Did you do some back to school shopping last week? Or take the family on one last getaway, to end summer with a bang?
As we made that turn around the bend into Labor Day this past weekend, we invited a new school year for teachers and children, from new backpacks and pencils to new schedules and routines. We invited a new quarter for many businesses. At the same time, we welcome other changes this time of the year brings– new seasonal fruits and vegetables, brisk temperatures- simply new beginnings everywhere we look.
With so many new beginnings all around us, why not make this September the “new January”?
Why wait for New Year’s Eve to vow to make more time for exercise and healthy eating? According to Justice Price, personal trainer and wellness coach from The Biomechanics, “December 31, over a drink, is too late to set goals and make promises.”
“With the change of seasons comes a renewed time to rethink and restart,”
adds Chris Freytag, fitness instructor for Prevention magazine. With summer dwindling down, we encourage you to make the most of this season. What is even better is that you do NOT need hours to make this happen! According to the NY Times, running just 5 minutes a day can add years to your life. What’s more, is that the Journal of the American College of Cardiology’s recent study continued on to show that mere minutes may provide the same health benefits as running for much longer periods of time, reducing cardiovascular mortality risks among numerous other health concerns. Results of this study show an amazing 30% of participants were less likely to die from cardiovascular complications than non-runners..even if they did not run a lot! In addition, 45% were less likely to die from heart disease or stroke – almost HALF!
The key point to take home? The running-related health benefits for all participants were similar, regardless of other exercise habits, age, sex, weight, smoking, drinking, or even family history of heart disease.
So is there something particularly special about running that makes it stand out more than other exercise?
Timothy Church, professor at the Pennington Institute and co-author of the study, claims that it’s more a matter about intense exercise in general. “Running is an easy way to get intense exercise, even if you aren’t a particularly fast runner. It takes a lot more out of you than things that qualify as moderate exercise, like walking.” “The benefits are remarkable.”
So lace up the sneakers. Errol MD, along with WebMD, encourage you to try the following steps to making this September your fresh start.
Happy New Year!
- Take advantage of the fall perks – walking, hiking, cycling, jogging – discover the beauty of sightseeing with the changing colors of the leaves at local parks or even down the neighborhood road. Use your senses to breathe in the crisp, fresh fall scents and practice your meditation and relaxation techniques
- Think outside the box – Use the season to try something new. From kickboxing, to kayaking, to tap dancing, your kids’ school day and busy schedule can be an advantage for more you You can even revert to summer activities with a twist, like visiting the much less crowded beaches for a long walk or yoga session.
- Integrate exercise into your life – Try “walking meetings” at work, or add music to your house chores. Make it a habit to walk every night after dinner, or plan fall activities that involve walking, like apple picking. Anything to you get you moving counts! Check out 10 great ways to enjoy an autumn walk! Or even join a walking club.
- Mind, body, and soul are a package deal – Pamper yourself to a massage or learn how to meditate. Web MD recommends, “Treating yourself not just with exercise but to other activities that promote wellness, so you can feel good physically, mentally, emotionally, AND spiritually.”
- 30 Days – Flash dieting did not work in the summer, and it will not work now! It takes 4 weeks for the body to adapt to lifestyle changes, which is why most people who give up on their fitness goals do so within that first 30 days. This means do not hit that snooze button. Roll yourself up and out, and the rewards will come.
- Commitment, Convenience & Consistency – We are all busy; it is part of our lives and who we are. In the beginning, you may need to plan exercise as you plan everything else, like meetings, dinner, and soccer games. Put it on the calendar, so “later” does not turn into “never”. Plan things that can fit into your personal and unique lifestyle. If you have 10 minutes today, that is perfect. Allow exercise to become part of your lifestyle.
- Create a challenge - Anything worth having takes work. Creating a challenge for yourself will motivate you, as will encouragement and accountability. “Tell me something you can do three times a week for 10 minutes and be great at? It doesn’t exist,” added personal trainer, Price. “If it was easy to be great, everybody would be great.”