Commit to living well
Two of the most common New Year’s resolutions that appear near the top of everyone’s list are losing weight and exercising more. How can you make this year’s resolution be different from last year’s?
One answer is not to promise to lose weight but rather to make a commitment to yourself and certainly not to adopt an all-or-nothing approach to your health.
To help you do that, here are some tips that can help you to stay focused:
1. Make small realistic goals such as “I will lose one pound per week” instead of “I want to lose 15 pounds by the end of March.”
2. Create a realistic plan and stick with it—make a schedule such as three (preferably four or more) fitness sessions per week and schedule a time so you won’t procrastinate. Do something active you actually enjoy! Have a “Plan B” if necessary.
3. Recruit a friend, team member or significant other to participate as well—having another person join you during your journey will help you stay on track with your goals. Most importantly, have your family members, especially the person in charge of grocery shopping, buy into your idea of living well.
4. Start a new exercise regimen slowly, with the approval of your physician, and then progressively increase activities. Most of us are eager to get rid of those extra pounds we gained over the holidays and we want to do it fast; however, we often get discouraged and stop exercising because of excessive muscle soreness, fatigue, over-training and injuries.
5. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or fancy—you don’t need to bike at 30 miles per hour on a $2,000 bike or run at 10 miles per hour on a $5,000 treadmill. You can easily burn 200-300 calories by brisk walking 30 minutes each day either outside or in the hallways. To add more variety and challenge yourself, try going up and down stairs several times.
6. Last, but not least, reward yourself – No, I am not talking ice cream or pizza and beer. Buy a new pair of running/walking shoes or a new device so you can listen to your favorite music. Why not treat yourself by enrolling in a healthy cooking class if food is your weakness.
Remember that our efforts to prevent disease should resemble the efforts of the ant in the Aesop fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper. The ant saved himself from the winter’s hunger and cold even though the ant was neither hungry nor cold at the time of preparation. Our efforts to be healthy should be continuing and our commitment to live well life-long.
By Donald Prifti
Diakon Senior living – Twining Village
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