A very much established tradition that arrives with the new calendar, once again tauntingly casts upon us its ritualistic “New Year's Resolutions”. The majority of them calling on us to take a look at our lifestyles and evaluate the state of our physical, financial and mental well-being. As it relates to my profession (Personal Trainer), most resolutions pertaining to changing one’s lifestyle, whether they are motivated by health or cosmetic reasons, are associated with their equally ritualistic premature termination - a phenomenon we professionals usually observe around mid-March.

Humans tend to think in concepts and therefore fail to understand what befalls us in our individual approach to modifying certain aspects of our behaviors.  Most resolutions fail from the start because of a lack of understanding of our body’s adaptive ability. In order to create a sustainable change in our daily routines, our habits, beliefs, and actions must FIRST be modified in ways that are non-threatening to our already reluctant psyches and deconditioned bodies. Every year I see too many people willingly PUNISH themselves into becoming the healthy person they know they can become if only they can survive the excruciatingly demanding exercise program and angst-causing nutrition regimen they have chosen to follow.

The driving force behind most new year’s resolution could be traced to the adage: “Exercise is Good for Your Health” which is a flawed concept. Let me explain.

Most neophytes’ concept of “Exercise” unfortunately is be-smudged by a set of unspoken rules geared toward expanding our athletic abilities and enhancing our physical attributes rather than promoting the plethora of health benefits. As a result, most people start on their ill-fated journey with pre-set numbers and amounts pertaining to reps, sets, weight lifted, etc., that are deemed acceptable if they are to be successful on their endeavor (we like to report our performances to our peers for validation). How about the fact that the body is about to undergo major psychological and biochemical transformations? Because we tend to measure our success via cosmetic appearance, we adhere to other beliefs such as the popular “eat less, move more” which quickly is turned into: under-eat and over-train.  Too much activity fueled by too little energy is the reason why our “resolute member” falls by the wayside in the early Spring. 

As a physical being, the human body is capable of only ONE function: MOVEMENT. The body thrives when it moves and dies when it stagnates. We can see it all over the world. No research is necessary. Active people live longer and feel better than inactive people, so don’t exercise, JUST MOVE! I put forth the hypothesis that if we were to rephrase the aforementioned adage to: “Movement is beneficial to your Health”, people would partake in many more varied types of physical activities, with fewer if any preconceived and acceptable workloads to be achieved/reported.

How many reps? How much weight? How often? How much cardio? What should I eat? Those are questions that I, as a professional, am reluctant to answer for their answers bathe in controversy. The vast majority of exercisers are COMPLETION minded rather than EXECUTION minded. In other words, they favor quantity over quality- most often in order to reach a goal which they have determined will bring them a sense of satisfaction and achievement. We all tend to learn from emulating someone (usually the person whose physique we covet), rarely questioning the reasons behind the method. Why not try to understand your muscles’ functions before jumping on a machine designed to develop a particular muscle group? Why not try feeling good in the process of looking good? Have you tried a group “MOVEMENT” class? We can now kickbox, meditate, cycle, or dance ourselves to health. Take advantage of our club’s resources and staff to make sure you are still around to welcome the 2011 class of resolutions.

Being fit & healthy is lifestyle not just appearance. You were given one vehicle to navigate through this life, and very much like your car, it needs regular maintenance. So for 2010, move often, enjoyably so and feed your body with real food (if it doesn’t rot, don’t eat it), that’s all you need to do.