Well, here we are again embarking on a new year and most likely at least a few resolutions to do more or be better than the previous year. Everywhere we look we see the caption "New Year, New You'.
Now, I must admit, I have no issue with trying to improve upon oneself or resolving to try new things or stretching past old limits. I do have an issue with the thinking that we are not enough and therefore must make an effort to be someone we are not. So, here's my little bit of advice on stepping into the new year with a positive resolve to be happier, healthier and hopefully as fit as possible.
Be sure when choosing a new lifestyle habit such as losing weight, to set reasonable goals for yourself. Speak with your physician to set a healthy weight loss goal and to help you determine the best course of action in choosing a weight loss option that best suits your needs, health and lifestyle. Not all of us can find the time for a weight loss meeting each week or the financial resources for buying pre-packaged meals. There are a number or healthy alternatives for smart weight loss. Be honest with yourself as to what you are prepared to commit to before jumping in and setting yourself up for failure. It's very important to recognize that losing weight takes time, effort and commitment. Set goals that are attainable, such as 1-2 lbs. per week. A lot of us start out of the gate with a loss of 5 or more lbs. the first week (Woo Hoo) and then are disappointed in the following weeks when the weight loss naturally slows to 1- 2 lbs. Don't worry, Be Happy! Your goals should be in 5-10 lb. increments, with some sort of positive reward (not cookies) at each milestone. This will help you stay positive and motivated. Another great way to track your progress and remind yourself how well you're doing is to chart your measurements at the beginning of your weight loss journey and then check back monthly or quarterly to see how you're doing. It's a great tool, and you may see changes in inches when the pounds are not coming off so quickly.
Losing weight is not the only resolution made this time of the year. EXERCISE!!! Now I know for a fact that most of you already know the benefits of exercise and frequent activity, as I pound that mantra into your heads in every class I teach! But it bears repeating. Staying active and engaging in regular aerobic, strength and flexibility training is essential to overall health and wellness..especially as we get older. A good number of you participate in various activities on a regular basis. I would like to remind you, however, that it's important to mix it up...try one of the classes you normally would skip. Pilates is a fabulous way to develop good core strength, gain more flexibility and believe it or not, de-stress and calm your mind and relax your body. I know most of you like the heart pounding music of the cardio classes and the sweat inducing workout from strength training, but adding in another class that can alter not only your body in a good way but help you sleep better at night is a wonderful thing! Another thing to consider is to challenge yourself a bit more in your regular workouts. Increase the amount of weight you're using to up the energy expenditure and improve your muscle tone and strength. Add in another cardio class of you're only coming to class once or twice a week. And, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, chart your progression on your measurement chart! One more thing to think about, SHOES! Please check those old workout shoes at the door. Investing in a good pair of shoes regularly will save your feet, joints and knees. You need to take care of that body you're working so hard to keep healthy.
Finally, have some fun! Laugh, smile and engage with family and friends. Being social, active and engaged is the best resolution we can make. Balance in our daily lives is the best way to be our Happiest, Healthiest selves.
Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you all in class!