Resolved: Keep a Resolution!
Right about now many folks are mulling over their New Year's Resolution(s). Possibly made well in anticipation of the new year starting, or possibly late last night (if very late, possibly not remembered!)
Any survey of the top 5 resolutions would probably include both (a) losing weight; and (b) exercising regularly. Sadly, prospects for keeping either dim quickly. I was at the gym this morning and it was spectacularly empty. Certainly, it is a holiday and most folks accord themselves January 1 as a grace period, but, as the tide of "New Year's Resolutionaries" flows in over the coming days, it will just as surely ebb by about the end of the month. Be February, evidence of resolutions to exercise more still in practice can only be detected with special equipment.
So, if your chosen or still-contemplated resolution involves more exercise, here's a few simple suggestions to help you make it happen.
Have Fun with It
This may seem impossible: how to enjoy exercising? Isn't it supposed to be sweaty, painful and unpleasant?
Sure, getting going from a cold start will make you sore. That's evidence of exertion.
To really get the many benefits from exercise, though, it has to be a regular part of your life. My theory is that, for this to happen, it has to be a form of exercise you get some sort of enjoyment from.
What that is depends on YOU. Some people like the solitary moving mediation of walking or running, while others prefer the camaraderie and mutual support of a group exercise class. Some like chatting in the gym in between clanging about. Some people discover that, now that the years of hard training for swim team are far enough in the past, they can actually enjoy it. Maybe a masters' swim team would be just the ticket. As any masters' swimmer knows, the workout laid out by the coach is just a suggestion. You can do whatever you like--including deciding you've had enough for today!
If you can find--and it may require some experimentation--a form of exercise you have some fun with, you're much more likely to succeed with suggestion #2, which is:
Stick with It
This is for a lot of reasons. First, none of the benefits from exercise accrue unless you stick with it. One or three workouts does not a thing for your cardiovascular fitness, strength, weight control, etc. Those all come over time with repetition.
Second, it won't get easier unless you do stick with it. For young kids, about two weeks of regular exercise (3 or more times a week) is needed to make fitness gains. For older folks, it takes longer and you should go slower. Think in terms of a month of regular exercise to really get you going. By then, your body will become accustomed what you're making it do (that is--it will be fitter), and it will be easier to keep going. You'll think back to how hard the first few workouts were, and wonder at how much more confident and strong you've become.
Some goals will take much longer to achieve, so take your time and let things build. I've known many folks who, for example, join a program to go from no exercise at all to completing a half-marathon in 12 weeks, or not much longer to complete a marathon. Frequently, injury stops them well short of the goal. Your body needs time to strengthen and adapt, and the older you are, the longer it will take. Hence, suggestion #3:
Give Yourself a Break
There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking a day or few days off when you're feeling sore and tired. Those are messages from your body to take a break. If you ignore them, they'll likely be followed by an injury which will force to really take a break. Listen to soreness and fatigue before working out as a signal to rest.
In fact, the strengthening happens when you're recovering from exercise--not when you're actually doing it. The exercise stains and to a degree breaks down your muscles. They get stronger recovering from it.
If you'd prefer doing something to complete rest, you can do active recovery: also known as cross training. This means, for example, doing an aerobics class after a hard day in the gym, or yoga after a run day. Cross-training will make you fitter faster, while varying the load on your body enough to allow what you worked the day before to recover.
Here's hoping that, through some combination of these, you can make exercise a regular part of your life, getting you to where your New Year's Resolution might be like mine: More Of The Same!
Here's wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!
The Turbo Carrera
For the club's 50th Anniversary Celebration, I created a special signature cocktail: The Turbo Carrera Martini. It's everything I like in a cocktail: crisp, refreshing, low in calories and very high octane! Won't clog the catalytic converters, either!
This drink will be poured at the Awards Banquet and Board Inaugural Gala on January 12th (along with red and white wines, beer and soft drinks) as part of the $75 price of admission! Save your $12 each and come join us!
Mix together, shake over ice, pour into your favorite martini glass and enjoy!
2 parts vodka
2 parts grapefruit juice
1 part Triple Sec or Cointreau
1/2 part lime juice or Rose's lime juice
Mix all ingredients together, shake over ice and strain into a martini glass.
Use fresh lime juice to make it less sweet, or Rose's lime juice if you like it sweeter.