Whether you’re setting a resolution for the new year or simply realizing that it’s time to take charge of your health, there is no time like the present to launch a new and improved diet and fitness regimen. But mere willpower isn’t enough. Some say a failure to plan is tantamount to planning to fail — but you won’t make that mistake. Set yourself up for success by gathering the information you need before you embark on your journey toward wellness. What’s one great place to begin? With the Zodiac — specifically, your own Sun sign. Read on to gain insight into your astrological strengths to harness, pitfalls for your sign to avoid, and the very best ways to get your health on track.
Aries (March 20th - April 19th)
When it comes to getting healthy, dynamic Aries should capitalize on your boundless energy and your competitive nature. Try fast-paced exercises such as running, boxing or kickboxing, or team sports. Whichever exercise you choose, be sure to switch it up often enough to keep your interest piqued. Circuit training is also perfect for you, since fast-paced changes are built right into the routine. As for diet, try a weight-loss program based on setting incremental goals, so you know exactly what you’re working toward. You might also enjoy starting a diet pool among your friends or coworkers, since going head to head with other people stimulates your drive to win. Finally, when it comes to both meals and physical activity, find ways to keep it interesting. Follow-through isn’t exactly your strong point, after all; too much of a routine can lead to burning out before you’ve hit your goals and made wellness a lifelong habit.
Taurus (April 20th - May 20th)
Hardworking, dedicated, sensual Taurus has excellent physical and mental endurance, but you also tend toward self-indulgence. Your path toward wellness is all about getting that body moving and finding healthful meals that don’t skimp on flavor. Endurance sports, such as running or swimming, are right up your alley. Since speed isn’t exactly your thing, you may never win a 5K race, but you have it in you to complete a marathon — you’re a champ at putting one foot in front of the other until you reach the finish line. You might also enjoy Spinning classes, where you can enjoy a group dynamic while cycling as fast (or slow) as you please. As for diet, your love of rich, sweet, creamy indulgences can be your downfall; seek out recipes that incorporate spices and other low-calorie, dynamic flavors to engage your tastebuds. And don’t be afraid to reward yourself with the occasional treat that also has health benefits, such as a square of dark chocolate or a half-glass of red wine.
Gemini (May 21st - June 20th)
For communicative Gemini, your best workouts are those you complete with a friend by your side. Having a companion keeps you engaged — talking and trading stories keeps your mind off the hard work your body is doing — and can motivate you to persevere through those tough moments when you might quit early if you were on your own. For this reason, gym classes and team sports are right up your alley. A social element also helps with healthy eating; try enrolling in a cooking class to get new meal ideas, joining a diet pool at work, or starting a dinner share with friends or neighbors, so you don’t have to do all the cooking yourself. A dinner share also solves the problem of boredom; it’s so much more exciting to anticipate what someone else is going to make than to sort through your own, tired recipes. For you, the key to making long-term changes is finding ways to keep your routine feeling fresh and exciting. That’s more easily said than done, but if anyone can do it, clever Gemini can!
Cancer (June 21st - July 21st)
Deeply emotional Cancer is prone to emotional eating — indulging in comfort foods when you’re feeling sad or, conversely, when you want to nurture your loved ones. Therefore, a large part of wellness for you has to do with getting on track with your diet. This may mean shifting your long-term, deep-rooted associations between food and comfort or family, which can be very difficult to do. Seek out recipes that are high on flavor and nutrients but low on fat and calories, and enlist your family members or roommates in the cause, so they can support you in your healthy-eating efforts. You can also make physical exercise a family affair. Hit the track or the baseball diamond with your kids, join a softball team with your coworkers, or attend gym classes with your best friend. And be sure to push yourself, even when you aren’t feeling up to it. Exercise is very effective at regulating and elevating mood. The more active you are, the better you’re sure to feel!
Leo (July 22nd - August 21st)
Passionate Leo needs to feel fired-up about any new diet or exercise regimen you undertake. Without that spark of interest and excitement, it won’t last long, and definitely won’t become part of your lifestyle. With that in mind, focus on foods and physical activities that will appeal to your sense of style and flair for drama. Instead of a humdrum gym membership, try salsa or tango lessons, or join a rock-climbing or hiking group. You’re sure to enjoy the fast-paced sensuality of dancing and the fantastic vistas that can only be seen from the top of a cliff or mountain. If you’re as social as most Lions are, you probably adore dinner parties and going out to eat with friends. To get your diet under control, focus on dishes featuring bold flavors that are naturally low-calorie, such as lime juice or fresh salsa. Remember, it’s okay to indulge from time to time in a treat — especially one that has health benefits, such as a bit of dark chocolate or red wine.
Virgo (August 22nd - September 21st)
If you’re like most Virgos, you’re already health-conscious, not to mention organized. Your best approach toward wellness will put those personality traits to good use. For example, planning your weekly meals will enable you to be efficient in your grocery shopping and cooking. As soon as you bring home healthy snack items like grapes, carrots and celery sticks, separate them into individual servings that you can bring with you to the office, the gym and anyplace else you go. Joining a class at the gym can be a great way not only to increase your fitness, but also to meet like-minded people who are focused on improving their own health; being a member of a community can be a powerful motivator in sticking to your plan and pursuing your goals. Most of all, whichever physical activity you enjoy most, maintain a regular schedule of practicing it at least three times per week. Sticking to a regular, predictable routine with meals will also help you create good habits that last a lifetime.
Libra (September 22nd - October 22nd)
For sociable Libra, making wellness a group event can ensure a long-term, positive lifestyle change. After all, if you’re like many Libras, your downfall might be eating out at too many restaurants or hitting too many clubs with your friends. Not only can that take a toll on your health, it’s also hard on your budget! And being the sign of the Scales, you’re all about balance in all things. Instead of inviting friends to your favorite eatery, have them over for a potluck dinner with a wholesome, healthful theme. Ask everyone to bring copies of their recipes so you can recreate them on your own. And when you’re out at a club, try soda water with a splash of juice and a twist of lime for a tasty, low-calorie “mock-tail” that’s easy on your wallet. Continuing with the balance theme, yoga, Tai Chi or a core training class can provide an enjoyable workout that helps you build strength and balance.
Scorpio (October 23rd - November 21st)
Scorpio is all about power and intensity, so you’ll be at your best when you incorporate those elements in your approach to wellness. Try intense workouts that emphasize strength and control, such as boxing, running, martial arts, ballet or Pilates. Just watch out for your tendency to become a bit obsessive about a certain activity — you do well with routine and you have excellent endurance, which could push you to overdo it, so be sure to schedule in at least one or two rest days a week. The same goes for your diet: Utilize your excellent capacity for self-control, but try not to take it too far. Since you enjoy strong flavors, try recipes involving spices and other dynamic flavors to engage your tastebuds while still preserving your waistline. For you, the payoff for all your hard work may come when others start to notice that you’re dropping weight and looking strong and energetic. You’ll love giving them advice about how they can get healthy, too.
Sagittarius (November 22nd - December 20th)
For free-spirited Sagittarius, who lives for the excitement of spontaneity, the very phrase “exercise routine” might send you running in the opposite direction. But getting and staying healthy can be a challenging adventure. Capitalize on your natural love of learning by finding a cookbook or taking a cooking class that will teach you about healthful meals you and your family will enjoy. Ethnic cuisines, such as Mediterranean or Vietnamese, can be a great way to shrink your waistline while stimulating your palate. As for physical exercise, keep it fun and fast-paced, and be sure to switch it up often. Try learning a new skill, such as martial arts, horseback riding or yoga. Circuit training is also right up your alley, since the variability is built right in. Who knows? You might fall so in love with your new activity that you wind up teaching others to do it, too.
Capricorn (December 21st - January 18th)
Hardworking Capricorn is always seeking improvement. When it comes to wellness, your strengths to capitalize on include your work ethic, your competitive nature and your drive to be the best. Joining a running club or a soccer or basketball team will push you to succeed as you measure your progress against other people’s. You might also enjoy keeping stats of your progress in a journal or computer file — your fastest mile or farthest distance run, for example, or most baskets or goals scored in a game. Since you thrive on routine, make healthy eating easier by setting a few simple ground rules. These might include not bringing junk food into the house, eating out only once a week, or mapping out your weekly meals every weekend, so you can shop for exactly what you need and have healthful snacks on hand all week long.
Aquarius (January 19th - February 17th)
When it comes to wellness, innovative Aquarius likes to go your own way. Your ideas about maintaining good health might be viewed as rather alternative by others — you might be into yoga or meditation, for example, or acupuncture, or a macrobiotic diet. Any and all of these could be excellent choices to incorporate into your routine, as long as you focus on that keyword, “routine.” You actually thrive on routine, and you have excellent follow-through. Thus, your key toward a healthy lifestyle is simply to make a plan and then begin it. If you decide to try yoga, for example, enroll in a three-month course rather than going on a class-by-class basis, so you’ll be more likely to carry through to the end. As for making positive dietary changes, explore vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic or “loca-vore” diets; each of these has demonstrable health benefits and will appeal to your progressive, humanitarian nature.
Pisces (February 18th - March 19th)
For dreamy, imaginative Pisces, it can be tough to get a wellness routine going. You might be more apt to think about it than to act on your many ideas; furthermore, too many ideas or a lack of information can make you feel overwhelmed, sapping your willpower. Therefore, it’s best to keep it simple: Write down a list of a few healthful meals you know you enjoy, and commit to eating them at least every other day. That way, you can shop for the same set of ingredients once a week, so you’ll have them on hand when you need them. To incorporate physical exercise into your lifestyle, try swimming — you’re a Water sign, after all — or start a neighborhood dog-walking business, so you can get your heart pumping while enjoying the company of your neighbors’ furry friends. Speaking of animals, committing to eating vegetarian for one or more meals per week will cut down on calories along with animal cruelty.