A few days ago, I had a brief discussion with another blogging friend about how some people select a word as inspiration for their lives in the new year. I have never done this per se, but after giving some thought to what I would like to see for myself in the coming year, “Healthy” would actually be a good word for me personally right now. Of course, “Healthy” doesn’t mean only physical health, as I want to apply it to just about every area of my life… spiritual health, emotional health, etc. But for this post, I want to focus on physical health, since this is something on many of our minds in the month of January, especially concerning healthy eating and exercise. For me, physical health also helps me to be healthy in all other aspects of my life, too.
I’ve had much success over the past two years in staying on a healthier, low-carb eating plan. During the holidays this year, I did not gain as many pounds as I did last year as I endured a stressful few months while dealing with Mom’s illness and death and did not focus as much on my diet. This year, I didn’t give myself a pass from the eating plan, with the exception of Thanksgiving week and the two weeks at Christmas and New Year’s. While we haven’t resumed our low-carb diet 100% yet, I’m looking forward to resuming it consistently because I know how much better I will feel once I do that and how much better my clothes will fit long-term. February 1 is our target date to be 100% back on our diet, and we are both good with that target date as we are already easing into it anyway once again and are largely there already.
For more information on a low-carb lifestyle, see my page
My Low-carb Lifestyle
I also plan to explore more new low-carb recipes for us this year. Sometimes keeping it simple with some tried and true meals is a good, safe option, but hopefully I will have more time this year to explore new recipes and expand our favorites list. I hope to find more good, easy low(er) carb recipes that can be prepared in under an hour from start to table, and if we can eat two or three meals from one preparation, so much the better. I hope to find one new, awesome low-carb recipe per week, and I plan to share some of the best ones here for others to enjoy, too.
Daily walking is thankfully one healthy practice that I have done consistently since June when I purchased my Fitbit Charge HR. Honestly, this has been such a great thing for me, and it is a daily habit now. I cannot recommend Fitbit tracking enough, as it has been a great accountability tool for me, not only in tracking steps, but tracking my heart rate and calories burned each day. I believe that Fitbit walking and tracking is one reason that I did not gain as much weight during the holidays this year, too. My exercise goal for the coming year is to just continue my daily walking, while getting back to the gym a little more regularly for additional workouts.
If you don’t own a Fitbit or desire to purchase one, let me just make a simple recommendation that works for me on days when I’m not very motivated to walk. Let’s call it my “3/30 Rule.” My “3/30 Rule” for daily walking is simply walking briskly for three minutes in every thirty-minute time period during the day from the time I get up to one hour after dinner. I typically walk about 330 steps in a three-minute period when walking briskly, and it also allows me to elevate my heart rate throughout the day, not just once or twice a day. I actually set a thirty-minute timer as a reminder at home to walk on the days that I’m mostly at home for the day. Like I said, this is not how I typically walk on most days, as I prefer to have at least one longer walk outside, at the gym or other locations around town, but it is a simple way to add lots of steps in a single day.
Wonder how many steps this “3/30 Rule” will get you in a typical day? Here is how it works for me. In twelve hours, walking for three minutes every thirty minutes, I usually walk just under 8000 steps! When trying to meet a goal of 10,000 steps each day, this gets me 80% of the way to my goal. When I add in all of my other steps, I’m at or well past the 10,000 step goal. In fact, I hope to even up my weekly step goal this year, too. As a side note, as you can see in the photo above, I walked over 29,000 steps on the first day we shoveled snow here and burned over 3000 calories! I knew this information, thanks to my handy Fitbit, and it was a little “reward” of sorts for all that hard work and all the aching muscles I had afterward.
One more way to add steps each day is simply parking far away from the front door of the store you are visiting. We made this change last year, even before I purchased my Fitbit, and it is something we just do by habit now. Not only is it easier to not “fight” for a closer parking space, we both get those extra steps in, and it’s also easier to leave the parking lot most of the time, too. We both wonder why we always tried to park closer now, and perhaps this is just a little wisdom with age?
Finally, we hope to resume a more regular RV travel schedule this year, getting back to a monthly outing to help with our exercise goals. We may even make more Saturday day trips by car with the dogs, just to do some hiking. These trips may not happen until March 1 or later this year, but we will do our best to get back out in nature more and back to our hiking and bicycle riding which does us so much good from a health standpoint. We are definitely missing our RV weekends and RV vacation weeks right now, especially after missing our traditional full week away after Christmas due to the blizzard. Hubby’s nephew and his family also purchased a really nice, big pop-up camper late last year, and we are looking forward to camping with them on occasion going forward. We love showing family and friends the beautiful state parks that we love to visit regularly.
I have other ideas and goals for this year, including ideas for working on the house, progressing in my photography and visiting some new destinations, but once again, taking care of my physical health is right up there toward the top of my list.