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Resolutions - Make Health & Fitness a Part of Life

posted Dec 26, 2013, 8:24 AM by Walk Strong Calgary
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Hope you had a wonderful time with friends and family!

New Year's Resolutions tend to be part of the Holiday Season - have you set your goals for 2014? In speaking with people these past few weeks, many have made similar comments - they have great intentions but have difficulty following through or sticking with it, particularly where physical activity is concerned. One of my Walkers works in building that has a nice fitness facility - she indicated that every January, the place is packed with people for about two weeks... then attendance begins to taper off. She has watched people come in, work themselves to a point of almost puking, and drag themselves back out. Some people like that kind of workout, but this isn't the kind of regime that's going to work for everyone - I know I certainly wouldn't stick to something like that. It's a good example of how resolutions can set you up for failure if they're not realistic or if you take an approach that will be difficult to maintain. For me, my success has come from making health & fitness a part of my every day life - it's more about making healthier choices than it is about a strict regime.

The terms 'health' and 'fitness' are actually two different things, though they do contain similar properties. 'Fitness' refers to the degree of body functioning and the ability of the body to handle physical demands. A good exercise program will improve strength, flexibility, posture, cardiovascular health, reduce body fat composition, remove more toxins from the body, and increase your body's ability to perform every day tasks. It's a major part of a preventative approach to overall health.

'Health' refers to the absence of disease, and the choices we make every day can have either a positive or negative impact on our state of health. I love this quote by Dr. Mitra Ray, who works in the area of degenerative diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's: "With every choice that you make, you're either investing in your wellness or you're subsidizing your illness."  Whether it's cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., these conditions work silently in our bodies for a long time before symptoms actually become evident. I've noticed a shift in recent years around health care - people are taking control of their health like never before, focusing on prevention so that treatment hopefully isn't necessary. 

Getting nutrition from whole foods is one great option - that's how our bodies were designed after all. The Canada
Food Guide recommends 7-10 servings of fruits & vegetables daily, for example - but in our hectic lives, it's not easy to do this consistently. That's where a good quality supplement comes in, and there are some very good ones out
there. I'm an advocate for supplements themselves, but have recently begun to focus my attention on those containing higher-quality ingredients, less fillers and additives. I want to know what's going into my body. In the course of my research, I discovered a whole food supplement called Juice Plus+ made from fruits and vegetables, suitable for both Vegan and Gluten-Free diets. The ingredients actually are F&V and it contains little or no fillers. Since the powder in the capsules is real food, your body recognizes it and absorbs the nutrients easily and readily, releasing them into your body as needed. It's not a vitamin - it's whole food nutrition. I've replaced my multi-vitamin with it recently and  
continue to take Vitamin D and an Omega 3. It's a great way to bridge the gap where my fruits and veg intake goes.

Whatever your goals for 2014, know that there are some great options out there for you around a healthy diet and a good fitness routine. Try some them and see what works best for you. If you're looking for something easy and fun, where you work at your own fitness level, come out and try a Walk Live class - no special equipment needed - just comfy clothing and a good pair of sneakers (oh, and a water bottle - hydration is very important!). 

Enjoy the rest of the Christmas season and may 2014 be your happiest and healthiest year yet!

God bless!
Nancy Ehle
Certified WALK Leader
Certified Sports Nutritionist