Commit to being fit and healthy

It's that time of year again. A new year and the time when we start making those ever popular New Year's resolutions.

To be honest, I'm not one who has ever put much thought into this concept.

It's not that I think setting resolutions are unimportant, but I do feel that New Year's resolutions are sometimes made as a fleeting thought and made with no real focus or game plan in mind.

Resolutions and goals for a healthier you should be made for the long term. When you set goals, focus on goals that contribute to living a "healthy" life and make them as a life long commitment to better health.

When you set a New Year's resolution, are you setting goals that are short lived and fizzle out at the end of a month of a rigorous, new exercise regimen or when you reach that magic number on the scale?

When you set those goals, are they realistic ones that will fit into the time constraints of an already busy life? Are you creating an environment of "self-sabotage" and setting yourself up for failure before you have even begun?

When you set those resolutions this year, I suggest looking at the big picture. Make changes that are for the long term and ones that focus on being healthy with particular attention to balance in your life. Setting realistic, attainable goals are the best way to make sure you will not only make healthy changes in the short-term, but that you will make resolutions that will last a lifetime.



SET AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF TO EXERCISE

This is not a new term in regards to fitting in exercise, but it is amazing to me how many people ignore this all too important first step. If you take the position that you will "workout for 30 minutes if I have time" sort of mentality, you are never going to consistently get that workout in. You need to find four to six days per week and a specific time during those days that you know will work for you. If you work full-time, I suggest first thing in the morning.

If you don't work full-time, but stay home with your children, I also suggest hitting the gym first thing in the morning.

When I quit my job to stay at home, it became apparent to me that organization and prioritization of my day was now solely up to me. Of course, when you have children, you do have to take into consideration their feeding and sleeping schedules.



ENLIST THE HELP OF A FRIEND OR PERSONAL TRAINER

I love working out by myself. It gives me time to think, and I truly enjoy the peacefulness and beauty of a long bike ride or run by myself. On the other hand, it is really fun to look forward to riding or running with my friends.

It's a great way to get through a workout and it definitely makes the time go by more quickly when you are talking with a friend. Find a workout buddy that has the same time availability as you do and set up two or three days per week to meet for a joint workout.

Workout buddies help you stay committed and can make your workouts more enjoyable. However, an inconsistent and unreliable "buddy" may do more harm than good, so make sure they are as committed as you are to a workout schedule.



SET REALISTIC GOALS

I'm never going to be a professional tri-athlete, nor will I ever look like a swimsuit model. If these were my original goals, I would have given up a long time ago.

Keeping goals specific, realistic, and attainable will help keep you on course without setting yourself up for disappointment. A good goal for incorporating exercise into your daily life would be, "I am going to exercise thirty minutes per day, Monday through Friday, at 9 a.m. each morning". This makes the goal measurable and specific, and will make it easier to stick to a goal when stated as such.

Another great way to stay on course, without the pure focus being to lose weight, is to put an event or race on your calendar. Many of you will think, "I'm not an athlete and I can't possibly run a 5K."

With regard to weight loss, set goals that are realistic for you. We are all built genetically different and all have a weight that is healthy for us. I am a true mesomorph. I am built with a short, powerful musculature.

Set realistic weight loss goals, and better yet, don't focus on a number on the scale. Instead, focus on eating healthy and exercising daily, and the weight will work itself out.



ADDING BALANCE AND HEALTHY LIVING TO A LIFESTYLE

Life can be chaotic and balance can be difficult to attain. However, healthy living is a reasonable, attainable goal for all of us.

Finding balance in your life and giving the necessary importance and value to how you live your life is so important.

Make this the year you make a life long commitment to making changes for the better and take those necessary steps to live the healthiest life imaginable for you.

Missy Janzow received her B.S. in Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University and owns Fit4U, a personalized coaching and nutrition business that serves to train the novice or sea soned triathlete or run ner. You can reach her with your questions at janzowml@yahoo.com.