Call it cheesy. Call it cliché. But the New Year is a great time to start a new, fitter you. Still, it can be daunting. Where do you even begin? And how can you avoid losing steam by week three?
Don’t worry. All this – and a lot more – is covered in our 20 fitness tips below.
Ready, set, go make 2020 a great one!
Tip #1 – Find your tribe
In many ways, getting fit is a solo venture. YOU are the one exercising and YOU are the one choosing what to feed your body. But finding support through social connection is crucial to your success. This could mean working out with a friend, joining an online fitness group, or simply having an accountability partner to check in with over text. The point is that you’re not going it alone. So, ask yourself: Whose support could I use in 2020?
TIP #2 – Mind the gap
Once you get into the groove of eating well and hitting the gym, use the 3-Day Rule. Its premise is that you should never take more than three days off from a good habit. The more time that lapses, the harder it is to get back into the swing of things. Even if it’s just squeezing in a super-quick workout, keeping your momentum going will always pay off.
TIP #3 – Make sleep a priority
In a recent survey, 47% of Americans admitted they were too tired to function at work.1 That’s a lot of sleepy people! If you’re nodding off at the office, how likely will you be to hit the gym? And if you’re barely exercising, how can you expect to transform your body? No matter how you look at it, ample sleep is a must – both for pre-workout energy and post-workout recovery.
TIP #4 – Challenge yourself (literally)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever said, “I’ll feast through the holidays, and get in shape in January.” But when January hits, the struggle becomes REAL. That’s why we’re big fans of joining a structured program, like the Lean Body Challenge. It takes the guesswork out of how to exercise and what to eat for the best results. This year’s challenge kicks off on January 20th, so check it out. It’s free to enter, there’s a $10,000 reward up for grabs, and the focus is on setting long-term, healthy habits.
TIP #5 – Feed your muscles
You probably know the drill on protein. Maybe your cupboards are even lined with protein supplements as we speak. But it bears repeating that protein is crucial for a healthy, fit body. Especially post-exercise, make sure to feed your body quality protein (like a protein shake, egg whites, or lean chicken breast) to help replenish tired muscle and keep your results coming.
TIP #6 – Pack like a squirrel
Since you can’t spend your whole day in the kitchen, make sure you’ve always got a healthy, high-protein snack on hand. A Lean Body RTD is a delicious way to get your protein fix when you’re out with your kids, at the office, or anywhere else life takes you. It’ll also help steer you away from pesky vending machines and fast-food drive-throughs.
TIP #7 – Tame your sweet tooth
Honestly, we’ll never say that you should completely boycott sugar. It just isn’t doable. But if you want 2020 to be your fittest year yet, you should keep the sweet stuff to a minimum. High-sugar foods can cause greater fat storage and huge dips in energy (aka, sugar crashes). So make sure to read nutrition labels for sugar content, and seek healthier alternatives (like fruit over candy) that provide added nutrition.
TIP #8 – Ignore the naysayers
Hate to say it, but there will always be people who are jealous of your success. Friends may call your workout program “crazy” or say that you’re being too “extreme” by eating healthier. But what they really mean is, “Man, I wish had your dedication.” Don’t let these comments bother you. Just continue doing your thing and shining your fitness light!
Tip #9 – Be patient
So, you want results, and you want them NOW. It’s just human nature. But be prepared to wait a bit for the outward signs of all your hard work. It might take a few weeks before you notice a thinner waistline or more defined muscle. The important thing is that exercise has so many non-visual benefits – like greater energy, enhanced mood, and better heart health. Just trust us on this: The rewards will be worth the wait!
TIP #10 – Rethink your screen time
Here’s another crazy stat for ya: Americans spend about three hours a day on their smartphones.2 Three hours! Kind of makes the “I don’t have time to exercise” excuse fall a little flat. And while we all love our phones, there’s something to be said for disconnecting every once in a while. Not just to free up your time, but to clear your mind. Daring to unplug more in 2020 might be just what you need to stay healthier all around.
TIP #11 – Say ‘adios’ to diets
So long rigid, restrictive diets. Around here, we’re for all for healthy and delicious nutrition that’s easy to maintain throughout the year. This includes quality protein, fruit and veggies, nutrient-dense carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Keep in mind that WHEN you eat can be just as important as WHAT you eat. It’s another great reason to check out the Lean Body Challenge since you’ll get free meal plans and tips on timing.
TIP #12 – Grab some dumbbells
Cardio exercises are great for the heart, but the magic happens when you lift weights! Also known as resistance training, weightlifting can help you sculpt more muscle and quicken your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories at rest than what bodyfat does, so even after your workout, you’ll still be burning fat. Talk about a no-brainer!
TIP #13 – Get your partner on board
Imagine this: You’re raring to go with a healthier lifestyle, but your partner is stuck on Cheetos and Netflix. Rather than trying to force him or her onto your side, use the power of example to win them over. Your extra energy and fitter physique will speak for itself!
TIP #14 – Use apps to your advantage
When you want to hire a personal trainer but don’t have room in your budget, fitness apps are a great alternative. They can show you what exercises to perform, how many sets and reps to do, etc. There are a TON of apps to choose from, so start by checking out these popular picks that we profiled in 2019.
TIP #15 – Drink up
How much water should you drink each day? Good question. While different health authorities cite different answers, a good rule of thumb is the 8 by 8 rule – eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Water helps transport nutrients in your system, keeps you energized, regulates body temperature, and lubricates your joints.
TIP #16 – Beware of the burnout
Do you ever feel burned out by the pressures of life? In our fast-paced work culture, “life balance” is often as elusive as a unicorn. In May 2019, the World Health Organization even recognized burnout as an occupational health phenomenon. To keep your mental and physical reserves up, make sure to set boundaries around your time. Push back on that boss who emails you at 11:00 pm, or let yourself say “no” to that extra volunteer effort. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your health is to do less instead of more.
TIP #17 – Take things outside
Another way to stay more invigorated is to hit the great outdoors. Fresh air gives you more energy, sharpens your mind, and even strengthens your immune system. Chicago, Illinois has the right idea. The world’s first floating eco-park is set to open there in 2020. If you live in a cold-winter state, just bundle up and breathe the goodness in!
TIP #18 – Lift the grudge
We often think that by holding a grudge, we’re hurting the person who wronged us. In reality, we’re harming ourselves. Through forgiveness, we can feel more compassion, empathy, and even some health benefits. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, forgiveness can reduce your risk of heart attack, lower your cholesterol level, reduce your blood pressure, and more.3
TIP #19 – Embrace the plant
Plant-based foods are popping up everywhere, and for good reason. Not only are they good for your health, but they’re less demanding on the environment than meat and dairy alternatives. Plant-based crops use less water, less land, and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. You don’t need to immediately go vegan; just start injecting a little more green into your meal plan.
TIP #20 – Work out for wellness
Last but not least, remember that getting fit is about whole-body wellness. Wearing smaller sizes or getting bigger biceps is great. But holistic health should always be your goal – this year and beyond. GOOD LUCK!
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.