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Mom's Time Out

The Healthy New Year

Mary Angel

(2/2014) Every year it is the same thing, January 1st comes along and the old year is gone. Gone in what seems to be the blink of an eye. Then it is time to do that old tradition of making a New Yearís resolution. For some of us it is the same resolution we didnít stick to last year, for others it is a whole new challenge to better ourselves. Obviously, since it is already February, it sometimes takes me a while to figure mine out or maybe just commit to it. For many of us it is the time of year where we vow to get into better shape. This would be one of the many resolutions I make each year, but by far the hardest one to accomplish.

Every January 1st my husband and I declare that we are going to eat better and exercise more. We talk at length about portion control and vegetable intake, avoiding late night snacks and stocking the pantry with healthy munchies, and the many different kinds of exercise that we might have a chance of sticking to this year. Ultimately though, the food part is a very small part of our problem. We usually eat a very well balanced meal and need to simply get seconds of the vegetable if we are not satisfied. My husband does struggle more than me with late night snacking. I simply go to bed when I start getting hungry or have a craving. But other than that we donít struggle a great deal with the food aspect of a healthier life. So I guess that leaves the elephant in the room with exercise!

I have considered many different forms of exercise and purchased more than my fair share of equipment. From your basic treadmill and stationary bicycle to the Total Gym and a Nordic Trac we have owned almost all there is to offer. I have all kinds of exercise DVDs and VCR tapes, from basic aerobic exercises to specialized versions that claim my buns will never be the same. At my lowest point I was using Thigh Master daily, and although I noticed no visible changes from this I do believe that was probably the strongest singular muscle in my body at the time.

My husband and I have tried walking together but never running, donít even get me started. Well, ok just a little snippet about running. I do not understand running. I have many friends who religiously run and love it, but not me. Between my husbandís flat feet and my shin splints it is simply torturous. Not to mention when I realized that you had to pay money to be in all these marathons and the expensive running clothes and shoesÖwow! To my friends who are running addicts (and yes, in WAY better shape than me) I say more power to you, but it is definitely not for this family. We have tried the Wii fit and enjoyed it but not stuck to it. I have decided that it is not that I donít enjoy exercise, because I really do. For me it is more finding the time (uninterrupted time) and sticking to it.

I have explained to my husband that if we are going to have a piece of exercise equipment, and intend on using it on a regular basis, then it needs to be easily accessible and pretty much in our faces all of the time. Consequently, the treadmill will be moved into the bedroom by the first of the year. I know, if we have to think to go to the garage, or the basement, or over to his momís to exercise it is only going to last so long. We are very much an out of sight out of mind kind of family right now. Maybe when we donít have four kids all going in different direction then we wonít be so scatter-brained about exercise, I donít know. We may also bring the Wii up from the basement to the family room, for the same reason. We both get up in the morning before most of the kids and could easily squeeze in some exercise. However, opening the squeaky door to the basement and walking down the creaky steps that are on the other side of the wall from the girlís beds has absolutely zero appeal. I really do believe that exercise that is readily available is exercise you are more likely to do.

For the times when I am surrounded by the kids, which is most of the time, I have come up with some ideas to include them and therefore still get my exercise. First of course would be the Wii, we all love it and depending on the activity are quite winded by the end. Another option that I have looked into for an exercise supplement is the YMCA. The one we recently started going to has everything; two swimming pools, swim lessons and teams, work out rooms, exercise classes, gymnastics, weights, an indoor track for walking (or running if you are so inclined), pretty much everything I could think of. So for less than the cost I would pay for one of my kids to be involved in a private activity I can join the YMCA and all of the kids and I can go swimming three times a week (minimum). They absolutely love it and all of us are getting exercise without them even realizing it.

I am very much hoping that this year is different; I know my motivations are different. I donít just want to get into shape because of the way my clothes fit, which they donít, I also want to do it for health reasons. I am constantly short of breath and I feel lethargic all of the time. I donít want to live the rest of my life this way, nor do I want to shorten my life because I couldnít find the time to do anything about it. What kind of message am I sending to my children when I know what needs to be done but I just donít do it! Here is wishing you a happy HEALTHIER New Year.

Read other articles by Mary Angel