Let’s start the year over – health tips

by 18 Feb 2010

Ah, the New Year’s resolution! Have you made the commitment to get fit this year? Really? And how long did that last? Notice the past tense… and it’s only February.

We touch on this every year, but it’s an im portant issue. Weight loss is a multibillion-dol lar industry, thanks in part to the New Year’s resolution. Health clubs and sporting goods retailers quiver in anticipation of the first of January.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with mak ing the commitment to get fit. It’s the best gift you can give yourself, after all, so why should n’t you? Unfortunately, many people approach the process looking for an easy, fast solution, and that simply doesn’t work.

If fitness programs are used only as a quick fix to drop a few kilos, they soon turn into a bother, regardless of success. You’ll resent the effort it takes and the whole experience will frustrate you. “Ugh! I hate exercise and I can’t wait until this diet is over so I can eat again!” If this is the way you think, you’re miss ing the point and setting yourself up for fail ure. Perhaps you simply bit off a little more than you were ready to chew.

While an all-in approach works for some people, it’s important to recognise when you’re not that way inclined. Some people need to start with the training wheels on, and there’s no shame in that. Certainly you can find one little change you can make easily and keep at it until that one thing becomes routine. Maybe it’s as simple as eating veggies instead of chips, switching to sugar-free soft drinks or parking a bit farther from work and walking the rest of the way. Take some time and think about all the little things you could change, focus on just one or two at a time, and just start chipping away at it.

Before you know it, small but effective habits will form that will take you in the right direction and pave the way for further changes. If you think that will take too long, think again. Consider all the diets you’ve tried and the gym memberships you’ve blown over the years, then realise that what we’re talking about here is permanent, sustainable change that enhances – not interrupts – your life.

If your New Year’s resolution fell flat al ready, perhaps it’s time to start a new one. You don’t even have to wait until next January.

By Brian Merrill, certified fitness trainer. B.e.merrill@gmail.com 0424 567 845