As a “media” person I am acutely tuned to trends in marketing and advertising. If you have watched a few hours of television in recent days there is no way you could escape the big push by weight loss and fitness advertisers this year. Personally I do not think I have witnessed so much advertising for diet & exercise. We even have Charles Barkley promoting NutriSystem!
It is no secret, annually 75% or more of Americans make a resolution to improve their health and fitness with the arrival of a new year but sadly, many of those resolutions and goals fade as the year wears on. So what are the truly important fitness and wellness goals everyone should pursue with a new year?
A Comprehensive Physical
The undeniable reality is we’re all a year older and with each passing year our health risks for many of the big diseases like heart, cancer and others increases. Every year it seems I hear the sad news of another friend or associate who, despite being a dedicated fitness fan, finds themselves in a battle with a life-threatening disease. For this reason it is absolutely essential to schedule a full physical with your doctor. But don’t simply “go for a check-up”. Talk to your doctor! Discuss your realistic fitness and wellness goals. Follow-up on any screenings such as colonoscopies or mammograms as well as blood tests to assess your cholesterol levels and other possible threats like diabetes or high blood pressure. Be sure to tell your doctor about any major diseases recently diagnosed in blood related family members. This information is vital in allowing your doctor to understand the risks you may face.
Become Ortho Aware
So much of our emphasis on fitness centers on reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass but as we age we must consider the impact our fitness programs have on our aging “frame”. America is in an epidemic of muscular-skeletal issues of the knees, hips and back. Consider low or lower impact aerobic routines that can deliver the same cardiac benefits. Don’t go cheap on the footwear either, because this is your primary shock absorber!
Prescription Pain Killer Awareness
The ongoing epidemic of prescription pain medication abuse is not limited to couch potatoes looking for a high. Many “addicts” get hooked after being prescribed these medicines for recovery from a sports or fitness related injury. Worse yet, persons with active fitness programs often turn a minor injury into a potentially life-long debilitating injury by trying to come back too soon from an injury by using these meds to mask serious pain which is a warning sign.
Make a Plan you know you can stick to and achieve
Most of us cringe when our bosses place unrealistic expectations on us in our professional careers, but then we turn around and do the same thing to ourselves with overly aggressive fitness goals and plans. It’s good to make a resolution, it’s essential to have a solid plan to achieve the goals of that resolution but it’s a waste of time if those goals and resolutions are simply to demanding on our bodies or our time and lifestyles.
Less than 10% of News Year’s fitness resolutions are achieved. But if you are honest with yourself and dedicated to a realistic plan to maintain or improve your overall physical health, you can be in that successful minority.
Happy New Year!