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Getting Back on the Horse

For many, the start of a new year is often the impetus to attempting to lose weight.  It is the number one resolution that is made.  To lose weight or get fit or lose the love handles or whichever way you want to say it.  And we all know how the story will go for most people:

Step One: Make resolution in December.

Step Two: Start going to park or mall to walk/Join a gym.

Step Three: Continue routine for a month or so.

Step Four: Lose interest as workout routine clashes with things we want to do — TV schedule, events, etc.

Step Five: No longer exercising/going to gym/jogging by March.

Sadly, it has gotten to the point that many large-chain gyms and fitness actually factor that into their promotions and sales plans.  They know that most of the people rushing inside to sign year-long contracts in January will not be there come late October.  They know this and still happily let you sign on the dotted line because, well, that’s their job.  They’re salespeople; not your life coach.

An anecdote: years ago, when I joined a major, national gym, the guy who I talked to about a workout regimen was all certain about how he’d help me get a plan built just for me.  I saw the guy once more after that.  I was basically on my own from that point on.

That said, let me help you by providing some simple tips on getting back on that horse and trying to make 2011 the year you actually do get fit.

1.  Pick something you can do EVERY day: it’s sometimes so easy to forget that the way to learn anything is via repetition.  It’s the same with working out.  You have to be able to fit it into your schedule.  A sweet gym with expert, beautiful trainers at every machine might be nice, but if you can’t make it there but once every 2 weeks, it’s worthless.  Instead focus on something that fits your schedule, lifestyle, budget and interests every single day.

2. Start out light: You’re not going to run 3 miles every day.  You’re not going to work out for 2 hours every day.  Again, honesty is the key.  Go to your park and walk the track once every day.  Do it for a month and, when you’re ready, do two laps.  Then three.  Then start jogging lightly.  Consult your physician before doing anything strenuous.

3. Focus on your “nutritional plan”: I’m not saying diet, because diet is what you do for 2 weeks to fit into a dress before an event.  A nutritional plan, on the other hand, is about how you eat and what you eat every day for the rest of your lives.  Forget the diets crazes and just focus on eating better.

4. Be Patient: the biggest destroyer of resolutions is the lack of immediate results.  You have to be willing to let your body adapt and conform to your attempts at shedding pounds.  So don’t be so quick to say “I’m not seeing any changes!” You won’t for a while.  On the contrary, use the time to set the foundation of your healthy lifestyle — so that when the changes do happen, you will be ready to take advantage of them.

Good luck in 2011!

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