Charis Village Cafe

Jan 10, 2019

Did you set any New Year resolutions about health and fitness? If so, are you still keeping them?  I am notoriously poor at sticking with New Year resolutions, and thus find myself in the poorly company of 70% of Canadians, according to Mr. Patrick Gaudreau, a researcher from the University of Ottawa. In the spirit of resilience, however, I've decided to bounce back again. Today I hope to offer you (and me) some tips gleaned from the experts and from my own experience on how to keep active despite the backsliding. 

First of all, I want to congratulate you if you took the effort to come up with a goal to take care of your health. Wayne Gretzky is said to have stated that he misses every shot he doesn't take. So let's take a shot at keeping our health resolutions! Here's what I've discovered:

1) Keep your goal realistic and reasonable. Not many people can spend 4 hours a day working out, nor will they stick with a celery and cottage cheese diet for 6 months. Let's face it, few there be who will spend half their life in a weight room or who can eat like a bird when they are clearly a full-grown human being. Wink

2) Choose something you actually like to do. I like my exercise to be a social experience and I like variety, so a mix of walking with a friend, joining an aerobics class and playing pickle ball are great choices for me. My husband likes routine, numbers and solitary time, and running a daily 10K on a treadmill, preferably with carefully timed increments of speed and some competition against a colleague, puts him on cloud nine. Believe me, this would NOT put me even on cloud one, wherever that is! To thine own self be true!

3) Find a way to be accountable to someone. In Gretchin Rubin's book "The Four Tendencies," she tells of how two friends exchanged one of their running shoes every day after workouts so that they would have to show up the next day and return their partners' shoes in order for the workout to happen. Now that's accountability, right! Maybe for some of you it is easy to stick with a routine, but if you need a push, consider joining a class, getting a dog or meeting up with a friend. FYI, I'm looking for someone to exchange shoes with. 

4) Plan what you will do for alternatives. Some days you really won't feel like going for that walk, especially the cold, snowy, icy, cloudy, windy, miserable days. Basically, from October through March. Haha! Kidding! Sort of. On those days, give yourself some grace - but not too much. Instead of making excuses, bring out your pre-meditated Plan B. Go to the mall and walk around it a few times.  Purchase a yoga mat and hand weights and do a home workout from a DVD or TV show. Put on some music and dance for joy in the living room. (If you are from a church that frowns on dancing, call it Step Aerobics. Ask me how that works!)

Lacombe community is blessed with great fitness and health resources. Wolf Creek Primary Care Network runs Aging Well exercise classes. Snap Fitness and two boot camp style gyms offer sweat-worthy classes almost any time of the day. The Kinsmen Recreation Centre holds low impact water aerobics classes and lane swimming times. (By the way, I think a soak in their hot tub is a great reward after a swim.) Join a curling club at the arena or volleyball in a school gym. Put on some skates, snowshoes or cross-country skies and enjoy the winter scenery around the lakes. Burman University has racquetball, pickle ball, the Seniors Acronaires, a weight room, swimming and water aerobics. Ron Schafer offers a free, popular seniors workout specifically aimed at improving fitness, strength, balance, and coordination. Do you have mobiity challenges? Have a seat in Tiffany's chair fitness class at Burman, or enjoy the wheelchair accessible paved path around Cranna Lake or the bike path between Lacombe and Blackfalds. 

I am convinced that every day is better when I keep my promise to myself to be active, and I can pretty much guarantee that this is true for you too. I hope this inspires you to take that shot today and tomorrow and the day after that, too. Here's to a happy, healthy New Year!

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