Top 25 Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Tips for 2013

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist December 31, 2012

By Fitness Editor Paula Jager, CSCS

In the last post, we were taking the remaining few weeks of the year to reflect, reorganize and reassess where we are, where we want to go and how we’re going to get there.  Did we?  I spent the last few weeks making detailed spreadsheets in Excel of goals as I prefer to call them, strategies and timelines.  I made them in 3 distinct categories:  fitness, career and personal.

While those areas are important other things are often neglected.  When Sarah chose the picture for the first part of this series she was pretty tickled with herself as she told me about it.  Little did she know how appropriate it actually was.  I had to laugh when I saw it but what a coincidence that that was something I had recently chose to work on for the New Year. . .

. . . “inner peace”.  It’s not that I’m unhappy–not at all. I am blessed and have a great life.  I have health, a job I love, a wonderful husband and parents and a community of friends that are incredible.  I’m far from wealthy but I have adequate income to pay my mortgage and put grass-fed beef on the table on a regular basis.

But I do need to slow down and breathe, taking time to just enjoy the moment.  No, I’m not giving up weights and doing solely yoga.  I had to laugh when I was in our local health food store the other day and a gentleman stopped me (he was giving a blood analysis) and said, “Breathe; you have type A stamped on your forehead!”

Whoa, am I that obvious?  I laughed and so did he but he was right.  Life is not a race.

As this column generally does relate to fitness I would like to share my personal top 25 tips on training, nutrition and lifestyle to help you meet your goals in 2013.      

Top 25 Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle Tips for 2013

  1. Don’t skip the warm up:  Warm up properly before your workout by raising core body temperature along with a few light sets of appropriate exercises to prepare the body for the work to come and avoid injury.
  2. Let the pink dumbbells go ladies:  Don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights, that will help you look better, feel better and build stronger bones.  Gentlemen–the heavy weights apply to you also.
  3. Compound it:  Don’t waste your time on too many isolation exercises; get more bang for the buck by sticking primarily to squats, presses, bench and deadlifts.
  4. Get your heart rate up aka “moving”:   Effort + intensity = results; stick mainly to interval training or metabolic conditioning as opposed to long, slow distance training.
  5. Call for back up:   Balance your core work with back extensions, glute ham raises and kb or db swings in addition to abdominal workAnd make sure you squeeze it!  Your arse that is; the glutes are a part of the core–squeeze them tightly during heavy lifts to increase stability.
  6. Birds of a feather. . .:  Don’t waste your time at the gym chatting with those that don’t work hard.  Train with intense like minded individuals who are equally passionate about achieving their goals.
  7. Lose the shoes:  Or, at least the platform sneakers; switch to a minimalist shoe to get the most out of your lifting and running workouts.
  8. Variety is the spice of life:  Vary your workouts; strength days, metabolic conditioning days and combo days for the best results.
  9. Fuel your machine:   If you’re a hard training athlete aim for 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight from pastured animals and wild seafood.
  10. Sugar & the bitter truth:  As good as it may taste do yourself a favor and take it out.  This includes sodas.  Sugar is addictive, toxic and linked to many diseases. A little raw honey or maple syrup as an occasional treat.
  11. Go organic:  Lose the pesticides by purchasing as many organic fruits and vegetables as you can.  If the bugs won’t eat them why should you.
  12. Smart snacking:  Be prepared by carrying a cooler filled with healthy items like fruit, nuts, veggies, raw cheese and organic deli meats when you’re you’ll on the road or away from home/office.
  13. Immunity, vision, heart and brain health:  Eat garlic, onions and cruciferous veggies along with yellow, orange and reds, blues and purples and plenty of leafy greens to keep your body and mind functioning its best.
  14. Say goodbye to Mickey D:  No fast foods– that goes for Chick-fil-a too which is no better despite what some say!   Make it yourself  - that includes ditching processed and packaged foods.
  15. No artificial sweeteners:  These are not food!  Creepy laboratory products with sketchy safety record.  They have been shown to produce an insulin response.
  16. Leggo the Eggo:   Or muffin, cereal, bread, pasta and pseudocereals.  Limit your grains to traditionally prepared (sprouted, soaked, or sourdough) if you eat them and if you don’t, get your carbohydrates from roots, tubers and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, yucca and plantains instead.  And limit those if your goal is fat loss or you have metabolic derangement.
  17. No nukes:  Don’t microwave your food; use an oven, toaster oven or range top for reheating.  No, it doesn’t take that much time nor is it an inconvenience because it’s healthier.
  18. Dairy:  Go raw from grass-fed cows or ditch it completely.
  19. Spice up your life:   Add spices to your food to give flavor and even burn a little extra fat. Cayenne, mustard, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove will all do the trick depending on the dish.
  20. Go alkaline:  The use of alkaline water has been shown to remove acid wastes, improve immune function and hydration statusMake water your main beverage; aim for about ½ oz per pound of bodyweight a day.
  21. Declutter your home/work space:  Having excess “junk” around makes it hard to think and be productive.  Start your spring cleaning early by getting rid of stuff you don’t use.
  22. Chill out:  Schedule down time into your daily/weekly planner.  It will save your sanity.  You will never get it all done; the list will never be all crossed off.  You will be more productive and refreshed after down time.
  23. Black Out:  Use black out curtains in your bedroom for a sound nights sleep, cover all LCD monitors so that the room is pitch black and aim for 8-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
  24. Help the environment:  Switch to all natural cosmetics and bath products along with all natural cleaning products for the home
  25. Be positive:  It takes more energy to frown and be negative than it does to smile and be positive.

Good luck with your goals and while training, nutrition and health are all very important let us remember to slow down, enjoy the moment and also acquire our “inner peace” along the way.  Happy New Year!

 

Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar in Tampa, FL

Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results
paula@crossfitjaguar.com

 

Comments (21)

  1. Hi Janice! I just found this page a few minutes ago…to all those who don’t know of a great alternative to fake sweeteners…Please try Kal Stevia!! I found this stuff 2 years ago and have never looked back! I cook with it and use it in my teas and coffees! I love love love this stuff. I’ve tried other brands but they’re bitter and I’ve always gone back. I buy it on Amazon for WAY cheaper.

    http://www.amazon.com/Kal-Pure-Stevia-Extract-Powder/dp/B000VRSR84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357324264&sr=8-1&keywords=stevia+powder

    Is steaming some broccoli right quick in the microwave that bad? It’s soo quick to do for part of my lunch before going to work.

    Reply
  2. Juan Antonio Broadway January 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Great article I enjoyed it but one gripe. Where is the time for sex or the topic sex in general. I believe it keeps you healthy too, mentally and physically. Well I’m just saying!

    Reply
  3. paras dews resale January 3, 2013 at 2:05 am

    I have a very sedentary life style and I work in an IT firm I have very little time for exercise and I eat what the caterer at work provides. i dont like to have a fit body and wondered if there is any diet or a fitness regime I could follow to be fit…

    Reply
  4. Hi Paula,

    Just a quick question that is sort of off topic, but I really wanted your opinion. My husbands birthday is coming up and he has mentioned inversion tables to me in the past. I told him I have heard mixed things about them. What is your take? Do you think they are good for the body or dangerous? =)

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle, I don’t have much experience with the inversion tables although I know there are some benefits however they are usually temporary. While it might make one feel better it does not address the root cause.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Top 25 Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Tips for 2013 – The Healthy … | Health Advice

  6. Anyone with adrenal issues (very common in today’s world) will not want to start out at full speed in the gym nor is that ever my advice. They will however still want to exercise and move. As stated in previous entries on this sugject they should start out slowly, allowing adequate rest between bouts of exercise and follow an appropriate progression. This will help them heal. Failure to not exercise will only exacerbate their current condition often leading to even more weight gain, depression and other health issues.

    Happy New Year!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Top 25 Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Tips for 2013 – The Healthy … | Healthier Eating Tips

  8. Thanks for compiling such a comprehensive and inspiring list. The gradual, stepwise approach mentioned in the comments will help people succeed and stay motivated.

    For me, a kettlebell routine a few times a week is doable because it provides a complete workout in a short amount of time (and is thus more likely to be continued). Plus it can be done any time in the privacy of your own home if you’ve had good instruction, which I’m lucky to have had from one of the top instructors in the country who happens to live here in the Twin Cities (Andrea DuCane).

    Reply
  9. I also agree we should replenish our adrenals before heading to the gym. And one way not to do that is to try to start on all 25 of Paula’s tips at once. A sure way to exhaust yourself and fail and feel much worse. Instead pick one tip that seems pretty easy for you and do that for several weeks. Then add another tip for a few weeks. I believe 4 wks is considered the time it takes to change a habit. Work your way through the list taking on another tip each month or so. Some will be easier than others like making your bedroom dark, or you may already be doing some of them. No matter what, by the end of 2013 you will have adapted at least half of Paula’s list and will be in much healthier shape.
    For those of us who are not Type A’s, (I sometimes think I’m a type Q for quiet) attempting to do all these things is overwhelming. I know I look at the list and think, “Why even try?” Fortunately I have already spent the last 2 years making many of the changes on Paula’s list, especially numbers 10 thru 25. It wasn’t always easy as some of the changes required research and experimenting to figure out how to do, like cooking without a microwave after years of just nuking my food, or how to eat lunch without just grabbing a sandwich or a drive thru meal. I’m still not perfect when it comes to food, but I would say 90% of the time I can stick with all those items. And I feel so much better for it. So now, since the food thing is pretty normal for me, and the house has much less clutter, I will be focusing more on the exercise end of things. Not something I like at all, but a necessary part to my being much healthier. So here’s wishing all of us much success in our goals for 2013, whether we do only one, or a few, or the entire list.

    Reply
    • Regarding Alkaline Water & how much water to drink; I’m more of a naturalist, so when I hear Alkaline water, I guess I just assumed that meant water with lemon, lime, cucumber, or anything else that would raise its ph. I get my water from the springs, and wouldn’t want it to go through a machine or have anything change its molecular structure before entering my body. As for how much water to drink, many studies have shown that there is no exact amount, and it differs from person to person. This is b/c some people’s skin dehydrates faster than others, as well as things like salt intake, caffeine, where you live, etc. Overall great article, and Happy New Year!!

      Reply
      • Don’t drink any. It will cause you to be dehydrated and toxic.Alkaline water machines. I am aware of two kinds of alkaline water systems, neither of which I recommend. One type uses tap water, which is filtered with carbon. This is inadequate to remove metals and chemicals. The water then passes over platinum and titanium plates to alter the pH. This is done by introducing a few atoms of platinum into the water. This is a deadly toic metal. It create a very toxic, artificially alkaline water that still contains most tap water toxins as well. Long term use is terrible. The other type of alkaline water units re perhaps worse. They begin with reverse osmosis water, to which is added some coral calcium to make it alkaline. The problem is that most coral calcium is from the sea, so it contains a trace of toxic metals. Because of the nature of reverse osmosis water, the toxic metals easily reach the body tissues and the brain, where they cause havoc. Toxicity develops slowly and insidiously. It we eat a balanced diet of meats, essential fatty acids and plenty of steam veggies we do not have to be concerned about alkalinity. Also, we must under what it is in the body that should be alkaline and/or acid. We want our digestive tract, vagina, etc….to lean more on the acid side to keep infections at bay. On a cellular level we want our tissues to lean more toward being alkaline. What people are doing most of the time is alkalizing the intestinal tract and setting up a breeding ground for candida and parasites.

        Reply
  10. Pingback: Top 25 Fitness, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Tips for 2013 | Sculpted Muscles

  11. Completely agree with Gloria on alkaline water and replenishing the adrenals before heading to the gym….but the rest of the article is fantastic!
    Here’s to a healthy, happy 2013 and beyond, for us, our animals and our planet!!!

    Reply
  12. I would have to disagree with this > “Go alkaline: The use of alkaline water has been shown to remove acid wastes, improve immune function and hydration status. Make water your main beverage; aim for about ½ oz per pound of bodyweight a day.” I also believe that most people today need to heal their adrenals before they can exercise as you describe above, they have no vital energy and many people start exercise in hopes of feeling better and they end up worse. We were not meant to exercise vigorous. Walking, riding your bike, swimming, gardening is plenty.

    As for the water > Adults should consume 3 quarts per day of spring water. My family and I drink spring water from glass bottles that does not have fluoride etc..added to water.

    Alkaline water machines. I am aware of two kinds of alkaline water systems, neither of which I recommend. One type uses tap water, which is filtered with carbon. This is inadequate to remove metals and chemicals. The water then passes over platinum and titanium plates to alter the pH. This is done by introducing a few atoms of platinum into the water. This is a deadly toic metal. It create a very toxic, artificially alkaline water that still contains most tap water toxins as well. Long term use is terrible. The other type of alkaline water units re perhaps worse. They begin with reverse osmosis water, to which is added some coral calcium to make it alkaline. The problem is that most coral calcium is from the sea, so it contains a trace of toxic metals. Because of the nature of reverse osmosis water, the toxic metals easily reach the body tissues and the brain, where they cause havoc. Toxicity develops slowly and insidiously. It we eat a balanced diet of meats, essential fatty acids and plenty of steam veggies we do not have to be concerned about alkalinity. Also, we must under what it is in the body that should be alkaline and/or acid. We want our digestive tract, vagina, etc….to lean more on the acid side to keep infections at bay. On a cellular level we want our tissues to lean more toward being alkaline. What people are doing most of the time is alkalizing the intestinal tract and setting up a breeding ground for candida and parasites.

    Thinking positive excellent recommendation because it also helps to alkalize the body on a cellular level.

    Reply
    • Hi Gloria, I disagree with you. Alkaline water, at least natural water with salty minerals is good for health. I live near the sea, and when I get sick I drink some water from the ocean and it heals me. I also lived on a big city (at sea level too)where water is not drink from the plumbing system, but from bottle water(purified on plant) and my performance is not as good it should be.

      Alkaline water helps to retain more fluids than normal water.
      Janice Roberts\’s last post: How to get rid of your snoring problems

      Reply
      • Hey drink it and when you end up dehydrated and full of metal toxicity that depresses your adrenals and thyroid ……..you find out that I was right! I did the research and my son also lived on a farm where they drinking alkalized water and saw the negative effects it had on all of them except my son who didn’t drink it. To each his own, you’ll find out the hard way. I also have a degree in science which I believe gave me the ability to research this a bit deeper than the average person. Good Luck!

        Reply

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