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The new year comes with a fresh start for all. From ridding unhealthy habits like late-night snacking or negative self-talk to setting a long-desired PR goal. It’s a time to incorporate some healthy habits to help you refocus and become a better version of yourself.
Dr. Robin B, a Los Angeles-based pharmacist, entrepreneur, and certified personal trainer, believes there are positive benefits to setting some sort New Year’s goals. One such objective would be to set an attainable intention for the year you wish to have. “A goal doesn’t always have to be a literal accomplishment or tangible object to obtain,” says Dr. Robin. “It can be as simple as how you want to feel.”
And according to the trainer, that goes for both physical and mental health.
“Setting an intention for each area of your life allows you to manifest your goals by keeping them as a reminder of what you strive to be,” Dr. Robin explains. “Resolutions can also help you reflect on the past, present, and future.” She says, giving us a clear picture of the habits we may need to leave behind, and which ones to put into motion.
According to Dr. Robin, when it comes to goal setting, implementing what works best for you is key to success. It can also protect your mental health. What works for your gym buddy may not work for you, and that’s perfectly fine.
Listen to your body and mind when trying a new method to achieve your goals. If it makes you feel both stressed out and bogged down, and begins to mess with your mindset, it’s probably time to let it go and try something else. Once you find your preferred method, it’s all uphill from there!
With that, Dr. Robin shares some trends that may have unnecessarily added to your stress levels in 2022, and provides some healthy alternatives to give a try this new year
A popular trend that Dr. Robin feels should be left in the past for good is counting every single calorie that enters your mouth. “Rather than focusing on overall intake, start counting your macros,” Dr. Robin suggests. “When you prioritize macros like protein, you can avoid overeating, which generally leads to a reduced caloric intake while nourishing your body.”
She also adds that it only benefits you to count calories if you want to be in a calorie deficit or surplus daily. So, if all the counting is stressing you out, it may be time to leave it behind.
“Calorie counting can be detrimental to your mental health and contribute to added stress or guilt that is unnecessary when taking on a huge goal such as weight loss,” Dr. Robin warns.
If you’re interested in giving macro counting a try, Dr. Robin suggests finding a reliable and legitimate macro-counting app to download and begin keeping track. “Get that protein in!” she encourages. “Fats in moderation are okay, too, and take it easy on the carbs if it is not leg day.”
Always listen to your body and mind. If a new habit stresses you out, try something else without feeling guilty that the previous attempt wasn’t for you.
We’ve all seen those ridiculously dangerous IG and TikTok videos in which “influencers” are lifting the entire pieces gym equipment and other crazy items strictly for views (and zero wellness benefits). Dr. Robin warns these activities are not just silly and useless, but potentially lethal. “You might get injured while trying to lift something of that weight,” Dr. Robin warns.
If you’re looking for some ideas for new healthy habits, as well as gaining fitness knowledge via social media, remember that boring oftentimes works best. Look for experts who provide information based on tried and true methods. “We should promote more progressive overload training and educate people on proper weight progression over time,” she recommends.
Obviously, there are a host of positive benefits when it comes to Pilates, however, Dr. Robin feels swapping the weights for Pilates to get skinny is a healthy habits no-go. “Lifting weights is actually the key to toning and shedding fat along with adequate amounts of cardio,” she explains. To completely get rid of strength training for the fear of being “bulky” is a train of thought that needs to be tossed. “Find a workout plan that uses HIIT with dumbbells and watch the pounds fall off like the one I created on the Ladder,” she says. Pilates, however, according to Dr. Robin, is great when coupled with a good strength and conditioning routine.
A good habit Dr. Robin feels should be implemented in 2023 is completing a mental clear-out and eliminating things you want to leave forever in 2022. “That means toxic relationships, things that do not serve you, and even bad eating habits,” she says. What person, habit, or food(s) makes you feel bad? Once you know, it’s time to remove them, or at least set healthy boundaries.
Along with the mental clear-out, Dr. Robin recommends implementing a training program (if you haven’t already), like the programs she has on the apps Ladder or Playbook while trying to aim for at least five to six times a week of training.
“Declutter and deep clean your living space daily,” she says. At the same time, Dr. Robin suggests adding more herbal tea to your daily routine. For the trainer, it’s all about creating a clean, calm, and healthy space for both your body and mind.
When setting goals, “Finding an accountability partner to keep you motivated (and honest) would also be helpful.” Says Dr. Robin. Going it alone when new goals are set can be intimidating and feel overwhelming; having a partner can ease the feeling of stress and loneliness.
Along with those healthy habits, Dr. Robins also recommends:
“If you can bring these habits into 2023, this will be your year!” says Dr. Robin. Small healthy changes every day will equal massive results when repeated day in and day out.