The Top Ten Health Resolutions for 2011 (According to CaptainChas):
- Get More Sleep. More and more studies show that sleep is a critical part of losing weight and fitness. The body needs time to rest and repair from all the activities of the day, and the brain needs the time to process all the data it received. From an empirical standpoint, the more you sleep, the more you “fast”, and, studies show, the less calories you consume for the day. Makes sense to me.
- Lose Weight. Okay, I know this is a common and a good goal. But remember to be realistic, no more than 2lbs per week, and weight itself is often a false goal. In reality, most people want to lose fat. I don’t want to lose weight – I want to lose fat. So if I become more lean, gain muscle, and become more nimble, without losing the entire 10lbs I want to lose – I will not be disappointed.
- Manage Time Better. People who say they don’t have time to exercise simply aren’t managing their time well. Doctors, Lawyers, stockbrokers, and others who work 60 hour work weeks still manage to find time to prepare for an Ironman Triathlon, which includes some weeks with 20 hours of workouts. It’s all about management skills, and, more importantly, placing an importance on exercise. Make fitness and health a priority in your life, and you’ll “find” time for all your fitness goals.
- Cut Back on Alcohol. A realistic goal for some of us. Cold-Turkey doesn’t work, and actually studies have shown a little alcohol can be a good thing. In my case, I need to cut back to no more than one or two glasses a week.
- Eat & Drink Wiser. Eating well doesn’t mean eating happily. We shouldn’t have a fight with what we eat. I love chocolate chip cookies – I’m not giving those up, nor would I want to quit eating them. However, I shouldn’t eat them as often as I do. Also, I need to fuel my athletic activities with the appropriate carbs and proteins. So, it’s gone beyond calorie counting – it’s about eating the right things. Along with that, us Americans drink WAAAAY too little water. So, as part of eating/drinking wiser, that includes drinking more water (and tea!). For women, that should include items with calcium, and despite the horrible recommendations from the Department of Health, it shouldn’t include as much milk as they say – there are other sources of calcium.
- Take Vitamins. I realize that if I ate everything correctly at the right time, I wouldn’t need vitamins. However, I don’t. Vitamins make up for that deficiency in my diet. Also, vitamins are not all the same. Quality is important – today, many multivitamins contain more than just vitamins, they also include herbs and other helpful items. Believe in them or not – they work for me.
- Accept Setbacks. Triathletes are notorious A-Type personalities who obsess over workouts. We try to make up for a missed workout to the point we may actually be making things worse. Along the same lines, just because you don’t meet a particular goal doesn’t mean you should abandon all of them, or get discouraged if you get behind schedule. A journey of a thousand leagues begins with the first step, but don’t expect every step to be smooth.
- Reduce Stress. Yes, I know this isn’t specific, but the idea is to identify specific stress-reduction strategies. These can include: Staying in touch with family more, sleeping more, getting out of debt, learning to not sweat the small stuff, removing “negative” energy people, etc. In fact, that last one is so important that:
- Remove Negative Influences. One of the most important aspects of health and fitness is removing the negative “energy” from your life. Negative people, food, etc. Negative energy simply sucks the life out of you and discourages you in your goals. So if someone or something detracts from your goals, do one of two things – either get rid of them, or, if you can’t – learn to ignore them.
- Exercise Your Brain. Believe it or not, the brain is as much a muscle as your biceps. Several stories I’ve read have shown that using the brain can prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Not only that, but finding something you find interesting will keep you engaged, energetic… and happy. So decide to learn a new language, new skill, or new game. Anything to put your noggin to the test.
So, now that you have the Top Ten, how do you actually… follow them? According to the KRON 4 clinical psychologist on TV today, he said you should:
- Be Specific in Your Goals (Right now, I want to lose 9.5lbs)
- Be Realistic (I’m not swearing off alcohol)
- Set a Timetable for your goals (May, 29, 2011: Comrades 55-Mile Ultramarathon!)
Sounds good to me!