Pic by Jacob Lund
I for one am not making unrealistic goals for 2016, but I have decided to initiate some healthy habits that overtime will become a natural part of my life.
Since we are designed to move, I am deciding to set time each day to dedicate to exercise. The truth is, for centuries people walked up to ten miles a day, worked in the fields, and spent their lives constantly in motion. It is only in the last century that people began to move less and we have paid the price for it.
Exercise is not only good for our physical bodies but it is imperative to our emotional well being. In 1999 Duke University did a study and proved that exercise was just as effective as anti-depressants at treating depression. Exercise is fundamental to our physical and mental health. If we are not exercising then we are not really living our lives at full potential.
I happen to love to run and by run I mean jog. I put in my ears to my IPOD and jog on the treadmill or outside for at least half an hour if the weather is nice, and I actually enjoy it. Of course, it didn’t start out that way. I remember the first time I decided I wanted to be a runner and I went out for a walk. I jogged for 30 seconds, fell to the ground and seriously contemplated vomiting. However, I did not give up.
My dad who was a runner for 40 years gave me some advice. He said just run until you can't and then walk till you get your breath and run again. So several years later I can jog and I enjoy it. I also enjoy yoga and pilates and some other exercise classes as well. I have found that if I find something I enjoy then I am more likely to keep doing it. I also like to remind myself of the benefits of exercise and use that for motivation: weight loss, reduced stress, higher energy, better sleep, improved flexibility, improved balance, improved overall appearance.
Strength training is important as well. I’ve been told by health professionals that adults lose 5% of muscle every ten years. Since muscle speeds up our metabolism, we may find it's not as easy to lose weight as we did a few years ago. We have to burn more calories than we did ten years ago. However, I plan to beat this problem through weight and resistance training this year. Again for motivation I remind myself that some of the benefits of strength training are: higher metabolism, toner muscles, stronger bones, Improved balance, and Improved mood.
If I do something for a short-term goal then I know I will lose motivation at some point, so I am going to be exercising and strength training more as a way of life, so that I am a happier and healthier me in 2016, care to join me?