Healthful Thoughts From Our Contributors

V1 Staff

SET A BASELINE - By now you may have resolved to eat less, exercise more, lose weight, gain weight, eat clean, go vegan, or sign up for Dry January…ad infinitum. What’s worked for me is to start with a visit to my doctor’s office. That way, I know if I’m good to go. I get a baseline assessment of where I’m at: height, weight, body mass index, pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Many health clubs and exercise programs require a note from your doctor anyway. Next, I create my SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) Objectives, and I put them on a calendar:  weight loss: 2 pounds per week. Calories: 2000 per day. Exercise: 30-60 minutes per day. At least 10,000 steps, at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water, at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and a weekly weigh-in to track how I’m doing and make any daily changes if necessary. There are so many tech apps and programs nowadays that will do this for you, plus provide you with graphs and charts. It’s a piece of cake, even though you likely won’t be eating cake. In six months to a year, I check back in with my doctor, get my vitals and a blood draw taken, and voila, more info on my progress! –Barbara Arnold

FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, TEAM UP - Exercise is one of the best ways to burn fat, build muscle, and have fun. Whatever you choose to do, truly choose, and have some fun! Grab a buddy to enjoy this journey with you!  In a former life, I was required to learn golf, as golf was business. Did I enjoy it? The camaraderie, yes. The actual game? Not really. Did I lose any weight? Not likely!  I discovered early on that with my body type I need to be actively moving and sweating for me to transform the shape of my body. Music and Nature, i.e., being outside, Yoga, and stretching, are musts for me.  Running, swimming, bicycling, walking, cross-country skiing, water-skiing, wind surfing, weight training, basketball. I get a kick out of checking my FitBit or pedometer toward the end of the day to see if I’ve reached my 5K or more for the day. And if not, if time permits, then I’m back out there again just to see if I can get up to the minimum 10,000 steps. Sleep comes easily too after working out consistently and on a daily basis. Try It! –Barbara Arnold

EMBRACE AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS - I was at the gym sometime in mid-January, annoyed by the influx of newbies that were taking over the equipment and not leaving space for those of us that had been there the previous year. I found myself judging people that were there, who didn’t seem to be in the right place. For example, there was a guy wearing jeans on the treadmill. Jeans on the treadmill?! I thought it was crazy, so I snapped a picture and sent it to a few friends. This was a low moment. Later that day, a friend put up a post saying that some people can’t afford gym clothes, or this may be their first attempt at working out in years. The friend mentioned how we should embrace these people, rather than pushing them away. I felt the guilt take over, and wanted to go back in time to embrace that guy in jeans and welcome him to our gym. He was taking the initiative to go outside his comfort zone, and better himself. I am glad I learned this lesson, and I hope everyone can take the time to do whatever it is they need to better themselves. Take a risk, try something new. And, wear whatever the hell you want. – Bryan Reynolds