Fitness fads and weight loss diets get trendy around the new year but striving toward healthy goals is stylish year-round. The key to sticking with it for more than two weeks is setting a sustainable routine with workouts you find fun and nutrition that hits all the marks but is easy to maintain.
Following a nutrition plan is a great way to make sure you’re getting all the good stuff your body needs. When raising a crop, South Dakota soybean farmers do the same for their plants. While you may use supplements like protein powder and multi-vitamins for an extra boost, farmers use products like fertilizers to provide important nutrients when their fields need them. They use technology to monitor the plants closely and apply products only when and where they’re needed to minimize waste.
Keeping up with a health and fitness plan is easier said than done, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Below are a few simple tips to help you stay on track through the entire year.
Fad diets aren’t sustainable and can cause unnecessary stress. Instead of trying to maintain a strict diet and stay within certain calorie limits, just focus on making smart, healthy choices. Make sure your meals are well-balanced with good sources protein, carbs and lots of vegetables, and fill your plate with wholesome, nutrient-dense options. For example, soy foods like soymilk, edamame and tofu are delicious and multi-functional. They provide a healthy source of important minerals, fiber, omega-3s and protein. In fact, soy is even considered a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids your body needs. Include a serving of tempeh in your next recipe for 15 grams of nutritious protein, or snack on some unsalted soy nuts for a nutritious bite between meals.
Don’t view exercise as punishment. Shift your mindset and find a fitness routine that motivates you. Not everyone gets inspired by a rack of weights and a treadmill, and that’s okay. If you struggle with motivation or don’t know where to start, group fitness classes eliminate the guess work by setting a certain time and coaching you through the workout. When exploring your options, find an activity that matches your personality. If you like quiet alone time while you exercise, consider yoga or distance running. If you need something faster paced, look into options like kickboxing or high intensity interval training (HIIT). Regardless of which sport or style inspires you, the important thing is that you get yourself moving at least 30 minutes a day.
Once fitness becomes part of your routine, it’ll be easier to maintain. Whether you get up an hour early to sweat before work or hit the gym once you clock out, build it into your daily schedule. It helps to have a workout buddy to hold you accountable and motivate you on the days you’re lagging. Meal prepping can also be a lifesaver. Make your meals and snacks ahead of time to keep from reaching for chips or cookies in a desperate moment.
The best way to avoid burnout is with balance. Sticking to a schedule and making healthy food choices is important, but so is your sanity. You can chase big fitness goals and still enjoy social nights out with friends and family. If you have an off day, don’t get discouraged. Keep your long-term goals in perspective and get back on track ASAP.
Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food.