I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Easter and Passover and also a very Happy New Year! To me, spring should be the REAL ‘New Years’ celebration not January 1st. January 1st is really just a day to sleep off a bit of a hang over and look forlornly at a house full of tired decorations that need to be put away for yet another year. After all the food and drink and ‘busy-ness’ of the Christmas season I can never seem to get all that motivated to take down the tree let alone think up a bunch of resolutions.
Spring on the other hand!! It is a time of re-birth and re-generation. The forsythia is in bloom, the daffodils are up, tulips are right on their tail and the garden centers are starting to gear up for the big season. Easter then arrives with all the beautiful pastel coloured eggs and flowers, asparagus is on everyone’s menu and people’s moods just seem brighter. Days are longer and clothing is lighter and to me this seems far more like a start to a ‘new year’ than New Years does.
When I googled “Top 10 New Years Resolutions” number two was ‘Fit in Fitness’. Not a surprise to anyone I’m sure. It’s probably the one that is most often broken too… its so hard to stay motivated when the weather stinks and the days are cold and dark. So I vote that we start an unofficial New Years Eve on the night before Easter…Easter Eve. Now that the days are longer and the extra vitamin D is boosting our moods, what better time to vow to get more active?
If you are not already active start small. Begin with walking, the all round best activity, and if your knees are good easy to do. If your knees don’t allow it then check out your local ‘Y’ and sign up for some aquafit classes. The buoyancy of the water takes all the load off of the joints and allows for a great workout without the pain (or sweat!). And you know what the number one resolution was? “Spend more time with Family and Friends”….bam! That fits in perfectly with resolution number two! And studies have shown that those who work out with a partner are more likely to continue working out. Not only is it more enjoyable and makes the time go faster, but you are less likely to skip a workout if someone else is counting on you. (Childhood obesity is rising at an alarming rate…grab your kids, have some fun and they will learn from your example!)
We all know the benefits of exercise, however the biggest problem is staying motivated. Keeping a journal is a wonderful tool to aid in keeping the motivation levels up. Once you see the improvements you are making in your endurance your motivation will soar. There are some really great on-line free programs that can help you keep track of both your caloric and exercise goals. Two that many of my patients use are Fit Day (www.fitday.com) and My Fitness Pal (www.myfitnesspal.com). Check them out and see what you think.
The biggest obstacle to overcome is starting. Once you have started you start the momentum that will keep you going. So forget any negative experiences you may have had in the past and start a new…in this the New Year. Start small, build and just keep going. And have a VERY Happy New Year!!
Yours in Health and Fitness,