The start of a new year is a great time to evaluate all those good habits to keep and bad habits to break in the next 12 months. How we approach our physical and mental health sets the stage for our overall well-being in all areas of life. Sometimes we get stuck in unhealthy habits that we don't even realize we're doing when we're busy, like forgetting to hydrate. Check out these 11 habits to drop in 2018 to help prioritize your personal health and achieve your goals.
Skipping the Warmup
Warming up your muscles is easily as important as the workout itself. It gets the blood flowing, prevents injuries, and preps your muscles so everything you do after is more effective. Stop skipping this crucial part of your workout and check out this dynamic active warmup, great for any routine.
Taking Too Many Rest Days
It may be tempting to take rest days in between all your workouts, but losing momentum can throw you off track and make it feel like you're starting over. Try skipping some of those days off and add some extra workouts to your week. The additional exercise will be as rewarding as it is beneficial to both your mind and body. Do remember, though, that appropriate rest days are important and to listen to your body and give it a rest if needed.
Doing the Same Workout
Even if you're exercising often, getting stuck in the same workout regimen can actually be less effective for your body. Be sure to switch things up with a variety of routines that target different areas of your body. Dedicate a day to arms, another to legs, and one for total body. Not only will you give your muscles a break, but you also won't get bored from doing the same thing over and over again.
Working Out Hungry
Working out on an empty stomach can actually impair your performance, so make time to fuel your body before a workout. Eating before you exercise gives your body the energy it needs to complete an intense and effective workout without wearing out. Check out these recommendations on what to eat before you hit the gym.
Staying in the Gym
Not all exercise has to happen at the gym. Sometimes just getting there can be the reason to lose motivation, so keep things interesting by trying an on-demand workout at home, going to a new studio, or just taking your routine outside.
Focusing on 1 Thing
We all have that one thing we want to work on — toned arms, flatter abs, lean legs. But putting all the attention on one body part can make us lose sight of the big picture. Get a stronger and leaner body by working out every muscle group with this 30-minute-a-day, two-week total-body tone-up plan.
Forgetting to Hydrate
Water is key to weight loss, mental health, and everything in between. It's easy to forget to hydrate, but start making it an essential part of your day, especially during your workouts. Read up on these 10 easy ways to make drinking water part of your daily routine.
When the week is over, a lazy weekend on the couch may sound appealing, but keep up the energy by going for a hike or meeting up with a friend to try a new class. When Monday rolls around, you'll feel more than ready to take on the week.
Setting Unrealistic Expectations
It's OK to have challenging resolutions and goals, but be realistic with yourself on what's possible to achieve. Give yourself a longer deadline to shed those few pounds if you know your social calendar is going to be full in the next few weeks. Try not to be too critical of your progress if you know that you're putting your best foot forward. If you get off track, just start fresh the next day.
Putting Workouts Last
We're often full of excuses at the end of a long day, so set your alarm an hour earlier and hit the gym first thing in the morning (after hydrating and eating, of course). Working out in the morning boosts endorphins and gives you energy to get through your day with a smile on your face. Plus, you'll have that morning-workout glow!
Forgetting Your Mental Health
Your mental wellness is just as important as your physical wellness, so start putting your mental health first. Try things like yoga and meditation to learn how to check in with yourself, reduce stress, and clear your mind.