Feeling a lack of motivation as the new year progresses is a common experience. It’s easy to revert back to old habits when the initial excitement of the New Year wears off. But fear not, because this week we have three more strategies to help you continue prioritizing your health in 2024.

Let’s start with the first one: short but effective workouts. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to spend hours in the gym to reach your fitness goals. Have you ever heard of the Tabata protocol? It’s a high-intensity interval training method that packs a serious punch in just four minutes. Developed in 1966, this technique involves 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by a brief 10-second rest, repeated eight times. In just 240 seconds, you’ll experience a heart-pounding, sweat-inducing workout that engages both your anaerobic and aerobic systems.

At first glance, four minutes may not seem like enough time for a workout. But when you push yourself to the limit with Tabata, every second counts. The intense bursts of activity stimulate your anaerobic system, building explosive strength and power, while the short rest periods bridge the gap to your aerobic system, improving endurance and cardiovascular health.

The science behind Tabata is impressive. Studies have shown that it can significantly increase VO2 max, a key measure of aerobic fitness, while also boosting anaerobic capacity. In fact, just four minutes of Tabata training can be equivalent to 20 minutes of traditional aerobic exercise. It’s a game-changer for anyone looking to maximize their gains while minimizing their time investment.

Next up, consider hitting the sauna once a week. Saunas offer a wide range of health benefits, including improved circulation, detoxification, and stress relief. Additionally, a new study suggests that men who engage in frequent sauna use may have reduced risks of fatal cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality. Saunas are often found in most gyms, making it convenient to incorporate into your fitness routine. Moreover, there are new “wellness centers” popping up that specifically offer sauna sessions as part of their holistic approach to health and wellbeing. 

Finally, try to limit your screen time before bed, especially on your phone. The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching videos, try reading a book, practicing relaxation techniques, or engaging in a calming bedtime routine. Your body and mind will thank you for it in the morning.