Your Healthy Year Starts Here
14. Remind yourself of this bottom line every day:
"Exercise is not about getting in a workout on a Wednesday," says Michaels. "It's about adding 20 years to your life."
15. Beware of mindless munching.
Have you hit a weight-loss plateau? Record your snacks and drinks for a week -- you may discover you're consuming more calories than you think, says Harper.
16. Keep your body guessing.
Your muscles adapt to a workout quickly, so it's important to change your routine regularly, says Harper. Try interval training: Once or twice a week during your daily 45-minute walk add 60-second speed bursts every three minutes or work in some hills.
17. Don't be self-conscious.
"I used to think everyone was looking at me when I went running, but nobody cared," says Michaels. "We all experience insecurity, but most people are thinking about their own bodies, not what you look like."
18. Repeat after Jillian:
"Skinny jeans aren't boring!" Remember those words the next time you're tempted to skip your Pilates class because you think it's a snore.
19. Fuel up your workouts.
"Never exercise on an empty stomach," says Harper. About 30 to 45 minutes before your sweat session, eat an energizing snack that contains carbs, protein, and healthy fats, like an apple with peanut butter or whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.
20. Savor the self-esteem boost.
"At 13 I got my blue belt in Muay Thai by breaking two boards with my foot," says Michaels. "The next day at school, kids who had been taunting me stopped. I realized that when someone feels physically strong they feel strong in every aspect of their life."
21. Keep it simple.
You don't need fancy equipment to get in great shape. "I'm a big believer in strength moves that use your body weight for resistance, like push-ups, squats, and lunges," says Harper.
22. Let music move you.
Listening to up-tempo tunes while you sweat may help boost your endurance and make your workout seem easier. Michaels's faves: "D.O.A." (Jay-Z), "Won't Back Down" (Eminem), "Alejandro Remix" (Lady Gaga), and "Power" (Kanye West).
23. Eat every four hours.
If you wait any longer than that you're likely to become ravenous, which sets the stage for overeating.
24. Reward yourself the right way.
After making it to the gym three times in one week, treat yourself to a new lipstick or flowers. If you hit a larger goal (losing 5 pounds in a month or running a 5K) get a massage. "Learn how to nurture yourself with nonfood rewards," says Michaels.
25. Focus on the emotional and physical payoffs.
"There are days when my own motivation wanes and I just don't feel like working out," admits Harper. "But I always go back to exercise's biggest benefit of all: It makes me feel good."
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