Another year, another resolution: Try to stick to it for longer than 6 weeks
December 21, 2006
January, if you are not already aware, is the busiest time of the year for a fitness instructor.
Every January, I have the responsibility of finding reasons for you to leap into your Nikes, and keep them on at least until March. It’s the time of year when I try to inspire people to exercise and make them pay for their holiday pie. Hordes of pie-eating students will cross the line to sweat and commit themselves to a life of exercise.
However, after six weeks of exercise dedication, I often find the most conscientious fitness student fading. That’s a fact. Ten percent of you will retain the exercise habit, but the rest of you will fade. The 10 percent of you who stay with it will have a lot of fun jumping into swimming pools when summer comes.
Taking up the exercise habit is like giving up smoking. Your whole circle of friends will change, and your vocabulary will become laced with words such as deltoids, bench pressing, stroke volume and cardiovascular endurance. A whole new way of talking, living and a new lifestyle, too. Not bad, huh?
To be honest with you, sometimes I have trouble finding reasons to exercise, especially on the weekend. Now add that dark thought to the cold temperature outside, and you have a lot of very reluctant fitness students.
However, you do need to exercise; at least every other day for 20 or 30 minutes of continuous movement, and hard enough to raise your pulse to 120 beats per minute. The key here is “continuous.” You cannot use your walk to the refrigerator or putting away the laundry as your required amount of endurance work.
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Here are your required reasons for January sweating: better posture (hold that belly in!); better self-image; lower heart rate for less stress on your heart, lungs, etc.
Improved circulation; better coordination (so you won’t trip over your belly); the usual things such as stronger muscles, longer endurance; and let us not forget flexibility (you won’t have to trim your toe nails with a hedge clipper anymore).
If for some small reason you find this column stimulating enough to slog through March and continue on through 2007, then there will be less of you to roll into 2008.
And I will have gained another percentage point to add to the 10 percent that laugh and sweat.
• Jerry Vance is the owner of Sweat Shop/Wet Sweat. She offers classes through the Carson City Recreation and Aquatics Center and is a fitness instructor for the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.