Health is Your Most Valuable Investment

Money is important, but your health is by far your most valuable asset. The benefits of exercise are obvious and well known. If you don’t maintain your body and your health you’ll be left feeling tired, sick, depressed or stressed. Oh, you say, I don’t want to make the effort. It’s boring. It’s hard work. I don’t have the time.

Instead of regarding fitness as an annual New Year’s resolution you will soon discard, rethink how you approach it. Think of it as designing a life around your well being, not “fixing” yourself. Remember that in tough economic times like these, nothing is more important than your good health. If you are fit, you will be able to approach problems in other parts of your life with better judgment and more resilience. Once you’ve made the commitment, stick to it until you can see results. Les Brown says, “Keep your commitment to your commitment”. Joining a gym is successful for some people if you can afford to do that. Some prepay for sessions with a personal trainer. Others join a pool. Some just buy a pair of sneakers. Do whatever your budget will allow but do something. You’ll feel better almost immediately.

The second step is to determine the “Workability” of your goals and objectives.. Pay attention to what doesn't work for you as much as what does work. Don’t pick a goal that dooms you to failure. If you want to lose 15 pounds, it isn’t too realistic to accomplish that task in 4 weeks. However, you can do that in 4 months if you put your mind to it, change your diet, and exercise. The latter goal is an attainable loss of just one pound each week. You will see slow and steady progress if your goals are attainable.

If you’ve never run a race, maybe you should aim for a short 2 Km race and not a 26 mile marathon the first time out. If you never work out, maybe the idea of working out once or twice a week will get you onto the path of working out at all. If you’ve always been a couch potato, then it is hard to suddenly become a gym rat with strenuous workouts many times a week. Remember, you are changing your “lifestyle” and your attitude about it. Small steps are better than aggressive ones in which you might hurt yourself by trying exercises for which you body isn’t ready.

Here’s the key. Establish goals that are realistic for your personality and that fit your lifestyle. Set yourself up for success. More than losing weight or getting flat abs, maybe you want to focus on having more vitality? As you get older, the more you move, the better you will feel. Once you sit down and stop moving and exercising, you will find that eventually your range of motion will become restricted. Age doesn’t have to define who you are. You can work on your posture, your balance and your mobility more than you work on lifting 100 lb. weights or running 3 miles.

When you have that private conversation with yourself about your health, ask yourself, two questions. The first is, “What do I want to accomplish?” The second is “What do I have to give up? Be really clear about your goals. When you decide to take action, tell others so they can check in on your progress and also encourage you to continue on your path. You might not have the Knicks City Dancers or the gals in sexy outfits cheering you along the sidelines at some professional game. Better yet, your friends and family can be your support group, cheer you along the way and share in your accomplishments.

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