Experts talk a lot about fitness.
Of course, there is much merit in what they say… but there is also a lot of money…
One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions must be losing weight and staying fit. Experts bombard us with the benefits of diets and workouts. There is a variety of programs out there, memberships, gyms, books, DVD packages, products, you name it…. all recommended or endorsed by an expert, a star or a reknown organization.
Of course, fitness is a very good resolution to commit to. It is indeed important to take care of you, health being a primary element in your life. BUT I abstain from suggesting a given program will be best for you, because what works for me, may not work for you.
I learned this the hard way. Fitness for me has always been an issue. Losing weight has never been the primary motivation for fitness for me, but I have needed exercise as a stress reliever and for its cardio benefits. I have always listened to others…
The GYM – Experts, not to mention many of my close friends, highly recommend going to the gym at least three times a week. For several years, going to the gym was top on my New Year’s Resolutions list. It kept returning because every year I would fail! I wouldn’t make it past 6 weeks no matter which month of year I started!! I would start again, and fail again annually! Breaking the flow of my speedy routine to go to the gym, three times a week at that (when I hardly have time to go to the washroom) to kill myself on machines, was not really a very appealing gift to my body! (but it may be for you)
BOOTCAMPS & classes – A few years back, bootcamps were popular. Before that aerobics classes. A good friend of mine said having a set schedule and meeting the same people each time makes it fun to go to. The gym I joined created bootcamp groups to workout together. Sorry, not for me! No thanks. That type of workout is like torture to me. Who wants to feel like a soldier being yelled at to keep going, when your thighs are about to burn to a crisp from the inside out?? (but you may like that)
DVDs – Another popular choice is the DVD packaged workout program. Frankly I am not disciplined enough to exercise in front of my TV. I tried pilates and I nearly killed myself with the first pose! I also found it a little difficult to be laying on the floor with dogs roaming around me, sniffing me to figure out what I was doing there….. That clearly didn’t work for me! (but it may be the perfect program for you)
USING REWARDS – Going back to the gym, I tried running on the treadmill. I enjoyed the satisfaction of being able to increase my running time at each session (record 10 minutes… whew) and it motivated me for all of 6 weeks, once again!! I even tried to reward myself by taking 10 minutes to relax at the tanning salon next door. I ended up looking fabulous, like I had just come back from vacation all the time, without a single muscle toned the way I wanted… Useless!! (rewards might work for you though)
So I finally researched into other options, less popular ones. Which option might work best for me, my schedule and my style?
NATURE WALKS – Koko is the newest member of our family. He is a rescue Doberman. He was so thin when we got him, he needed exercise to build his muscles while I fed him 3 times a day to fatten him up. That was in the summer. I started taking walks with him. It was amazing for me too! I told the kids that my walks with Koko were off limits. This was my time alone, to walk, exercise, think and clear my head after work. It was wonderful. Finally a form of exercise I enjoyed. Until it snowed!!! Koko and I both love the heat… sorry! (I know friends who hike daily and it might very well work for you)
YOGA – I always resisted yoga, never taking the time to understand its benefits. But it was high time I looked into it if I was to put fitness at the top of my New Year’s Resolutions list again. I was recommended Bikram Yoga, the newest thing in town, better known as Hot Yoga. Heat, sweat, slow movements, just my thing! Stretching… my chiro will love me for trying this… so I did. Bikram Yoga is said to be the most difficult of all types of yoga, but I got through the whole 90 minutes and it was very envigorating… It definitely isn’t for everyone but seems to be my thing… (and it might be yours too!)
Experts are talking more and more about the benefits of yoga but who cares! The important thing is that I finally found the type of mind, body, soul exercise that best fits ME! This is perfect for me, it may not be for you.
So no matter what the experts say, search for the form of exercise that will best suit YOUR lifestyle and YOU.
Your New Year’s Resolution will be yours, what you want for you, not what experts say you should want for you…!