New Year new beginning. The excitement most of us feel at the start of a new year often makes us feel as if we could move mountains. It is precisely this excitement that leads many of us to construct the various resolutions we come up with every year. And guess what almost always tops the list? You got it health!
Whether it's quitting smoking, losing weight, or just getting back into shape in general, health is what most people focus on when setting their goals for the New Year. Great that's the way it should be, since your health is your most valuable asset. But many people have difficulty sticking to their resolutions for any number of reasons some estimates show only 50% sticking it out longer than three months so I thought that addressing these reasons here and discussing some ways in which to overcome them would be helpful in preventing your resolutions from becoming February's casualties.
The first obstacle people face is in choosing what's right for them. Should one focus on dieting or working out? Or even gulp both? The best way to answer these question is to ask what will have the greatest impact overall. I believe that the activity which provides the biggest punch is exercising. Exercise gives the most immediately evident results, that is, you notice them right away. Dieting or better yet changing one's diet to a more healthful one, takes time before results are realized. It's not that changes do not happen the minute you change your diet but you won't realize the greater effects for some period of time. With exercise you feel sore right away, so it gives you the notion that something must be happening now. And within a couple of weeks you'll also have more energy, feel vibrant, and start to see the physical improvements taking place. So again, for most people, this is the best place to start.
There are, however, two obstacles connected to exercise that might prevent a fitness program from getting off the ground. The first is pain. Numerous people have aches and pains that they have been suffering with for so long that they've come to see them as normal. The ability to feel pain is normal; having chronic pain is not, even if it is low grade. People do not realize how much minor aches and pains keep them from carrying out what should be normal day to day activities especially physical fitness.
Pain doesn't have to control your life though. If you are in pain now, no matter how slight or insignificant it feels, you should seek a solution. Chiropractic is a phenomenal way to correct physical problems. Just understand that pain is your body's natural warning signal where pain exists, a functional problem is brewing. It could be a joint issue, a muscle issue, or a problem with your feet. Either way, most physical problems can be easily corrected if caught soon enough.
When physical problems are left unattended they can cause excessive wear and tear and become harder to correct in the long run. Think about it for a minute: If pain is keeping you from doing some of the things that could improve your life now like working out then what does it mean for your future? Uncorrected physical problems get worse, not better, over time. So you can use your imagination to picture what life will be like in five, ten, or twenty years if you don't get out of pain and back into making exercise a part of your regular routine. I address the pain problem in depth in my upcoming book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health, and discuss how chiropractic is the ultimate holistic measure to prevent pain and keep oneself in great shape. Keep on the lookout for the book's release date later this year.
Ok, what's the next obstacle people face in keeping their New Year's resolutions? For many it's drumming up the motivation to take that first step. Resolutions are easily made but carrying them out is another story. The first step in any endeavor is always the hardest, yet, once you get going, adaptation usually comes quickly, and you can rest assured that feeling great is right around the corner. The absolute best thing you can do to ensure success is to set a schedule and stick to it no matter what. Pick three days on which you'll work out, and the times you'll go, and then stick to it. Make a firm commitment. Everything worth doing takes a little push, and exercising is no exception. I give you my unconditional guarantee that if you take care of this crucial step you will be successful, and you'll reap the rewards that come with regular physical fitness.
The final obstacle to keeping a New Year's resolution has to do with the types of goals people set. Too many of us set unrealistic and consequently unattainable goals. Take losing weight for example. If one sets the goal of losing, say 25 pounds, but has no definite plan on how to do it, then failure is inevitable. Not only is it important to have a plan in place, but being sensible in how much weight to lose is also imperative. One pound a week is healthy and doable but attempting to take off 25, 30, 50, or more pounds by summer is unrealistic. If one could just set a goal of ten pounds by June 1st , and then stick to a routine, one might actually have the pleasant surprise of losing 15 pounds instead. Is there anybody reading this who would be unhappy with these results?
So let's wrap this up by summarizing: When setting your New Year's resolution this year with regard to your health, start with something that will give you the most wide reaching results. My advice start exercising. If you haven't been able to exercise because of pain, see your chiropractor today. Pick up the phone, make the call, and commit to becoming pain free and physically functional. You'll be back in the swing of things in no time. Then set realistic goals, like losing ten pounds by summer, or working out three times a week for six months straight. Make a firm commitment and stick to it. Finally, set a plan for reaching your goals, and make them doable. If they aren't, you will just have an excuse to not follow through. When you prepare your New Year's resolutions this year, do it intelligently and have a plan. Who knows? By next January you might actually be one of the few who writes something new.
- January 2, 2007
The Six Keys to Optimal Health by Dr. Nicolas Campos
For More Advice on Health and Optimal Living Read
“The Six Keys to Optimal
Health” by Dr. Nicolas Campos
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