Let’s face it, 2016 ended poorly for a lot of people around the world. Whether it was from personal or social issues, many will say that 2016 was probably the worst year ever. Even my own struggles to get healthy ended badly. But, that doesn’t mean that we have to remain in this funk that keeps us stuck. I’m not really a fan of setting traditional New Year’s resolutions, but perhaps we can focus on a way to feel better about ourselves for the future.
What I am Doing to Get Healthy in 2017
So, my personal challenges never really seem to end in a good way. For one reason or another, I keep having to stop or postpone what I am doing for myself. However, that doesn’t mean that I have to keep entrenched in being unhealthy. Perhaps I was setting my sights too high in that last challenge.
This year, I am going to do things a bit differently. For one thing, I need to start focusing on aspects that lead to success. Given my current situation, I really don’t have much of a choice.
For those who want to follow along, I am going to set out this list as easy to follow as possible. If you need any help, feel free to send me a tweet. I am pretty accessible most of the time.
Here is what I am focusing on to get healthy in 2017.
Increase Average Calorie Burn Per Week
One of the things I love about my Fitbit is that it keeps track of the amount of calories I burn throughout the day based on movement and heart rate. And yes, I am going to geek out a bit later and build a whole spreadsheet to set goals and keep track of my progress.
Increasing calorie burn demonstrates an increase in physical activity. Now, this is vital if you want to get healthy and remain in good physical condition. And I’m not just talking about looking like a super model or developing a ripper six pack.
When I first moved to Los Angeles, my heart kept feeling like it was skipping beats. At times, it felt like someone was punching me in the chest with a brick. But after I started walking more, my heart slowly stopped feeling like it was having issues. I suspect adding a great deal of cardio to my day is helping, at least that’s what I’ve found according to a myriad of websites.
My Weekly Goal:
Use my Fitbit Charge HR, I am going to focus on surpassing my weekly calorie burn. Even if it’s by five calories, that still shows an improvement to physical activity.
If you don’t have a Fitbit, I would suggest getting one or at least finding wearable technology that monitors calorie burn. And for those who are skeptical of these devices and believe they are inaccurate, it still shows an increase of physical activity whether the actual calories are correct or not. And that’s the point – to show an increase of physical movement.
Increase in Sleep
Sleep is a vital part to get healthy. A lack of sleep can lead to all kinds of issues including mental and physical stress. Perhaps part of the reason why my heart is feeling better as of late is because of the increase in sleep I have been getting.
This is probably one of the hardest things for me to get. I have a form of insomnia that makes it difficult to actually fall asleep. It’s also a pain in the butt that I have a case of sleep apnea as well. However, I will continue to put effort into knocking myself out every night because I know how important rest is for the body.
My Weekly Goal:
Again, I am basing my sleeping patterns on my Fitbit. I am going to focus on improving my average sleep every night until I can maintain more than seven hours a night. According to the Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 26 and 64 should get between seven and nine hours of sleep. This is something I haven’t done consistently.
Setting My Calorie Intake to 1200 Per Day
Yes, I know that 1200 calories per day is pretty light. This is especially true if I want to build a bit of muscle mass. This is probably one of those goals that I will have to modify depending whether I go into shock or not while working out.
The reason I am setting my goal lower is to give my body a chance to burn off the fat that is stored. I’ll have to make sure I eat healthier so I get the vitamins and minerals I need.
My Weekly Goal:
Using MyFitnessPal, I intend on keeping every day in the green when it comes to the amount of calories I eat. If I want an extra snack later in the day, that means I have to work for it. And, I have proven this to be an effective way of dieting in the past. After all, I did lose 40 pounds by doing this.
Consuming 1200 calories shouldn’t be that difficult to do in the first place. That breaks down to 300 base calories for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. And that’s if I don’t have any physical activity to burn away some of that number. A lot of the things I eat for each meal are less than 300 anyway.
Increase My Water Intake
Water is one of the most important aspects of being alive. If you want to truly get healthy, it needs to start with enough water to sustain yourself. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting to get enough water throughout my day. What I need to do is get back into the habit of grabbing a cup of water each time I grab a cup of coffee.
Before, experts use to say that 80 ounces was the perfect number for everyone. Now, scientists have stepped in and made the formula far more convoluted, especially for the common person. According to experts, you should drink between half an ounce to a full ounce of water for each pound you weigh every day. That means, I would need to drink approximately 250 ounces of water.
That’s nearly two gallons each day!
Yeah, that’s not going to happen. So, I will focus on the one-size-fits-all formula of old. Either way, I need to start drinking more water. Currently, I am lucky if I remember to drink 20 ounces a day let alone a gallon’s worth.
My Weekly Goal:
MyFitnessPal can track water intake as well as food. I want to aim for at least six cups each day – which is considerably more than I am getting now. I know I should be drinking far more than 48 ounces a day, but I know how I forget to grab water on a regular basis.
Something else I want to try and remember is getting 16 ounces of water with each meal. Filling up this empty Arrowhead bottle every time I eat might be a good place to start. This, on top of drinking more when I get coffee, should give me enough water throughout the day.
It’s All About Maintaining
The hardest part about any diet or exercise routine is maintaining it even when you don’t want to. A lot of people will come out of the gate strong, but then slow down after a few months. If you want to get healthy and keep your body in prime condition, you can’t lax in your efforts.
Don’t focus too much on a certain weight goal. Try to set daily objectives for yourself and keep in the here-and-now.
So to break it down, I will focus on the following for the new year:
- Increase physical activity in some way each week.
- Improve my sleeping patterns and get more than 7 hours each week.
- Maintain a good balance when eating throughout the day and keep calorie intake in the green.
- Increase my water intake to at least 48 ounces minimum.
While a lot of us will mope around and wallow in the failings of 2016, others will look to the new year with hope. Which one are you? You are the only one standing in the way to get healthy. All it takes is a bit of determination and self-restraint to reach optimal health.