Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lifestyle assessment - post Xmas edition

Studies have shown that , while you don't really gain 10 lbs over Xmas, the weigh gained tends to hang around. Combine that with New Year resolutions and it's often a recipe for failure as you cast around for activities - any activities - to help loose weight. I like the straight shot from Jan 1st to Easter break because I'm usually home which means I can control my eating with minimal will power and get to all the exercise classes I want to.

As our (mine and spouse) parents get older we can really focus on what our goals are. We watch as they become less mobile and needing more pills to normalize their metabolism. High blood pressure, cholesterol, blood thinners, gout - it's a lot of pills to manage. Our target is to reduce the time we have to take those pills by managing our lifestyle now. The hardest thing for me to wrap my head around is not trying to use exercise to compensate for poor eating habits. So why am I exercising again?

I'm working out to maintain bone density and flexibility. I also want to reduce the chance of back injury by ensuring I have abdominal strength. And I want to have fun - never forget that! So I've drastically cut back. Last year I was going 7 times a week and the majority of that was step aerobics. This year is a big change. I asked the main instructor at NRG4Life what she would do if she could only do one activity. She said yoga as the type we do incorporates strength and aerobic elements. So now the only full aerobic class I'm taking is Zumba -  because it's fun. All my step classes incorporate weights and abs and twice a week I head out to do 60 minute yoga session. To reduce sedentary behaviour at work, I'm making more of an effort to walk around a little each hour. Not that hard since we stand and walk a lot as part of the job.

Our eating habits are good but we were slowly sliding into skipping our home made lunches for eating out.  So getting more variety at lunch is essential as it will help us eat less.

It will be interesting to see how this affects us.