Every year we make awesome New Year resolutions. We start like gangbusters, but before long, the resolution fizzles. This year take a different approach. They say to eat an elephant you have to take one bite at a time. If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, improve your fitness level, or improve your brain function, these simple starters will help you reach your goals.
Losing weight can be a daunting challenge but you can use some simple tricks to help you lose pounds and keep them off. Changing just a few eating habits can jump start your weight loss and provide the incentive you need to continue.
Give up soda, even diet soda. The carbonation in soft drinks actually binds to fat cells. When this happens weight loss slows down. Also, because carbonation is a form of air you are essentially ingesting air. Ingesting air causes bloat in the gastrointestinal tract and slows down digestion, which is another important factor in weight loss.
Eat less fast food, which is a prime source of fats and salt. The taste for fat is usually strong, so this will take some will power. However, once you make healthier choices, like fresh sandwiches or salads, you will lose your taste for fat. This will make losing weight simpler.
Increasing your fitness level will help you lose weight and generally feel better about yourself. As you increase your fitness level, you build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat. It is said you cannot spot reduce, but you can build muscle in your problem areas. An easy start it to do strength building exercises. So reach for some hand weights and hit those problem areas.
If back fat makes you crazy, try the dead lift. A dead lift is simple but challenging. Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Grasp dumbbells to sides. Tighten your abs. Keeping your knees straight, lower dumbbells to top or sides of feet by bending at the waist. Lift dumbbells by extending hips and waist until standing upright. Pull shoulders back if rounded. Start with five to ten repetitions, and work up to three sets of ten.
To flatten your lower abs, try the frog. This exercise is simple, challenging, and flattens the transverse muscle, which is a core muscle in the front and sides of the abdomen. Lay flat on the floor. Lift your legs slightly, bend knees outward and touch the bottoms of your feet together. In this position, lift and lower legs, keeping your back pressed into the floor and using your ab muscles to keep you steady. Start with one set of ten, and work up to three sets of ten.
Exrx offers more ideas for strength building exercise. Choose the example for female or male, Click on your problem area, and read the suggested exercises.
There are two simple ways to improve brain function. First, start doing crossword puzzles. Begin with simple crosswords; crossword puzzles increase your verbal communication skills, reduce the risks of developing dementia, improve memory and brain function, and improve the speed of thinking and talking. The key element of a crossword puzzle is to activate the brain and seek patterns. Next, spend some time listening to instrumental music. Instrumental music has a positive effect on the brain, enhancing abstract reasoning skills and cognitive development. This type of music also helps you relax, and has been shown to strengthen the immune system.