The length of your list of New Year’s Resolutions is inversely proportional to your success in making them stick. REALLY?? Hard to imagine, but the longer the list, the less likely you are to have success. So say Baumeister and Tierney in the book Willpower. We are almost half way through January. How’re you doing so far? Is your resolve starting to wane? If so, keep reading to find out how to keep your determination strong.
We each have a finite amount of willpower and using a little bit in a lot of places gets you right back to square one, and more discouraged than ever. So, choose one thing you want to change. My advice? Change your exercise routine, because, when it comes to your health, the right exercise changes everything. Don’t believe me? Check out this must-see video on exercise. It could change your life. If you are already hooked on exercise, send it to your favorite couch potato. Oh, and don’t forget to throw that list of New Year’s resolutions away.
23 And A Half Hours is a Must-See Video
For the Exercise Addict:
I may be preaching to the choir for a large fraction of Boulderites. For many, exercise is a vital part of most every day and if something gets in the way of enjoying it, you get cranky, but still, you keep going. Don’t do it. If you start to feel a little niggling pain in your knee as you descend the Sanitas Valley trail, figure out what it is. The sooner you address stiffness (often the first sign of a problem) or pain during or after exercise, the more quickly we can help you resolve it and get you back on track.
The Hidden Secret to Getting Regular Exercise:
If exercise is not something you enjoy, you’ll need all the help you can get to make it happen. You need GLUCOSE. Sounds absurd, but it’s true. Having enough glucose in your brain when you are wavering will help keep the resolve going. So planning to exercise during lunch hour or at the end of the day, when glucose reserves are low, might sabotage your efforts. If those are your only available times, have a snack an hour before you head out the door and you won’t as easily find an excuse not to go.
We asked nutrition experts Lisa Lanzano & Jane Reagan of Essential Nutrition for ideas to keep glucose levels stable and therefore keep you motivated to exercise.
To keep blood glucose levels stable throughout the day, it is best to consume smaller, more frequent meals that consist of the following three components:
1. Fiber-rich carbohydrate (to slow digestion and supply your brain with a steady source of glucose)
3. Healthful Fat. These latter two also help slow digestion for more sustained glucose delivery to the body and brain over time.
Some examples of healthy meals that can help keep your blood sugar stable include:
1. Fish tacos with guacamole (gluten-free, dairy free)
2. Grilled chicken over pastaprimavera
3. Tofu and vegetable stir fry over brown rice (gluten-free, vegan)
4. Open-face grilled turkey sandwich with miso mayo
5. Black bean soup with wholegrain roll (vegan)
However, if time gets away from you and you realize it’s only 1/2 hour or less before your workout, reduce the amount of fiber, fat and protein at the meal/snack so the carbohydrate can be more quickly absorbed and available for your brain and working muscles.
1. Fruit smoothie with hemp milkor soymilk (vegan, gluten-free)—liquids are digested more quickly than solid foods.
2. Whole grain crackers with a slice of deli turkey and low-fat Babybel cheese spread
3. Toasted whole grain bread with a light spread of peanut butter (vegan)
4. Granola bar with small handful dried fruit (vegan)
5. Plain yogurt (regular, soy, coconut or Greek) and fruit (gluten-free)
Lastly, make sure you eat enough day-to-day, as well as throughout the day. Just a few bites of a well-balanced meal on one day, or inadequate intake the day before, can lead to lower blood sugar levels in the end. So be sure to eat enough to feel content, but not overly full.
Written by Lisa Lanzano, MS, RD and Jane Reagan, MEd, RD, our neighbors at Essential Nutrition. https://www.essentialnutrition.com/