It’s the new year and January is always the best time to take stock, look at what you’ve been doing and make some changes where necessary. And that applies as much to your workouts and diet as anything!

So I’m going to look at a few ways you can freshen and fire your body up this early in 2016 and set you on the path to a health year!

How to move

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Do it in threes…

Any workout has three variables: weights, intensity, and volume. To keep your body guessing, focus on one variable per workout:

Increase the weight but lower the number of reps one day; lower your standard weight but add a set the next; use your standard weight but do more reps faster on another.

Short-circuit your routine

Blast fat with a circuit that includes strength training and cardio:

Do a set of push-ups, jump rope for a minute, do a set of squats, jump rope again; continue to alternate strength and cardio.

You are building muscle while keeping your heart rate high.

Use your body weight

Body weight training is really effective and can be done anywhere, at any time!

Since you are using your best tool, which is your own body, you will burn major calories, increase in fitness, increase your strength, improve your mobility and build great core muscles!

And it’s completely free!

So pick a few challenging body weight exercises such as burpees, squat jumps, push ups, knee highs, jumping jacks, lunges, plank taps.

Make up a workout and try 45sec or 1 min of each.

change fitness routine_2What to eat…

Minimize refined carbs

Out: most breads, cookies, chocolate, white rice, nearly every cereal and anything with corn syrup or sugar. As soon as you swallow a refined carb, it starts to spike your blood sugar, which produces excess insulin, a hormone that can be responsible for holding on to fat stores.

Eat five times a day 

That means three meals and two snacks: one between breakfast and lunch, and one between lunch and dinner. You’ll have a steady stream of energy; plus, less food more often isn’t as taxing on your digestive system as three big meals, adding that five daily feedings stabilizes your blood sugar, so you won’t have crazy mood swings or hunger pangs.

Up your protein

A Zone-inspired diet – a balance of protein, complex carbs, and fat in every meal and snack – to protect against insulin overload. The benefit of high-quality protein, like chicken, turkey, and low-fat Greek yogurt: It contains amino acids, which help muscles recover after workouts.

Limit you liquids

Ditch juices, vanilla lattes and sodas – all have unneeded sugar and calories. You drink for three reasons  – if you’re thirsty, drink water. If you need stimulation, drink black coffee. If you want to take the edge off, choose a vodka martini or a similar non-mixed simple drink. In other words, no mojitos!

Connect with Expert Denise Grixti.

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