Now that January is half over, how many of your New Year’s resolutions are you keeping? It’s not too late to re calibrate your expectations. If you’ve resolved to quit smoking, lose 50 lbs, and exercise every day, chances are you’ve already backslid a bit. If you’re hoping for a genuinely healthier you in 2012, here are some steps to keep in mind at this critical juncture:
Set more realistic goals.
Few of us will ever return to the weight we were when we finished high school, but with a bit of effort, most of us can get our body mass index back to a normal range.
Your BMI is a metric ratio between your weight and height. When using English measurements, multiply your weight in pounds by 703 then divide that result by your height in inches squared. The simplest way to determine your BMI is to look at the intersection of both figures on this chart.
If your BMI is over 25, then you are overweight, now true for 2/3 of the American public. If your BMI is beyond 30 you're considered obese. As you know, obesity is a major contributor to heart disease and diabetes. This year, why not aim to take your BMI down a notch by eating less and exercising more? Then celebrate by buying new clothes to show off your newly slimmed body. Anticipating that reward will help you ignore that box of donuts by the office coffee machine.
Diet is the primary method of aging well.
Eating a nutrient rich, low calorie foods is the proven way to extend an animal’s life span. Click here for a free video that looks at super foods that you should work into your diet.
How many servings of produce are you eating a day? (Don’t count pizza or French Fries.) Adding a salad before dinner or an additional side of veggies can help you eat less of a high calorie main course.
Here's a diet I used to knock off twenty pounds in six weeks, without hunger or deprivation.
Move, to work your body.
If you’ve been as active as a house plant, don’t plan to do your first triathlon in 2012. Instead, set aside time each day for moderate exercise that you genuinely enjoy. It can be something as simple as walking. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts, Boston found that in a study of obese adults, moderate exercise was enough to strengthen the heart by getting it to beat at the recommended level of 55% of maximum.
The anticipated maximum heart rate for a person can be found with this formula: 220 - your age = maximum heart rate. For example, a 50 year old’s predicted maximum heart rate is 170. Fifty five percent of that is 94, which is the floor that baby boomer would need for a decent work out. You can measure your pulse by putting a hand to your jugular vein for 15 seconds, then multiple your count by four.
If after walking regularly, you’re ready for a more strenuous workout, alternate periods of jogging with walking. By gradually lengthening the time spent in a run, soon you’ll be loping along your entire course.
Another option is to hike when you can. It gets you away from the city into a pristine environment while upping the effort by clambering along hills streams and canyons. Here’s a video look at the joys of hiking.
Another popular exercise choice is to take a class in a gym which can run the gamut from yoga to spinning. Many people take classes because they thrive under a teacher’s encouragement. Before taking a class, check on the instructor’s qualifications. The best trainers have degrees in exercise physiology. Other certifying bodies include the American College of sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. There are many types of yoga offered, so research the style taught, talk to students in the class and ask the teacher how many hours s/he has accrued. Many teachers are certified nationally by the Yoga Alliance.
Sports like tennis can be great fun, wonderful exercise and convivial social events (especially mixed doubles.)
Few exercises are better than swimming, since it works the entire body, while being easy on the joints. The anti-aging documentary “Reverse Aging Now” features an interview with Glen Gruber, who in his fifties had better swim times in the Senior Olympics than he had in high school. Gruber is featured in this free video guide to exercise.
"We need to push beyond our laziness to get out and move. Even if you’re tired, force yourself beyond your comfort zone.Take control with discipline. Every night I’m tired after work, but yesterday all day I kept saying, 'I’m going to my yoga class tonight.' I was tired, but went anyway, because I forced myself to go. Of course I felt great afterwards."
Be patient with yourself
Recognize that it takes time to adopt a new habit. A 2009 study of 96 people published in the Journal of Social Psychology found that the average number of days that it took for people to adopt a healthy habit was 66. The more complex the task adopted the longer the change took.
If you do backslide, don’t beat yourself up and revert to your old ways. One bummed cigarette in the past two weeks is better than the pack a day you were smoking, so take a deep breath, and try again.
It is better to set modest goals, achieve them, pat yourself on your back then set a new goal than it is to shoot for the moon all at once. Don't succumb to the January Blues. Right now you’re in the deprivation phase of trading short term pleasure for your long term goal, so have faith that the little steps you take today will pay off.
Stopping genuinely addictive behavior is a special case. Addiction is a psychological disease of self-destruction. To break the habit, it’s useful to find a support group. From Overeaters Anonymous to Cocaine Anonymous, 12 step programs are great at helping people change a behavior they can no longer control by themselves. In their quest to get better these addicts are buoyed not only by others but a higher power.
Although It’s useful to find allies in your effort, resist the temptation to tell the world about the new you. Psychologists have discovered that people who talk too much about their anticipated improvements can have a false sense of accomplishment before actually meeting their goals.
Pay attention to real results. Note your progress and take pride in what you accomplish. Remember that New Year’s resolutions can have a vital part in helping you take charge of how you age.
Intuition is knowledge gained without rational thought. It's an ability that all of us have. Some are more in tune with this instinct than others. Although it's perceived in the brain, it has a strong physical component, which is why it's also referred to as a gut feeling. Intuition can be exercised and strengthened so that you can make better decisions, a key part of aging well. Better intuition can lead to increased success in many areas of life. This DVD will show you how to enhance yours. Buy it now, on special for half-off - only $14.95 at ReverseAging.TV
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To see how one baby boomer is applying anti-aging precepts to his own life, go to Anti-Aging Diary.com. To embrace anti-aging you need to make a mental as well as physical journey. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort. Remember to watch our anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now.
Reverse Aging News c. 2012 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor
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