Be your healthiest, happiest version in the New Year: a checklist for 2021

By Anthony Infant

2020 has been challenging in so many ways and has affected us physically, mentally and emotionally in more ways than we realize. Stress levels were at an all time high due to unfortunate circumstances of the pandemic and industry reports corroborate this by stating thatover 43% of Indians suffered from depression in one form or another in the months following the lockdown.

Overnight, gyms and fitness centres were shut, our physical moments were restricted due to the lockdown and many people struggled to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Terms like ‘quarantine weight gain’ and ‘couch potato’ gained prominence and were trending. With the COVID pandemic yet to end, it is more important than ever that we improve our immunity and remain healthy.

Top Tips to Stay Healthy in 2021

We don’t need a fancy gym or equipment to achieve our fitness goals. If you want to lose weight (and maintain it) follow these three simple steps.

Get moving: Staying fit has never been this easy! ‘I just don’t have the time’ can no longer be an excuse for an unhealthy lifestyle given that most of us are working from home, commute time has been reduced to half and travelling is (mostly) restricted. If you have fallen off track with your fitness goals and have barely worked out in the last few months, start off with a 20-minute walk which can improve your cardiovascular health.

If you want to take your fitness up a notch, follow this sample workout chart. (Disclaimer – If you have any pre-existing injuries/ conditions, please refer to your physician/doctor before you perform any of these exercises)

  • Workout chart for 18-35 years old (to be followed 3 times a week)
  • Start with a simple 5minute warm-up which can prepare your body for the workout and also prevent injuries. Warm up exercises include wrist rotation, shoulder rotation, hip rotation and ankle rotation.
  • 20 counts of body weight squats
  • 10 counts of single leg lunges
  • 10 counts ofpushups (you can start by performing kneeling pushups)
  • 10 counts of pull-ups
  • 10 counts of tricep dips
  • Farmers walk for 1 minute (in case you don’t have dumbbells for the farmers walk, you can use a pair of grocery bags which can be filled with old books/water bottles for additional resistance).
  • Static stretches to end the workout
Bird dog stretches to get cent percent fitness (photo credit – Anthony Infant)
  • Workout chart for 35 years and above (to be followed 3 times a week)
    • Start with a simple 5 minute warm-up which can prepare your body for the workout and also prevent injuries. Warm up exercises include wrist rotation, shoulder rotation, hip rotation and ankle rotation.
    • 10 counts of cat-camel (to strengthen your core which is vital as we age)
    • Plank as long as you can hold
Planks are good for a toned physique (photo credit – Anthony Infant)

Drink adequate amount of water through the day to keep yourself hydrated. Remember, exercise works wonders not only for your body but also for your mind. Studies have proven that regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood.

Fix your nutrition

Just to put it simply, fad diets are just fads; it is not sustainable on the long run and not to mention, you feel miserable when you try to put your body through chomping on foods that you’re not too happy to eat. Stick to the basics of Indian food but ensure it is a balanced meal which includes protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Increase your vegetable intake during lunch and dinner and remember, your meal is never complete without green leafy vegetables. Instead of snacking on fried food or chips/biscuits, switch to seasonal fruits. Switch to eating whole foods, limit your sugar and sodium intake and drink plenty of water. This will not only help you maintain a healthy weight but will also give you glowing skin.

Have a holistic approach to your lifestyle

You are not only what you eat but you are also who or what you surround yourself with. Make sure to have a support system of family or friends who are positive and add to your growth. Have a balanced approach to how much time you spend on your screen. Take regular breaks when you’re working from home, walk around your house and perform a few stretches in between to keep your body nimble. Pick up new hobbies which can keep your mind active and sharp; ensure you get quality sleep each night.

Honestly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not rocket science. With a bit of discipline, focus and the right guidance, you can transform yourself and bring out the best version of you. All the best and make sure that your 2021 fitness goals or resolution to lose weight this year, doesn’t remain as just a goal and you are able to execute. 

Anthony is a certified fitness trainer from Bangalore, who has been training clients from all walks of life. For online personal fitness training and other queries, contact him on +91 9590607554