January Newsletter
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Happy New Year Everyone! Hope you had a fantastic holiday season. I know that it's next to impossible to eat right, keep up the exercise commitments and not libate too much. Right?

Okay, well now we are going to stop beating ourselves up, know we had fun 'spoiling ourselves' and look to the new year, as we always do, for some positive changes and resolutions.

Keep it REAL!


Get Real With Fitness Resolutions!

New Year's resolutions: We make them, we break them, we make them again. Fitness experts say if you're serious about shaping up this time, start by trading in your impossible dreams for some attainable goals.

People will say, "I'm going to lose 30 pounds," when 10 pounds would be more doable. They'll say, "I'm going to exercise every day," when three times a week may be more likely. Set realistic expectations.

Compliance is the big sexy thing in fitness research: How do we get people to comply with their program? Seek out that sweet spot of balance between too much exercise and too little. Not so little that there are no benefits, and not so much that you can't do it.

And exercise loves company! I recommend making that resolution along with a buddy. Very good research shows that having someone you're accountable to can double, even almost triple, your effectiveness. Then stick to your plan.

Make gradual, graded workout goals, say twice a week for two months. Then up your goal to three times a week for two months.

One American College of Sports Medicine study showed that motivation to be physically active was higher when sports - instead of just exercise - were involved. "Competitive is good," they say. "You feel like you've got some skin in the game."

The history of New Year's resolutions dates back to ancient Rome and the mythical King Janus, from whose name January derives. He became a symbol for resolutions because he had two faces and could look simultaneously back on the past and look forward to the future. Janus was also the guardian of entrances and doors.

Every January resolution clients enter health clubs with high hopes and no plan. I know you can relate. You might have the best intentions but not the right tools. "I really want to start exercising but I don't know what to do.'"

But if you've decided to take that New Years resolution seriously, and you're upset that it comes up year after year, commit to the resources you need. Whether it's a day-to-day planner, group classes or a personal trainer to keep you in line.

Even those without the will or the funds to join a club can achieve their fitness goals. Just get off the couch. When you come home from work, go out for a brisk walk. Studies document that three 10-minute bouts of exercise a day can be very practical. It comes down to establishing a routine that you enjoy and sticking to it.

A little soreness shows that you've done some pretty effective work. Well exercised muscles burn calories more effectively. Then, of course, nothing succeeds like success.

When people start to feel differently, when their clothes fit better or they have more energy. That's the most powerful motivating factor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Get Real With 'Diet' Resolutions

1) Your nutrition program doesn't have to be extreme.

Hold up on the insane New Year's changes. Make sure the nutrition plan you've chosen is sustainable. Simple diet changes go a lot farther than you might think.

Why not just eat more whole, natural foods rather than trying to go on an impossible-to-stick-to ultra-low carb extreme plan?

2) Get the junk out of the house.

If it's in your house, you'll eat it...and trust me, this goes for me too. When I visited my cousin'a house for Christmas, I ate all the chocolate I could find. Well close! So whatever your weakness is, keep it out of your home.

Success is that simple.


3) Fill in the "diet-killing" gap.

For some folks, the diet-killing gap is between work and dinner. For others, it's between dinner and bedtime, but for almost everyone, there is a point in the day when we suffer from mindless eating.

So make sure you have alternatives...as soon as you come home from work, cut up vegetables and dip them into hummus. That will keep you full on a small amount of calories.

After dinner, if you need something sweet, stir up chocolate protein powder into a small bit of plain yogurt. That will satisfy you.

BONUS Tip #1 - Chew your food 20 times before swallowing. Most people eat so fast they only about 5 times. You'll really notice a difference and you'll slow your eating so you feel full.

BONUS Tip #2 - Have a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup before a meal. American researcher Barbara Roll has published a lot of studies showing that this will help you reduce the food you eat. Surprisingly, consuming just water doesn't seem to do the same trick.

Most importantly, everything in moderation. Change is always hard but these suggestions are doable. Stay healthy in 2010!


Ann





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