This is the time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t necessarily believe in making them, but it does seem like perfect timing to start over and make changes, especially after the holidays. This is the time of year that many trainers call “job security”. After the month and a half long “holiday season”, many of us are over stressed, under exercised, and overfed! We can all get out of our normal routines during November and December- the approaching new year is a great excuse to hit the reset button. But I think resolutions can sometimes be overused; people become complacent and “wait til the new year” and companies blast their marketing to take advantage of people who are feeling the “blahs”. The weight loss industry is a $60 billion a year industry (and no doubt you’ve seen the 1000s of daily commercials this past week or two!) Currently, approximately 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, with half of them being in the morbidly obese range! With obesity being one of the leading causes of PREVENTABLE death, why are people so complacent about their health?? Here are just some of the risks of being overweight: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, early onset of arthritis (due to extra weight on joints), mental illness, and unneccesary body pain and loss of movement. A healthy weight is NOT just about vanity or looking good. It’s your life.
And what about a healthy heart?? Here are some of the risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking/tobacco use, being overweight or obese, being physically inactive, having an unhealthy diet, and having a family history of heart disease. All of these, but one, can be changed by you! Do you see how weight and heart health are so intertwined? Imagine!?
No matter what you want to call it, it is a new year and you can make those changes! Maybe you simply want to feel better, lose a little weight, be stronger so you can climb a 14’er this summer (it’s a Colorado thing), cut down on your sugar intake (it is the devil, but it’s so good sometimes!), getting off of tobacco, or get off of your blood pressure medication. Well, it IS up to YOU! You have the control of what you will make your body do and what you choose to fuel it with. No one can do it for you (although I wish I could have someone workout for me sometimes!) Figure out what you want to change and why you want to change it. That is usually the easy part for people. Then it is finding a way to actually do it- making yourself accountable is the most important thing. There are lots of ways to do that. Get a device that reminds you to stand up and get moving, or clocks your steps and heart rate. Get an app to log your daily movement and calorie intake. Get a hiking buddy that will commit to hiking with you twice a week. Get a trainer (I happen to know a couple of good ones!) Get a life coach or online trainer who checks in with you (or find an annoying friend who’d be happy to keep bugging you!) Set your alarm to wake up half an hour early so you can get on the treadmill and walk for 30 minutes before your day gets started. Set a goal to do a 10 minute, all over body circuit three days a week and then work your way up to longer periods of time. Join one of the diet groups if you need that structure and accountability (Oprah needs more money so she’d be happy to have you join!)
I know I could go on forever about the “why” you should be taking the best care of yourself, and “how” to achieve your goals- remember, I do get paid to listen to people give me excuses every day;) We all have excuses though, but I believe we all want to feel the best we can, lower disease risks, be alive to enjoy our loved ones as long as possible, and have a good quality of life. I admit there’s some vanity to my lifestyle, but I mostly want to keep being able to run and play with my grandchildren, and watch them grow up and have children of their own. I want to avoid further progression of my MS and decrease chances of debilitating symptoms. I’m not ready to slow down (or have someone help me up from the floor when I decide to drop it too low on the dance floor!)
I hope I gave you something to think about, and that you can find at least one way to make a positive change to your health in 2018. Don’t put it off another year or another month- this is your only life, your only body, and your health! If you don’t do it, who will? Blessings to you and your loved ones, and may 2018 be a happy, healthy NEW YEAR!