This Week's Challenge
"Don’t fall off the exercise wagon over the holidays," says Bruce Krahn. This week, sit down with your calendar and schedule regular fitness sessions for the rest of the month. Even if you can't exercise as often as you usually do, a minimum of three 30-minute workouts a week will keep your stress levels down and your metabolism going. Plus, you'll have a head start on all the newbies headed for the gym on January 1.
"Tune in to your hunger and satiety cues," says Sue Mah. During the holidays it’s easy to go overboard with food and drinks. Challenge yourself to stop eating when you feel about 80 percent full rather than when you feel stuffed.
Feel like a change when it comes to your hair? "Schedule a commitment-free consultation with a new-to-you hairstylist this week," says Rhonda Rovan. Get a recommendation from a friend or colleague whose hair you admire—and ideally, whose hair texture is similar to yours.
"Every morning this week, set aside 10 minutes of silence for yourself—and by yourself—to help beat stress," says Susan Biali. Meditation and breath awareness is one option; or, with coffee or tea in hand, simply gaze out the window and appreciate nature. Make this time screen-free and distraction-free for the best benefits.
Flexibility is key to maintaining mobility and preventing injury. This week, says Bruce Krahn, "do three 10-minute stretching sessions that work all your major muscles, ideally after a cardio workout when your muscles are warm." Try our quick routine for ideas and don’t forget to breathe.
"Give up the chips, chocolate and cookies for a week," says Sue Mah. Satisfy your snack cravings with healthy choices every day instead. Fresh fruit and veggies are good options any time. So is a handful of nuts or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk.
"Get your eyebrows professionally shaped," says Rhonda Rovan. Whether it's to clean up and define the arch in a heavy, bushy brow, or to bring a more flattering, softer-looking shape to thin and scraggly ones, an expert shaping can help you look more polished. Upkeep is easily done at home before the next pro visit is required.
"Get social by booking coffee or fitness dates with friends you haven’t seen in a while," suggests Susan Biali. This week, instead of couples' or group get-togethers, focus on intimate, one-on-one connections with friends that energize and inspire you.
As we get older and immersed in relationships, family and work, it's all too common to let friendships sink in priority level. But Facebook, for all its merits, isn't good enough when it comes to staying in touch with good friends. Instead, commit to regular visits and phone dates. It's worth the extra effort.
"Challenge yourself by taking a new class or trying a new activity this week," says Bruce Krahn. If you're a walker, try running—just do 30 seconds or so in the middle of a walk and see how it feels. If you're a gym-goer, get on a new machine this week or take a new-to-you class. Always wanted to try yoga or Pilates, or to switch to a new style or studio? Now's your chance!
"Go meatless at least two days this week—or all week if you can!" recommends Sue Mah. Have a peanut butter or almond butter sandwich or hummus and veggie wrap for lunch, and try a vegetarian chili, lentils or tofu for supper. Meatless meals are good for the environment, plus you'll get more fibre and less saturated fat.
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