Thursday, January 8, 2009

Commit to Be Fit in 2009!

With every new year comes thousands of resolutions to finally lose the weight. Every year there is a new diet or exercise fad that promises the instant results we didn't achieve the previous year. Every year we fall just short of the goal. For some reason, our plans don't get the results. Sooner or later something has got to give...How do we make 2009 the year to get fit and stay fit? We have to make a lifestyle change. Fitness is not a goal achieved in 30 days or 6 months. Consistency is the key to success and longevity. Remember, the race is not to the swift!

Let's Get Started! (As always, consult your doctor prior to starting any diet and/or exercise program.)

1) Set clear, measurable, and attainable goals. A good example of a goal is: "I want to lose 20 pounds in 5 months (about 1-2 pounds per week is normal healthy weight loss) by walking 2 miles a day 4 days per week. I will drink 10 glasses of water daily and give up fast food."

2) Make permanent changes in your diet. Commit to eliminating 1 unhealthy food choice each month from your diet--for life. Find a healthy alternative to replace the item that you are giving up. In 30 days, you won't even miss it.

3) Commit to physical activity at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes each day. Exercise improves the cardiovascular system, helps manage stress and appetite, improves sleep patterns, and boosts metabolism. Resistance training improves metabolism and bone density.

4) Give up smoking and alcohol. These two habits can cause irreversible damage to vital organs like the lungs, kidneys, and liver.

5) Assemble a group of supporters and share your goals and results. Enlist the assistance of your family, co-workers, close friends, and your doctor. A little honest feedback and encouragement can go a long way!

6) Keep a food and exercise journal. Document your meals and workouts in a small notebook and keep it with you. This an extremely powerful tool for revealing your actual eating habits and ensuring accountability for physical activity. Keep things interesting by trying a new healthy recipe and changing up your exercise routine with increased intensity or trying yoga and interval training.

7) Celebrate your wins and forgive your missteps. Once a month, you should consistently measure your results. Your goal might be to lose 1 inch from your waist every month, or increase your bench press weight by 10 lbs. each month. Choose the same day of the month (like the last Saturday) and be consistent. Take a picture of yourself on the same day and compare it to previous months. Generally others see a difference before you do, so this can be quite an eye-opening exercise. If you fall short, get back on the horse! Don't waste time punishing yourself because this is a lifestyle change. Be patient and stay focused on your goals.

8) Stay tuned to for more helpful advice on how to Commit to Be Fit in 2009!

More next time...

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