We cannot stand still

By Brian Cole, Personal Training Associates

Hello 2015! These years just go by so fast. And this one will too. I know it’ll bring changes to my life—and to yours. We don’t/we cannot stand still and stop time. Along with that inevitability comes this: Neither you nor I will be the same at the end of 2015. We will improve or worsen. Guaranteed.

Luck, good or bad, will play a part in that but we do have a lot of control over our personal choices, decisions and actions. And they influence what we chalk up to “luck.” If I knew what to write that would make all readers improve themselves in 2015, I’d surely write it. That would make me responsible for reducing not only waistlines but also individual health care needs, costs and insurance premiums. Dramatically.

We all pay for the deconditioned, the overweight and for the folks without the self-discipline to take the specific strides to improve their health.

So if I can help one person take charge of his or her life and improve his or her health in 2015, we all benefit.

For those who are ready I’ll offer this: No matter how well intentioned we are, there always seem to be obstacles (time, family obligations, earning a living, etc.) that interfere with our goals of adding healthier behaviors.

One strategy that has proven successful is to take small steps and to be specific.

We still have to add self-discipline but “small and specific” gives us the opportunity to build our habits slowly, reasonably, realistically and to therefore gain confidence in our capacity to change ourselves and move in a positive direction.

Rather than set broad goals (“I’m going to start working out three days a week, walking 30 minutes every day and give up my soft drinks”), how about: “On Tuesday and Friday afternoons,

I’m going to work out from 4:30 to 5:30 because I can make those times fit my lifestyle. On Wednesday mornings and at least once on Saturday/ Sunday, I’m going to take a longer, brisker walk with my dog and just relax and enjoy it. I’ll also be strict about reducing my soft drinks from four to two daily.” Stuff like that. Set specific achievable goals that are respectful of other responsibilities and daily schedules.

You can do it. In this easiest of all living conditions ever known to humans, you can take charge of your life. In addition to feeling physically better, moving more freely and having more energy, you’ll also be aware of some very positive state-of-mind benefits.

The alternative: In 2015 you will worsen. I’m not using fear as a motivator; I’m stating a physiological fact. As we age, if we don’t work to deter the slide, we steadily deteriorate. As is clearly proven, we can stop some of the negatives and we can slow most of the rest. In one sense, we cannot stand still. In another, we shouldn’t. So don’t. We have to move. When we were children we walked and ran and climbed and jumped and reached and played. Then we took on adult responsibilities, embraced modern labor-saving conveniences, and started sitting more/moving less.

It’s a bit puzzling to understand. With the rewards of just moving more, being almost immediate and are proven to be: feeling better, moving more freely, improving our sense of balance, spending less on our healthcare and having more energy, why are so many people not doing it? These aren’t outcomes with vague future benefits.

These are almost immediate! And can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s a short, short life. It’s just common sense to do what is necessary to be able to responsibly enjoy as much of our brief time here as we possibly can. I hope 2015 finds someone out there agreeing, taking control, adding the self-discipline and reaping the rewards. You’ll always be glad you did.

Guaranteed. We cannot stand still. I hope you choose to improve.

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