Back in the saddle
Life hacks for getting back into a healthy routine
Happy New Year! Déjà vu? I’m saying it again because in this house, you can choose a fresh start whenever you want. I’ve told myself “Happy New Year!” at least four times this week, and it’s done wonders in reducing that “new year, new me” pressure.
It’s all about taking things one step at a time. That’s our theme for today—from getting back into a fitness routine to upleveling your productivity game. Let’s do it!
Our answer: Let’s think back to one of the stars of the Scholastic book fair—the tortoise (of The Tortoise and the Hare fame) said it best. Slow and steady wins the race.
You might be tempted to hit the ground running sprinting. But take it from our resident Olympic gold medalist…going too hard on day one of a new routine can make day two extra painful.
So take it slow! Here are a few ideas for easing back into a fitness routine:
Make a list of everything you enjoy doing in your workouts and try one of those things at a time. You may find your body responds differently than it used to when running or lifting heavy weights, for example.
Incorporate flexibility, both in your schedule and in your warm-up. Practice patience and try not to compare yourself to others or even to the you of yesteryear. Your former 6-days-a-week 5am HIIT class may be an ideal you have to work back up to, especially if you’re still recovering from something. Start with the widely recommended 3–4 workouts per week and go from there.
Try something new. Maybe pilates or rock climbing was never on your radar before, but science shows that variety in your exercise routine actually creates a new stimulus in your brain—which means better results overall.
My favorite check-ins while I’m working out? Am I having fun? Does this feel good? Would another kind of exercise be more satisfying or interesting? Never be afraid to change it up!
Our answer: Productivity and focus are muscles (I’m sensing a theme today?) that require exercise to get stronger. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at ticking those items off your to-do list.
A great way to start is with one of our team’s favorite mantras: Less is more.
Sure, multitasking is great sometimes, like when you’re listening to a podcast (may we offer a recommendation?) and folding laundry. But other times? That multitasking you think you’re nailing can actually leave you more distracted and less productive.
Instead, choose just 1–2 of things to get done and focus on those. You might also feel less stressed if you pare your to-do list down to “really have to get done today” and “this can wait for tomorrow” items.
We’re also big fans of working in small bursts (Pomodoro technique, anyone?). It’s been proven to be more effective for both productivity and creativity. And I can’t be the only one who made it through chemistry in college with the “20 minutes on, 5 minutes off” strategy.
And one last idea? Seeing red and blue may stimulate your brain, spark creativity, and increase your attention to detail. Try adding red and blue to your workspace or any of these other hacks from the experts.
Submit a question to be featured in a future Q&A here.
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2023 lifestyle trends report. I’m a sucker for predictions and there were a few on this list that made me all 🤯. Supposedly, vibes are out, shoelaces are disappearing forever, and we’ll finally start to talk to each other again IRL this year?
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You do you. Feel free to celebrate as many new years as you want this month (and beyond.) Have a great weekend!