Happy New Year! If you are like most of the population, you have already started the year breaking your resolutions.
Congratulations! You now have the rest of the year to accomplish your goals. That really takes the pressure off, doesn't it?
Here are my top five zen fitness tips for a new you this year:
1. Visualize your best self. A great way to start the year is by creating a vision board with images of things that motivate and inspire you. Everything from Blake Lively's sleek legs, to a mountain top in nature. Words like "Bring it on!" or "Yes" may inspire you. Allow these images to stimulate your dreams. Everything I have ever accomplished began with visualizing it first. What you see can evoke an emotion, and with that, you become motivated. Emotion is energy in motion.
2. Move your body for one hour a day. It doesn't matter if it's Hot Yoga, Soul Cycle, or my hybrid yoga-workout Yogalosophy. Explore until you find what you love. Mix it up if you'd like. One of my best girlfriends, Ricki Lake, has tried everything from aerial yoga to Dancing With the Stars. The point is not to overthink it—just pick something and move it!
3. Make a workout date. One of the most important things that Jennifer Aniston or Kate Beckinsale do with me weekly is schedule their workouts. As incidental as it may sound, planning your workout is just as important as a business meeting or scheduling soccer practice for your child. You must make your body a priority, and clear some time and space to take care of your well-being. Treat this just like a work appointment. Online classes or routines, like this Total Body Toning Yoga Workout I created, are available to you at any time, and many of them are free. So, choose the time in advance. For me, if I don't decide when I am going to exercise, chances are, I won't.
4. Hydrate. You've seen the Smartwater ads, haven't you? That should inspire you to drink at least two liters of water daily. Your body is composed of 80 percent water, and many times when you think you are hungry, you are actually dehydrated. Whatever your body weight is, divide that number in half, and that's the amount of ounces you should be drinking daily. For example, if you're 140 pounds, 70 ounces of water is your minimum. In addition to water, add two cups of green tea for the antioxidants and a 16-ounce green veggie juice. Not only will this hydrate you, it will flush out all of the toxins that may have accumulated during the holidays and it will oxygenate your blood while you drink in your healthy nutrients.
5. Start your day with protein. Starving yourself is not a good way to lose weight or get in shape, as it causes your body's metabolism to slow down. It's important to feed your muscles a protein breakfast, which will also help to reduce your sugar cravings. If you don't have the time for a full meal, then start the day with a protein shake. There are plenty of options out there—whey, rice protein, and pea protein are all options that work. Blend with frozen fruit and almond milk and sweeten with stevia. Deliciousness.
Remember that your body is a work in progress and wellness is a choice you can make daily. Living a healthy lifestyle is not a number on a scale, but a feeling that emanates from within.
Pretty soon, those little short-term goals reap big rewards in 2013!
Mandy Ingber is a celebrity fitness & wellness expert and author of Yogalosophy: 28-Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover. Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale and Helen Hunt have all credited Mandy for their A-list bodies. Connect with Mandy via Facebook and Twitter.