As we say good-bye and good riddance to 2011, let’s really get psyched with the prospects and promise of a great 2012! So why not start by making a few resolutions that will guarantee your chances of living a happy, healthy life. Sure, quitting smoking, cutting back on internet hook-ups, and eating less junk food are cool places to start. But instead of dwelling on doing without, why not accentuate the positive. So here’s to the New Year and a happier, more youthful new you!

Resolution #1: Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast eaters are champions of good health. Research shows people who have a morning meal tend to take in more vitamins and minerals, and less fat and bad cholesterol. The result is a leaner body, mountains of energy, a lower cholesterol count and less chance of over-eating later in the day. The Mayo Clinic (prestigious!) recommends eating a variety of foods (steel cut oatmeal, whole grain toast, yogurt, fresh fruit) rich in protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.

Resolution #2: Reassess Your Training Regime
Periodize your training schedule for optimum results this year. Look upon the year ahead as one big macrocycle with goals and objectives such as getting your body fat down below say 18% and putting on maybe 5 lbs of muscle. Break down the bigger cycle into mesocycles of maybe 3 to 4 month periods of time. Assess your progress, vary your workouts, and stay consistent with your workouts. Read, take measurements regularly and fine-tune your goals throughout the year. This way you won’t get bored, you’ll see progress and you’re sure to get the most from each hour in the gym!

Resolution #3: Get Some Sleep
Getting 7 to 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep is essential to your physical and mental health. Besides making you cranky and exhausted, other symptoms of poor sleep or lack of sleep can be depression, memory loss, migraine headaches, weight gain and paranoia.

So why not relax, take a load off and hit the sack early?

Resolution #4: Stay Active
It’s a given that physical activity has a bounty of benefits, so why are 60% of all Americans couch potatoes? You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a muscle head who lives in a gym, but at the very least, get up and do something! Regular exercise (anaerobic weight training and aerobic cardio training) helps control weight, maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints, reduces the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and death from heart disease. Besides these bonuses, exercise is the only way to get a tight, toned body and have fun at the same time

Resolution #5: Protect Your Skin
Your skin begins to age the moment you are born, so the best way to protect it and look younger is to stay out of the sun. In order to avoid some of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, which can cause wrinkles and skin cancer, observe the following: always wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher; wear a hat and other protective clothing; don’t deliberately sun-bathe; avoid sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM.

Resolution #6: Snack Healthy and Often
Remember to eat frequently throughout the day, several small meals consisting of a 3-2-1 ratio of carbs, protein and healthy fats. Avoid monster meals especially late in the day. Eat several servings of fruit and vegetables early in the day. Make sure to eat protein after your workouts which facilitates muscle recovery and growth. The New Year ahead is filled with possibilities and excitement. Seize the day and make the most of each moment of it!

For more fitness tips contact [email protected]


Tom Bonanti, is a certified personal trainer and owner of Pump’n Inc gym at 1271 NE 9th Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Email: [email protected] Facebook: TrainerTomB.