Happy Belated New Year!
My apologies for the dearth of posts over the last week or so. I am away and decided to put the computer away…which lasted about 1 day. Yes, it’s sad. I seem to have caught the technology obsession that plagues most of my generation and, well, most other generations.
I just wanted to touch base and wish you all a very happy New Year! I appreciate that my wishes are exceptionally belated, however, I thought “better late than never”!
With the beginning of the new year, many of you will be making resolutions. Many of these resolutions will likely revolve around weight, looks, and health. I have touched on resolutions already, but thought a few more words wouldn’t hurt.
1. Don’t go on a diet. The bottom line: they don’t work and never will. By avoiding certain foods you are constantly reminding yourself of what you can and cannot have. And thus, you will more than likely develop a fixation and perhaps food lust for those “sinful” foods and potentially eat more of them. Research has shown (cannot quote the exact source at the moment) that when we eat foods that we have deemed sinful (e.g. cookies, cake, ice-cream) we actually experience a greater reward/pleasure response. Yes, our brains actually secrete more endorphins than they would have if we hadn’t given that cookie sinful status. Do NOT start a diet.
2. Don’t join a gym. Typically, new gym joiners go once or twice and push themselves to the point of mass destruction. Two days following the intense workout, they will experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is uncomfortable. If you are a new gym joiner and this is the first time you have worked out in weeks, months or years, you will experience DOMS and thus, likely associate exercise with pain. This is unfortunate and will likely deter your from entering the gym again. While first-time exercise is likely to induce a little bit of pain, it doesn’t need to be excruciating. I would encourage you to start small (e.g. walking, cycling, canoeing, skating) and work towards more intense and challenging workouts. Once you are feeling a little more confident in your exercise ability, join that gym. Yet, if you need some guidance, encouragement and ideas on how to get started investing in a personal trainer may be a good idea.
3. Be cautious when selecting a personal trainer. There are so many personal trainers out there, and a large proportion have no formal education in exercise science, kinesiology, physiology, etc. They have received personal training certifications from weekend courses and some have received certification following a 4-year undergraduate degree. Either route is going to, without question, produce some duds. It’s really important that you talk to the gym and/or the individual personal trainer about their training, their personal experience, their continuing education strategies and so on.
4. Find a partner in crime. Making a change is so much easier when you have someone else in tow.
5. Don’t make a resolution, make a life-long change. Say what? I know, I know, I’ve been talking about resolutions and now I am telling you to NOT make a resolution. I apologize for the confusion. What I mean is that don’t make a resolution that isn’t sustainable. When you write down what you would like to change, ensure that the change is realistic and sustainable over the long-haul. If you’re resolution is to eat bean soup for lunch everyday because it is “so low cal”, please ask yourself if that is sustainable. And please, please, please be honest in your answer.