Contributed by Dr. Cara Cerrone
New Year resolutions are meant to fix what was still broken the year before. This year I will be thinner, smarter, happier, healthier, etc… It all sounds very promising, but often too daunting as the year progresses. So how can this year’s resolution become a reality for 2010?
Health and fitness is most often the focus for a New Year resolution. Unfortunately, this becomes a challenge as we start to incorporate this addition to our lifestyles. The most common desire is to decrease weight and increase exercise. A better chance of success in any fitness plan is to ease into a workout routine. The body works best with a gradual introduction to change. Any sudden change can be felt as a trauma to the body and not adhered to long term. So instead of deciding to workout everyday after you’ve been on the couch for the past few weeks, it would be better to make a goal of 2 to 3 times a week and progress as your body allows. If for some reason this is not followed, don’t use that as an excuse to drop the whole plan entirely. Start again the next day.
Nutrition for many of us is ignored as work and responsibilities become our focus. Now is the time to re-introduce fresh fruits and vegetables, sources of protein, supplements that are necessary for your body and a regular intake of water. Many of us tend to increase the caloric intake during the holiday celebrations and often feel the need to “detox” after this indulgence. Everyone has different needs and some “detox” procedures can deplete the body of too many nutrients. Relatively healthy diets with water as a primary source of beverage can be very helpful to kick start your body into the New Year change. If a “detox” program is in your heart’s desire, please consult with a doctor that is well versed in your needs and health status prior to starting a rigorous program.
Thoughts. Ahhh, the good and evil within. The stress of day-to-day life is necessary to some extent. However, when stress builds up and becomes an overwhelming anxiety, the body responds with a sympathetic response (fight or flight mode). This is part of your autonomic nervous system that gets the body ready for action, which can be a great thing if you are being chased by a wild animal. However, the level of stress felt while being chased by a tiger is not necessary if we are simply worried about the stress of a workday. Either way your body feels this sympathetic/stress response and must do something with it or harbor it in some fashion. So how do we release this tension and what happens if we do not?
Just like with any health care plan, to relieve tension is unique to everyone. My suggestion is to look into the hobbies you have or once had. There in lies your heart’s message of peace. One man’s meditation and bliss is another’s rage and thunder. Find your personal bliss as you search for a new happier self. Many times when we don’t find an outlet to relieve stress, the body begins to react on a physical level. If when the stress of the day makes my shoulders tense up as if I am carrying 100lb bag, yet I am really just typing on my computer. I begin to wonder why my shoulders/ neck ache and eventually I wont even be able to connect this tension with my severe headaches that I can’tseem to eliminate. Cause and effect is ever illusive yet so powerful. Many of us use our energy and life in constant search of balance. When balance is not found, dysfunction is the outcome.
As New Year resolutions are taken, remember the core of nature is to find balance and everyone’s path to bliss is unique. Those resolutions will be a lot less daunting if we ease into a fitness routine, find our unique nutrition plan and use proper outlets for anxiety.