A new year means it’s your time to shine! Whether you’re looking to kick your fitness up a notch, get leaner, improve your diet, or just feel a little better each and every day, now’s the time to get started. We can help. We enlisted top trainer and health coach Autumn Calabrese., creator of the 21 Day Fix program, to give us her favorite go-to workout that you can do virtually anywhere, along with some of her top healthy-living tips. Plus, we’ve added strategies from more than a dozen other experts on workouts, nutrition, health, beauty, and more. Ready for 2019? You totally got this.
1. Drink More Water (a lot more)There’s a magical potion that you can drink to flush out toxins, improve your complexion, prevent cramps, and increase brainpower and energy. It’s called water. Aim for half your body weight in ounces per day, advises Calabrese. For a 140-pound woman, that’s about a half-gallon.
2. HIIT It, Then Quit It
Your workouts don’t have to last hours and hours to be effective. The best way to pack a lot of exercise into a small amount of time is with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Try this routine from New York City–based trainer Melanie Kotcher. It requires no equipment and takes a mere 12 minutes. If you’re doing it right, it’ll leave you exhausted—and a little sore the next day.
Do each of the following moves with maximum effort for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds: plank jacks, high knees, oblique mountain climbers, jumping jacks, pushups to side planks, squat jumps, Spider-Man pushups, burpees. Do this three times.
3. Overhaul Your Freezer
Get rid of the tubs of ice cream and pizza rolls. Replace them with frozen veggies like corn, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peas, and spinach. “They’re rich in nutrients, and they’re easy to heat in the microwave,” says Carol Aguirre, R.D. “For flavor, add some pepper, herbs, lemon juice, or balsamic vinegar.”
4. Start a Workout Streak
The biggest key to a life-changing year of fitness is consistency, notes Hannah Davies, creator of the BBH. Fit online training studio. It’s not about completing one phenomenal workout; it’s about completing multiple solid workouts per week, every week. In 2019, commit to training at least three times per week, and see how many weeks in a row you can keep it going. (If three seems too easy, go for four or five.) And remember—each session doesn’t have to be an epic three-hour sweatathon. A 15-minute, two-move circuit at home still counts!
5. Mix Up Your Training Week
Your active-recovery day shouldn’t be the one time you see the outside of a gym all week, says trainer Dan Roberts, C.S.C.S. “Most of us train too rigidly, splitting training days into body parts or being too focused on one methodology,” he says. To give you and your muscles some variety, Roberts advises employing a cross-expert split every now and then. “The trick is to mix different disciplines that challenge the body in different ways,” he explains. “You’ll vary both the muscles and the energy systems that your body uses.” For example, try the following seven-day split for a couple of weeks every so often. And if you like it, stick with it.
- Monday: Strength train
- Tuesday: Long slow bike ride or run
- Wednesday: Martical Arts
- Thursday: Dance
- Friday: Plyometrics
- Saturday: Olympic Lifting
- Sunday: Yoga
6. Make Every Move a Core Move
Next time you’re doing a squat, hold a dumbbell in only one of your hands. “You will challenge your core stability and train your midsection in a smart and effective way,” notes Idalis Velazquez, a Beachbody trainer and creator of Mes de Más. You’ll also keep your upper body engaged while targeting your legs and glutes.
7. Think Outside the Cereal Box
News Flash: Your first meal of the day doesn’t have to be cereal or a smoothie. In fact, it can even be what you had last night for dinner. “Try eating leftovers or other foods you might already have on hand, like chicken soup or fish tacos,” advises Daniela Torchica, R.D. “You’ll be surprised at how much energy you get from eating a nontraditional breakfast.” Just make sure to keep it balanced: low in sugar and starch, high in fiber and lean protein, and rich in vegetables.
8. Boost Your Butt
Let’s make 2019 the year of you—and your derriere. To give your backside a lift, try these surefire moves from Jericho McMatthews, a Beachbody Super Trainer. Each one can be performed with either dumbbells or no weights at all. Do three sets of 10 reps of: squats to lateral lunges to squats to curtsy lunges; reverse lunges to stepups to single-leg deadlifts; plyo lunges; alternating single-leg hip thrusters; double-leg hip thrusters; and hip thruster iso holds (three sets of 30 seconds).
9. Train in Bed
It might sound crazy, but you can actually start your morning workout as soon as you open your eyes. Here’s what American Ninja Warrior star Jessie Graff does when she wakes up to get the blood flowing and set the tone for the day. (Hey, if it works for Graff, it’s worth a try!)
- Lift legs above hips and perform 10 circles with each ankle, gradually expanding the size of the circle.
- With straight legs, crisscross your feet 10 times, engaging your core.
- Slide down to the end of your bed. With legs bent at 90 degrees, raise and lower your legs to the floor 10 times.
- Get out of bed and onto the floor. Do 10 pushups.
10. Be Positive-er
Whether you’re in the middle of a workout or a workday, pay attention to the thoughts you’re sending yourself. If they’re negative ones, they’re not helping you. “Our thoughts are powerful,” Calabrese says. “What you think is what you feel, and what you feel is ultimately what your experience will be.” If you notice that you’re in the middle of a negative thought spiral, snap out of it by thinking of three things you could be happy about, right now. That’ll lift your spirit and energy level—and might be the boost you need to get to the gym.
11. Up Your Hair Game
Here’s a trick from Kourtney Kardashian’s personal hairstylist, Andrew Fitzsimons (@andrewfitzsimons): After your workout, rub a small amount of hair oil from the middle of your hair to the ends, then put your hair into a tight bun. “The heat from your workout will activate the oil like a hot treatment,” Fitzsimons says. “Then, when you wash your hair afterward, just air-dry because it’s already freshly moisturized.”
12. Trade Weights for Bands
A humongous gym with a never-ending supply of free weights is a glorious sight, but it’s not necessary for a sculpted body. In fact, you can build a strong, sexy physique with nothing more than resistance bands (aka resistance loops) and exercise sliders. Try this total-body workout, which is one of Calabrese’s favorites. Perform two sets of 15 reps of each move.
Place your feet on sliders and get into a standard plank position, resting your forearms on the floor or a mat. Keeping your abs braced, drive your body back behind you. While still keeping your core engaged and your back flat, pull your body back to the start position. That’s 1 rep.
Bear Crawl Spread
Place a light resistance band around forearms and get on your hands and knees, with palms under shoulders and knees under hips. Keeping core engaged and back flat, lift knees 1 inch off the floor. Bring right arm to right side while stepping right foot to right; bring left hand and left foot to left.
Place both hands on sliders and get into a pushup position, with your feet slightly apart. As you lower your body, slide your hands out to the sides. As you push back up, slide your hands back under your shoulders. Repeat for reps.
Place a band above knees and around forearms. Stand with feet hip-width apart. Lower into a squat and jump up. Land in a squat and repeat.
13. Meditate Everyday
Every morning for a week, take five minutes to think about a handful of things you’re grateful for. “These five minutes have changed my life,” admits Nichelle Hines, an instructor at Cycle House LA. “I’m more conscious of what I’m doing instead of letting the day just disappear.” You can even do it before a training session. “A pre-workout meditation can get your mind ready for the physical challenges ahead, create inner motivation, and clear out any mental garbage,” adds Amanda Frick, a trainer and host of the Mindful Fit Chick podcast. These days, there are some great meditation apps that can help. We recommend Calm, Headspace, and Mindbody.
14. Sleep Better
If you know anything about health and fitness, it’s that a good night’s sleep is essential. Sleep helps you burn calories, grow muscles, recharge batteries, and beat down stress. Try this routine to make sure you’re making the most out of your pillow time.
- An hour before bed have a banana or a handful of walnuts. Both are sleep aids, says sleep consultant Maryanne Taylor.
- Splash your face with cold water. According to Taylor, this will trigger the mammalian dive reflex, which lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and calms you down.
- Sniff some lavender. This will increase your deep sleep, so you’ll feel more invigorated when you wake up, says Taylor
- If you can’t sleep after 30 minutes of tossing and turning, get out of bed, says Martin Reed, founder of Insomnia Coach. Go do something relaxing, like reading a book (a real book, not a tablet), listening to music, or doing a crossword. Keep the lights dim. When you’re feeling sleepy, get back into bed. “The idea is to retrain the mind to associate the bed with sleep,” Reed says, “not wakefulness.”
15. Eat Slower
Scarfing down food like someone is about to take it away? Embrace mindful eating. “It’s about being present with your food, putting away distractions like your phone or computer, and eating slowly so you taste every bite,” says Jennie Miremadi, C.N.S., an integrative clinical nutritionist. “This will help you better tune into your satiety signals so you stop eating when you’re physically full.” To get started, try this exercise, adapted from a program at UC Berkeley: Take a strawberry and hold it between your finger and thumb. Focus on it with your full attention. Gently turn the strawberry over between your fingers, feeling the texture. Then hold it under your nose and breathe in. Notice its smell, as well as how you react to the scent. Then taste it: Gently place the strawberry in your mouth. Don’t chew just yet; give your tongue a moment to explore the texture. When you are ready, take just one or two bites, and notice what happens, including any taste that comes from chewing it. Before you swallow, notice the sensation of tastes and textures in your mouth. Finally, swallow it, consciously noticing the sens
16. Take Smarter Cheat Days
If you’re keeping your diet clean most of the time—at least five to six days a week—first of all, congrats, that’s awesome discipline! Second, give yourself a “relax day” (aka cheat day) every week. “This doesn’t mean you eat the entire pizza or plate of nachos,” says Joel Freeman, a trainer and creator of LIIFT4. “But do let yourself enjoy a couple of slices with a cold one.” In the long run, it’ll help your metabolism and your mindset.
17. Embrace Active Recovery
Not every workout has to be hard-charging. If you took a high-intensity spin class on Monday, make your next training session a more meditative option, like yoga. “Taking a more introspective class can be extremely calming and therapeutic,” says Jordan Ashley, creator of Souljourn Yoga. It will also give your muscles—and your mind—a chance to recharge and recover.
18. Do This Underrated Move
Want to work all your major muscles while increasing your power? Then add this total-body movement to your workout: the landmine deep squat to press. Better yet, do it with just one arm at a time. “This makes it harder to balance,” says trainer Dan Roberts. “Plus, it’s a good way to even up any muscular imbalances.”
How to do it: Place a bar into a landmine attachment and stand holding it in your right hand, resting the bar on your right shoulder. Squat down as deeply as you can. Stand up powerfully while pressing the bar above your shoulder. For an extra challenge for your core, lift your heels off the floor as you stand up. Lower heels and bar back to shoulder and repeat. Do 8 to 10 reps per side.
19. Retain Your Glowing Skin
The cold winter months can dry out skin, but you can continue looking your best with a smart plan. Try this four-pronged attack.
- Exfoliate with a gentle enzyme. “You’ll improve the health of the skin cells as well as the overall texture of your face,” says Melissa Leukus, a skin-care expert. After using the enzyme, apply a gentle scrub containing jojoba beads, cornmeal, or sugar to polish off the skin cells that might still be lingering.
- Before putting on your moisturizer, apply a serum containing hyaluronic acid (HA). This can hold a vast amount of water, giving your skin the extra moisture and plumpness it needs during dry weather, says Leukus.
- Don’t take long hot showers (as great as they might feel), advises Ava Shamban, M.D., a Beverly Hills dermatologist. “Cool, short showers are key to preventing your skin from drying out,” she says.
- Rather than vigorously drying your skin with a towel after showering, give your face and body a gentle pat dry. “This will help retain some of the water your freshly opened pores are thirsty for,” Shamban says.