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Approaching 2012 with healthier goals, outlook

January 3, 2012

Recently, I wrote a piece on the popular New Year’s resolution to lose weight. I interviewed Elaine Schimpf, a trainer at the Oktibbeha County Wellness Connection who made some very good points about how and why this resolution often fails. This information, combined with the nagging voice in my head that’s been telling me for a while now that I need to get back in shape, sparked an idea I’d like to share with our readers. Perhaps we can even encourage a few to join us.

Michael Wardlaw, a sports writer at Starkville Daily News and I have each taken on the challenge to make healthier choices in 2012 –– not just for a few weeks or even a few months, but for the rest of the year. Our methods and ultimate goals might be different, but each of us decided that in our own ways we could live healthier lives. We decided to hold ourselves accountable to our readers while simultaneously offering our readers the opportunity to join us along this path to living longer, happier and healthier lives.

So we decided to start a blog, “Get Healthy Starkville.” Each of us will post several times a week as we document our journey, including the good days and the bad. If I sleep late and skip a workout, I’ll confess to someone other than my dog now. It’s a scary prospect admitting defeat publicly, but I’ve always loved a challenge.

This isn’t just another weight-loss blog, although each of us feel we have weight to lose. We won’t be dieting, although we will be discussing the importance of good nutrition and its link to overall wellness. Not everyone who is unhealthy is overweight, just as not everyone who wears above a size 6 is unhealthy. The importance of regular exercise has benefits above and beyond weight loss, which is why we’re starting with establishing a consistent workout routine.

For the month of January, I am committing to three days a week of at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity. Some may think that’s a pretty low goal, and I’d have to agree. I’ve been lost in newly wedded bliss since March, and for over a year before I was completely distracted being in love and planning a future, so it’s been a while since I’ve done anything that remotely resembled working out. When speaking with Schimpf last week, she said setting a reasonable goal and meeting it is preferable to setting an unreachable goal and failing. For now, it’s three days this week, at least 30 minutes each workout. If I meet that goal, next week I might move up to 40 minutes. This program is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. No pun intended. Who knows, maybe in time I will be able to run a marathon. I’m giving myself more than just a few weeks to get used to this new lifestyle because I want it to be exactly that –– a new lifestyle.

I’ll be tracking my progress each Wednesday after today in a column that will appear on the inside of the Lifestyles section and more often in blog posts. I’ll also be including professional tips and information on everything from working out, eating better, psychological and emotional benefits of cardiovascular activity and supplying your body with the right nutrition.

We’d love to be open to our readers’ comments, suggestions, healthy recipes, struggles and questions. We would like for this to be a community effort so we can all share our stories, encourage each other and learn from each other. Let’s get healthy, Starkville.

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