand up instead. By choosing to stand up instead of sitting down for some of the working hours, you reduce the risk of developing a number of diseases. Sitting down for the entire eight hours during a working day is as harmful as smoking when it comes to health.”
Get happy, get healthy and give yourself the best chance to succeed. To help you track your progress, we’ve created a number of useful interactive health and fitness tools.
Are you ready to get started with your Daily Wyns? Tell us about the simple changes you’re making on Twitter, or tag us in an inspirational Instagram post @wynsors_shoes now, and we will retweet or regram the best ones!