Every year the same thing happens to nearly all of us. The weather starts changing, the holidays start approaching and the comforts of great food and warm beverages and sitting in front of the game all coalesce into winter weight and fatigue. What is interesting about this phenomenon is that is traces back to our ancestors...not the obsessive football watching on the big screen, but the hibernation-oriented winter seasons. The difference now is that life''s stressors and requirements are much different now for us than they were for them then.
For all intents and purposes our lives continue on in a very similar manner with responsibilities at work, at home and to others. We continue to have very similar, if not greater health stressors due to the cold and flu season, during this season of the year. However, this is when most of us neglect our fitness and our health. We generally tend to workout less or not at all, we increase our caloric intake dramatically and we become more sedentary.
There are two parts to this phenomenon, with the first being the seasonal changes and how they impact diet and exercise and the second is the ever optional "New Year''s Resolution". The annual inflection point of potential change gets nearly all of us when it comes to fitness and health, at least for a few weeks. Having this new starting point as an option for changing our lives is great. However, it statistically is a much greater failure than a success.
So, this year change the game...end the year in shape vs. out of shape. But how? Well, there are a number of options, but the first and most important is personally committing to it. By having the intention and commitment you are half way there. Write down in marker ink on your bathroom window, "I will end the year in great shape". This will be the constant daily reminder you need that you made a commitment to your fitness and yourself.
The second half is follow through and execution. Begin by implementing what we call "the fives". This is that you workout in any capacity for 5 days a week for at least 5 minutes. This can be dancing in your room to your favorite music, it can be running to the park up the street and back, it can be nearly anything. The reason it is such a short period of time and for so many days a week is that it builds a behavioral change in your mind and body. You begin to regularly workout. You will likely find that when you work out for 5 minutes, going to 10 and then to 15 and then to the critical 20 minute mark will not be too daunting or difficult.
Just start and the rest just begins to happen. You will note that we didn''t state, eat less sweet, avoid the turkey, etc. The reason we did not is that you will inherently eat less, make better food choices and be less sedentary because you will be exercising. They go hand in hand. People that exercise regularly make better eating and lifestyle choices...period. This is a challenge for all of us, to end the year in shape, but if you make the commitment and execute with "the fives", you can and will do it. Health is a journey...begin yours today.