This is the year you will resolve to ditch the diets, the "all or nothing" mentality and the "no-pain, no-gain" fitness goals. This is the year you will resolve to use common sense to eat less junk food, move more — and have fun doing it.
Remember what it was like when you were a kid and you thought nothing of playing tag for hours on end? That spirit still lives. You just need to wake it up. Maybe with a high-energy hula hoop workout or Shaun T's "Hip Hop Abs," done in the privacy of your own home. Or by walking your dog while listening to a Dan Brown thriller. Instead of embarking on yet another diet, why not try to lose roughly 1 pound a week by creating a modest 500-calorie deficit each day. That's easily accomplished by slashing about 250 calories from your diet (the equivalent of five Oreos) and burning about 250 calories through exercise, such as a brisk two-to-three-mile walk. You can do that easy.
Here are 52 tips for each week of the year, but we know we're just scratching the surface. Use #LATFit to reach us on Twitter and Instagram and share your tips and photos (before and after!) throughout 2013 so we can help keep one another motivated, especially, ahem, this junk-food-loving writer. Let's get started, shall we?
(1) You "work" all week. No wonder you don't want to "work "out. Find a way to move more and have fun doing it. Take a Zumba class. (Many studios will let you take your first class free.) Even if you never go back, it will redefine your definition of "exercise."
(2) You know that lazy, sluggish feeling you get when you drink alcohol? That's your metabolism slowing to a halt.
(3) Adopt an avatar. James Bond? Lara Croft? Put it in charge of slaying your food cravings. Or pretend you're the Terminator and someone is standing between you and your workout.
(4) Buy a pedometer. (We love the Omron HJ-112 Pocket Pedometer). Slowly work your way up to 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day. Parents can make it a game with kids: The person with the most steps for the day gets out of dish duty or earns more console time.
(5) Gardening and heavy-duty housework, like cleaning out the garage, do count.
(6) Write a loooong list of all the fun, sexy, sassy reasons you want to achieve your fitness goals. ("I want to rock a bikini!" "I want biceps worthy of the cover Men's Health.") Make copies of that list and stash them everywhere. Your wallet. Your car. Your kitchen. Review when weakness strikes.
(7) Recognize: Six packs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. If you have only 30 minutes, you're better off using that time to prep the following day's breakfast and lunch than working out. That's right. We just gave you an excuse to skip a workout, but only if you use that time wisely.
(8) Jump on the boutique gym bandwagon. Los Angeles is ground zero for funky, fun fitness havens. Anyone up for a visit to the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Torrance? Or taking a spin on a trapeze at Cirque School on Hollywood Boulevard? (torrance.skyzonesports.com; www.cirqueschoolla.com)
(9) Eat all the raw, non-starchy vegetables you can stand.
(10) Exercise while doing household chores. Put in a load of laundry before you press "play" on a fitness DVD, and pause partway through to make the washer-to-dryer transfer. Or plan dinner around a casserole that bakes while you work out in the living room.
(11) Give up extreme thinking. Don't give up chocolate for 2013. How about: Give up bingeing on chocolate in 2013, and instead resolve to enjoy it in moderation.
(12) Ask yourself a magic question: "How can I reach my health and fitness goals and enjoy the process?" You don't need to answer the question. Let your brain percolate on it. (Credit motivational guru Tony Robbins.)
(13) Got a tablet? Download a movie and prop it on a treadmill at the gym. The average movie should get you through four 30-minute walks.
(14) Stop trying to be Julia Child come dinner time. Store-bought rotisserie chicken + bagged salad = dinner. A corn tortilla quesadilla + bagged salad = dinner. A grilled steak + bagged salad = dinner.
(15) Use social media. Find fitness fanatics to follow, and then draft off their enthusiasm to bolster your resolve. Use Twitter to announce your goals, and ask followers to hold you accountable. Use the hastag #LATFit, and we'll help too.
(16) Find more ways to move at work. Stand at your desk or while you're on the phone. Instead of a stuffy meeting room, chat with a colleague during a brief walk.
(17) Home workout DVDs can get expensive. Band together with some like-minded (and trustworthy) friends or co-workers: Invest in a few DVDs and swap them every month to keep things interesting.