With the holiday season behind us, it’s not uncommon to gain three to eight pounds. Let’s be honest. We really don’t prepare ourselves for all the social and family gatherings. As the holidays are a time for giving, we have a tendency to forget about ourselves until January, and then we make that same yearly resolution.
Being a practitioner at the Oro Valley Community Center, I see a lot of new faces at the gym this time of year. My email and phone are busy with prospective inquiries wanting to start their New Year’s resolutions. While it’s great to see the excitement and enthusiasm, most end up being unsuccessful. In fact, according to a 2017 national survey, 45 percent of Americans would like to lose weight and/or get in shape for their New Year’s resolution. Amazingly, 80 percent of those people end up quitting by February.
I truly believe that after the holidays, most people are completely wiped out mentally and physically. We forget that even though we had to spend time sending holiday cards, putting up decorations, shopping for gifts, attending and hosting parties and everything else, we still had to go to work and manage our day-to-day duties. The amount of cumulative stress through the holiday season can be very detrimental to our health and immune system.
We compound this by adding a new stressor—the New Year’s resolution. Most people start their resolutions very committed, yet most of the time they’ve set an unrealistic goal. Vigorous exercise and/or extreme dieting are common choices. This is only going to create more stress which will lead to the body and immune system breaking down, eventually leading to pain, sickness and depression. Our risk of sickness this time of year is already high, with cold bugs, the flu and allergies. So it’s important to boost our immune system with the right foundation principles. Foundation principles include eating, hydrating, sleeping, exercising, thinking and breathing. We must be mindful about these principles in everyday living, and approach them with positive intent.
For better health, and to live a more fulfilled life, you must first start with yourself. Give your body and mind what they need—care and love. We can only do this by making better choices, and that begins when we first get out of bed in the morning.
Instead of wanting to lose 20, 30, 50 or 100 pounds with extreme diet and exercise, pay more attention to making small changes every day to your foundation wellness principles. I always invite my patients to add a new habit daily for their long-term health. Many bad habits have been engraved into our lives for years, so they don’t just disappear overnight. It is amazing how quickly these small, daily changes add up leading to positive and permanent change.
We can be in charge of our own health. Instead of always calling on doctors to merely treat our symptoms with medications, and never getting to the root cause, start looking at your food and water like they are medicine. Exercise for your posture, how you want your body to feel and how you want to perform in your day or sport. Use sleep and rest as a way for your body to cultivate energy to repair and rebuild. Be more positive and thankful with your thinking. Your breath is your life, breathe with intention.
So, if you are starting or continuing your New Year’s resolution, have a plan, purpose and goal. I started my own 90-day wellness challenge, and I invite you to join me—just follow me on Instagram (@ovperformance), where I’ll share daily tips. Not on social media? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember: the goal is to create permanent change, so be consistent. Hiccups along the way are to be expected, but it’s consistency over time that will lead to success. You can do anything you want. 2019 is your year. Now is the time to put your mind to it.
Julian Turner is a C.H.E.K Practitioner 2, C.H.E.K Holistic Lifestyle Coach, C.H.E.K Tennis Conditioning Specialist and owner of Reach Your Potential. He specializes in corrective exercise, pre- and post-rehab, athletic development, sports performance and lifestyle coaching. With 25 years of experience, he operates out of a state-of-the-art studio located within the Oro Valley Community Center. His integrated approach has helped individuals and athletes improve performance, prevent and recover from injuries and pain.