January will be over before you know it, and New Years resolution rage will die down. Thankfully, so will the talk of New Years health challenges. Don't get me wrong, I am all about making healthy food choices and working out, but a lot of what goes on around New Years in terms of health is to the extreme.

Going to the Extreme

A lot of people make unrealistic resolutions like "I'm not going to eat carbs" or "No sweets for me at all this year" or "I'm going to workout for an hour every single day." While it is totally awesome to want to be healthier and set goals for yourself, this is not the best way to go about it. When making a health and/or fitness goal, what you should shoot for is sustainability. Sure, you may lose weight at first if you don't eat dessert and workout every day, but you may only be able to healthily maintain that lifestyle for a short while. 


Social media takes New Years health and fitness challenges to a new level of outrageous. They suck in novice gym goers with "30 Day New Years Workout Challenge," "Squat Challenges," and promises of a "flat tummy" by doing a 10 minute workout or drinking a tea. Most of these challenges are just fads, and will do little to actually help anyone become healthier in the new year. The good thing about these challenges is that it can potentially open new opportunities for some people to learn more about healthy habits and fitness. However completing, for example, 5 minutes of "fat blasting six pack" workouts or "booty burners" while eating nothing but lettuce will not make you healthy physically or mentally. Then you may end up stuffing your face with chocolate to cope with not wanting to workout anymore or something less dramatic.

Making it Sustainable and Maintainable

To make your New Years health challenge a little more realistic and effective, make them specific and maintainable. If you have never worked out at a gym before, and your new year's resolution is to go to the gym for an hour everyday and have no plan, you may get discouraged or burned out or aggravated.

Ellen Gibbs

Try for example setting specific days for specific workouts, and don't plan on doing 100 squats a day every day for the whole year. Think about your long term health, your happiness, and prioritize feeling great, and this year will be your healthiest yet.