Try these actually doable resolutions to reinvent your life.
New Year resolutions - what a love-hate relationship we have with them. Research shows that 30 per cent of people make and then break them within two weeks.
The secret to making plans that stick? Set smaller, short-term goals, say experts. You can then move on to bigger milestones after that.
To give you a headstart, we have rounded up 19 manageable to-dos that will put you on track to becoming your ﬁttest, healthiest, leanest and most radiant self.
MAKE FITNESS A REALITY
1 Start HIIT
High intensity interval training is one of the best methods for boosting fat loss and increasing metabolism. Aim for two HIIT sessions a week with a couple of rest days in between. Don’t know where to start? Try Pure Fitness’ Tabata class - a high-intensity interval training circuit. Each exercise lasts four minutes, with eight intervals of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest.
2 Change things up
Keeping things same-old can lead you to a plateau fast. Give your body a challenge by trying a variety of different workouts. Avid runners can make a weekly beeline for the yoga studio while devoted yogis should inject some cardio workouts into their routine for example. To make things simpler, many studios such as Breathe Pilates and gyms like True Fitness off er a variety of classes to keep things interesting for everyone.
3 Let your workout gear motivate you
When you’re feeling lacklustre, dressing up for your gym sesh can ﬁre up your performance. Choose clothing pieces that make you look good and feel inspired. We love Under Armour’s Misty Copeland Signature Collection – it was designed by the ﬁrst African American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland herself. And for a dash of fun, check out DKNY Sport’s Holiday 2018 collection featuring colourblocked pieces in vibrant hues.
4 Sign up for a race
And do it with a friend, for good measure. Prepping for an event, like our annual Shape Run is one of the best ways to get you pumped up about training. There are tons of mobile apps that can help get you started. A beginner app like Couch to 5K will turn sedantary folks to competent runners; an advanced program like RunKeeper can help you work towards personal bests.
5 Take a cold shower after working out
Cold water has been found to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, soreness and weakness, helping you to recover faster. Can’t stand the chill? Try compression garments Adidas’ new Alphaskin tights ($65, Adidas) to get similar beneﬁts.
6 Ask for help
Still not seeing results after months of working out? It may be time to rope in a personal trainer who can draw up a realistic and results-driven plan to reach your ﬁtness goals. A trainer will also ensure you do all your workouts in the right form. For a convenient option, enquire about training sessions at a centrally located gym like Swissotel Merchant Court’s 24-hour ﬁtness centre, which offers a package of ﬁve 60-minute sessions at $475.
7 Hate running? Try walking
Some studies have suggested that clocking 10,000 steps - equivalent to about 8 km - every day can result in lowered blood pressure and improved blood sugar levels. If 10,000 sounds like a lot, you can start small. When you join the Health Promotion Board’s National Steps Challenge, you receive reward points for getting in at least 5,000 steps a day. These points can be used to redeem discounts on your shopping. To participate, install the Healthy 365 mobile app and pair it with your ﬁtness tracking device.
8 Banish your phone before bed
For a better night’s rest, turn your phone offor leave it outside the bedroom before hitting the sack. “Too much blue light from devices at bedtime affect melatonin production, giving your body the impression that you aren’t ready for sleep,” explains Guardian pharmacist Tiah Hui Xian. Poor sleep quality can lead to weight gain and poor performance the next day. Plus, blue light rays can also harm your skin and cause premature ageing, she adds.
9 Cut down on acidic foods for better teeth
Food acids are commonly found in soft drinks, juices, vinegar and even white wines, says Dr Yue Weng Cheu, clinical director at DP Dental. “Consume these moderately, and wait at least 30 minutes after a meal before brushing your teeth,” he advises. The reason: it takes time for saliva to restore acidity levels in the mouth. Then ﬁnish up the teeth cleaning with a well-designed toothbrush. Try Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Sonic ($399, electronics stores), which boasts soft ﬂexible bristles to remove more plaque.
10 Wash your hands before touching your contact lenses
Poor hygiene is a prime cause of corneal infection which affects roughly four in 10,000 soft contact lens wearers and 22 in 10,000 extended contact lens wearers, according to the Singapore National Eye Centre. If you can’t reduce your wear time, switch to dailies. A good option is Alcon’s dailies Total1 Multifocal ($98 per box), which boasts super high water content levels on the surface for more comfort and clear vision.
11 Have more “me time”
Carving out time alone has been found to improve productivity and increase feelings of happiness and gratitude. It can be as simple as setting aside ﬁve minutes to meditate every morning or rewarding yourself with a spa weekend. If you are crunched for time, try scheduling a quick facial or foot soak after your gym session at the one-stop Amore Fitness & Boutique Spa, located at various locations in Singapore.
12 Throw open your windows
Researchers at the University of Oregon found that a sunlit room allowed just 6.8 per cent of bacteria to reproduce as compared to 12 per cent in a dark room. Not only is natural light great for keeping spaces clean, it improves your overall mood as well.
13 Go organic if you can
A new French study analysing data from 69,000 people found that those who ate the most organic foods lowered their risk of cancer by 25 per cent. But while going organic is an option for those who can afford it, that doesn’t mean the rest of us should stop buying non-organic fruits and vegetables as they are proven to reduce your chances of chronic disease and cancer, say.
BE A GLOW GETTER
14 Throw out expired products
Old, forgotten, half-used products make perfect breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause breakouts and eye infections. Toss ﬂuid formulas that have changed in colour or smell; and mascaras and liquid eyeliners are good for up to six months once opened. Powder-based products like blush, lipsticks and gloss can last two to three years.
15 Wash your face at the gym
A clear complexion begins with good hygiene. After a sweaty workout sesh, your hands and face will have picked up nasty germs from equipment or the mat. No matter how tempting it is to just pick up your bags and go, it pays to spend the extra two minutes at the sink. A handy mess-free cleanser pack in your gym bag: Suisai Beauty Clear Powder ($27 for a pack of 32, Welcia BHG), a gentle cleansing powder that comes in individual capsules.
16 Swim with wet hair
Wet your locks with tap water before jumping into the pool. This way, it’ll be harder for hair to soak up damaging chemicals. And to prevent tresses from drying out, shampoo thoroughly right after your swim.
17 Don’t skip moisturiser
Even oily skin types need a good hydrator. Over time, dry parched skin will give way to early wrinkles and blotchiness. Good options include: Curel Aging Care Gel-Cream ($46.80, Watsons), a ceramidespacked formula that spreads like a lightweight serum; and Eversoft Skinz Hydra Moisturising Emulsion ($43.90, personal care stores), containing a blend of nutrientsﬁ lled bamboo extract water from Korea, argan oil and other plant ingredients.
18 Clean your makeup brushes
Not only do unwashed makeup brushes transfer germs to your skin, they become stiff and difficult to use with product build-up. At least once a month, clean your brushes with baby shampoo and warm water. Try to keep the metal base away from water or hair bristles may loosen and fall off .
19 Rinse your hair in cold water
The lower temperature will seal off cuticles and give your hair a natural shine, sans costly salon treatments. Double up the effect with a rich hair treatment like Bioliss Botanical Conditioner (Extra Damage Repair) ($16.90, Don Don Donki), which nourishes with coldpressed nut oils and other essential oils.