It’s hard to believe we are entering into the last few months of 2010. Whether you have been exercising on a regular basis or are trying to get in shape after a summer break, today is a great day to reflect on your personal wellness and set some new fitness goals for you and your family.

The term “wellness” is quite the buzz word these days. The media has taken a great interest in “wellness” as result of the rising levels of obesity and diseases that are directly related to our sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits.

What is wellness exactly? Webster’s provides two definitions:

1) Services focused on the promotion or maintenance of GOOD HEALTH versus the CORRECTION OF POOR HEALTH

2) A dimension of health beyond the absence of disease including social, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Focusing on health maintenance is the ideal interpretation of wellness. In our country, however, correcting poor health (which is often directly related to poor preventative wellness planning) is the trend.

Personally, I am tired of hearing about how lazy and fat we are, and that the young people in our nation are fatter than their preceding generations. It is time to do something about this growing epidemic!

Here are three great tips to help you achieve real, lasting wellness results:

1) Make a simple commitment to your exercise program.
Don’t buy into fad diets and diet pills–instead, buy a calendar/journal! Take your calendar out right now and choose 10 days this month where you will commit to exercising for at least 45 minutes. Commit to eating 4-5 small meals per day. Write down what you eat for 30 days.

2) Vary your routine.
Have you ever met someone who says they exercise week after week, year after year and aren’t getting any new results? Our bodies adapt to stimulation over time and in order to continue to improve, we must progress and change our routines. If you are spending the time exercising, make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck! Change up your routine, and change it up frequently.

3) Be accountable.
This is my most important tip. Check out these research statistics:
Researchers divided people starting a walking program into 2 groups. Every week, each person in one group received a phone call asking how their walking program was going, the other group received no phone calls throughout the program. Guess what? Forty-five percent who received the phone calls were still walking compared to 2 percent of those who did not get a phone call! This study suggests that accountability increases the likelihood of sticking to your exercise program by 2,200 percent!

The moral of the story here is that a strong support system equals stronger results. Enlist your family to participate in your exercise program, encourage a friend to join a fitness center with you or get a coach to encourage personal accountability!

I challenge you this fall to commit not only to your own personal wellness routine, but to also serve as a positive wellness role model within our community.

Use the three secrets above to fuel your fire. Being fit will positively affect everything in your life: your health, your sex life, your mood, your relationships, and your financial success…yes, EVERYTHING! So what are you waiting for?


Kim's Corner

Childhood obesity is a fast-growing epidemic that is capturing national media attention and captivating the medical community and, predictably, politicians.

A national task force has even been created to identify potential solutions to the problem.

Just in case you have not heard, here are some of the facts:

More than 50% of American children do not achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
Between 15 and 20% of American children are overweight or obese (meaning approximately 10 million American children are developing risk factors for chronic illnesses very early in life. Research tells us this will be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than ours!).

This past September was the first-ever National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Sounds like a great initiative…but is it? Why are American children overweight and obese? Perhaps they are simply following in our footsteps.

Check out some of the adult obesity statistics in America:

67% of Americas are overweight or obese
Nine out of 10 Americans will be overweight at one point in their life
Weight-related illnesses are exceeding the rates of diseases from smoking
More than 50% of adult Americans do not achieve the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity daily
370,000-plus Americans die of obesity related diseases each year!
Direct obesity related costs exceed $150 billion dollars each year, making obesity the number one health care expense in our country!

Do we really think we can have healthy children and unhealthy adults?

Are we asking our CHILDREN to serve as role models?

As a local health and fitness leader, I’m familiar with the reasons parents provide for why their children are obese. I hear all too often, “I can’t get my child away from the video games,” or, “I’d like to get my child off the couch, but he gets mad at me when I ask him to play outside” or, “we’re simply too busy with activities to cook meals at home on even a semi-regular basis.” Or, “they don’t eat unhealthily at home…it must be school lunch or the vending machines full of junk food.” Or, “we can’t afford to eat healthily.” The truth is…you can’t afford not too!

There’s no doubt the world is different than it was 40 years ago and that families are faced with more difficult challenges when it comes to managing their time, households and resources.

We do have choices, however, and providing our families with healthy meals, packing healthy lunches and choosing family activities that promote health and wellness must be a priority.

We need to take a long hard look in the mirror and acknowledge that we don’t just have a childhood obesity epidemic; we have an obesity problem in adults and our priorities have gotten misaligned.

It is time to take responsibility for our own health and accept responsibility as role models for our children.

As we enter the holiday season I encourage you to invest some family time in discussing wellness and whole health. The new year is right around the corner. With it comes a sense of renewal and rebirth—in other words, the perfect time to adopt some new behaviors and get back to some basic family priorities.

According to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, “the factor that puts children at the greatest risk of being overweight is having obese parents.”

Study after study confirms one irrefutable fact: children of healthy and active parents tend to be active and healthy themselves.

Period. End of story.


Kim's Corner

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