Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My New Year's Fitness Challenge

This new year will be a big one. I'm turning the big 4-0 in March. It's a going to be big year, a big big year. One of my new year's resolutions is to be fit and fabulous for my big day. I went to my gym this morning for a fitness assessment. No surprise here - I still need to loose weight. About 10 pounds. My problem is when the holidays rolled around, I was consumed with indulging with eating and drinking to my merry delight. I find it very hard to stay focused on being super healthy when you're super busy with family, friends and holiday parties.

To accomplish my fitness and health goals, I've come up with a short to-do list to help me. I've already started on a couple. I want to feel healthy and stronger this year. Hopefully some of these will help you stay true to your resolutions too.

1. Balance my workouts with more cross training. For much of the past year, my time has been split between taking amazing spin classes and running. My legs are pretty strong but the rest of me can certainly use a little bit more attention. I want to not only increase my workout's level of intensity, but I also want to change my routine up and not play favorites with my exercises. I've recently incorporated Pilates into my regime, and, as a result I'm starting to stand a little bit taller, my shoulder back a little bit more. I also want to incorporate more resistance training.

2. Have fun while exercising. This is what keeps me coming back for more. Sometimes I create secret games during my workouts. Whether I'm on the treadmill and racing myself or the person next to me or going head-to-head with the class superstar, I'll be all the better for it. I also plan on doing more activities outside when the weather gets warmer. This includes going on hikes this summer in Harriman State Park and cycling more outside with the New York Cycle Club.

3. Eat more seasonal foods from the Farmer's Market. Not only am I supporting local farmers, but I'm eating fresh foods I once took a cooking class at The Institute of Culinary Education where the instructor let the class loose at the Union Square Farmer's Market. We gathered the most unusual collection of fruits and vegetables and cooked it up for a tremendous meal. The flavors that come from fresh ingredients are always so much tastier than anything I've been cooking lately.

I want to use more local ingredients this year from the Union Square Farmer's Market. Click here to see the photo credit.

4. Snack smarter. I'm giving up snacking on comfort foods after dinner and replacing these with healthier alternatives. I know even the tiniest of bites can add up to serious weight gain after awhile. This is going to be a real challenge but I know if I substitute a cup of tea or a piece of fruit it can save me HUNDREDS of calories a day.

5. Focus on attaining one specific fitness goal. I always found this easiest to deal with. Diet and exercising are so much more attainable to achieve when I think of the next hill I need to climb, the next mile I need to run to achieve the big goal. Last year, I completed a triathlon and used that as my fitness goal. The year before it was getting ready for my wedding. This year, I want to be fit and fabulous for my 40th birthday.

Today is day five of the new year. It's a perfect time to set your monthly or quarterly health and fitness goals. Let me know in the comments what you want to achieve this year.


  1. I gotta get into cross-training too.

  2. You always look fit to me. I joined weight watchers on line. oxox Rainie

  3. Hi Jen!
    Nice job. #4 is a good one! You may know that a short time ago, I lost 25 lbs. Thankfully, most of them stayed off. I reduced calories, tried to stop eating processed foods and hit the gym. But most importantly, I cut out the mindless snacking and actually suffered from withdrawal... Now, I do these "scheduled snacks". For example, at 8pm each day, I eat a little fruit or maybe make a smoothie or prepare a wildly flavored tea. It really DOES work and I don't crave the sweets/salt/fat gunk. Granted, I recently fell back to old behaviors which,like Pavlov's dog, are triggered by bells. In this case, it's dinner bells. What's more,I may not even need the bells anymore... Just move your lips.." c h e e s e c a k e ".
    I'm happy to report that today was a success. I did 45 min. of cardio before heading home and enjoying a healthy meal with my man. For snack tonight, a sugar free jello pudding.

    Thank you Jen!


  4. Really good article, thank you for sharing, I will always look at the future, too talented.