Getting an Early Start on Your Resolutions

It’s mid-December, and I’m still torn on what my 2013 New Year’s fitness resolutions will be. I have a standing invitation to run the Boston Marathon with a friend this April. It would be my first-ever marathon, and running the Fab FiveThons (Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London and New York) is on my life bucket list. But, I also just found out that the qualifying time for automatic entry into the New York Marathon is to run a sub–1:30 half marathon. That would mean that I have to cut 4 minutes and 5 seconds off of my current best time. Difficult, but achievable.

We have just short of three weeks until the New Year, and maintaining a healthier lifestyle tends to dominate everyone’s list of resolutions. With that in mind, there’s no harm in getting a jump on keeping fit:

(I started training for Boston over the weekend. But Day 1 and Day 2 were rest days.)

Set a tangible goal that gets you excited. Want to lose five pounds? Be able to run a mile without stopping? Qualify for a marathon? Know that achieving your goal is your reward. Similarly, set a time to work out, and don’t let anything change your mind. If hitting the gym becomes a part of your daily routine, it’s harder to find excuses to skip it.

It’s the little things that matter. You know how you spend $4 on a daily specialty caffeine fix? And after a workweek you’ve spent $20 on coffee? Up to $1,040 total in a year? The same “it-all-adds-up” philosophy can apply to exercise. When not having enough time is an issue, devote yourself to a quick routine. Something as small as pushups in the morning and sit-ups at night is completely doable.

Go to the free fitness classes at Lululemon in East Hampton. It still amazes me that a major chain not only stays open seven days a week in the offseason but also shows a serious effort to be involved in the local community. It’s awesome that a business based in Vancouver, Canada “gets” that there are local East Enders who would love to take advantage of the type of activities that primarily only dominate summer schedules. Let’s prove them right.

(Also, take a look at Lululemon’s “Manifesto.” It’s hard not to feel positive when reading the carpe-diem-esque quotes. Having a good attitude is key to meeting goals.)

Try skiing. Or snowboarding. (According to LiveStrong.com, a 155-pound person can burn between 350 and 560 calories an hour while skiing.) This year, I resolve to ski for the first time since high school. I don’t think it will be pretty. But it will be a bargain thanks to Liftopia.com, a slopes discount website that I’ve been meaning to try. I remember reading about the site somewhere last year—you buy your tickets at Liftopia before you head to the mountain, and you can save a significant percentage off of the (North)face value. The stipulations: Once you buy, you’re locked in to the date. And the tickets can to sell out quickly.

Eat breakfast. I think the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been sufficiently and annoyingly pounded into everyone’s head. After discovering that I was allergic to peanut butter, I painfully searched for a breakfast that was as quick, portable and nutritious as a peanut butter sandwich, and I think I’ve finally found it: (Modified) Huevos Rancheros.

Hard boil some eggs at the beginning of the week. In the morning, throw a sliced egg on a whole wheat tortilla, melt cheddar cheese on top, add some veggies, and top off with salsa. Yum!

Lastly, everything in moderation. There’s no harm in indulging in holiday treats every once in awhile.

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