Thursday, December 27, 2012

Making health and fitness a top priority in 2013

It is quite predictable that among the top of every New Year’s Resolution list that we all come up with is the desire to be healthy and/or lose weight.  Evidence of this is that the highest sales on exercise equipment come around this time of year.

2012 was a good year for me in this area.  Not perfect, but good…and allow me to share with you my tips on how to be live a healthy life on a budget.

It’s a funny thing that many of the resolutions regarding health or weight loss are among the first resolutions that are broken.  Ok, it’s not a funny thing, it’s more of a sad thing, really.   As I reflect why this is so, I’ve come to the conclusion that:

  • Most resolutions are too ambitious, like a supermodel body by summer ambitious.  In fact…
  • Most resolutions are based on appearances or numbers on a weighing scale.
  • Most people who make these resolutions think that very restrictive, and therefore very uncomfortable, dieting is the only way to meet their goals.  Think bland food, tiny meals, expensive shakes, etc.
  • Most people think that a lot of time should be invested in their fitness regimen, and are therefore are unwilling or unable to make it happen.
  • Becoming fit requires an expensive gym membership or expensive and space-reducing home equipment.
  • At the core of it all, is that becoming fit is simply not pleasant.
As I said, I had a good year in the fitness department in 2012.  Of course, I don’t have rippling abs and bulging muscles, but do you really need those?  What I did enjoy over the past year is great health and energy, maintained weight well within the ideal weight range of my age and height, and no lifestyle disease whatsoever during my last executive check-up (which says something because I’m in my mid thirties and I am set to “inherit” every lifestyle disease there is, from high blood pressure, to asthma, to cancer, to diabetes…you name it, I’m supposed to get it…key phrase, “supposed to”)

So, first of all, I’d like to give answers to the bullet points above, based on my experience and testimony.  I will just give a smidgen of my answers below, but I will describe each in detail in future articles.

For the first two bullet points, I suggest a paradigm shift: DON’T FOCUS ON APPEARANCE OR WEIGHT!  Look at this from a bigger perspective.  Seriously, will looking like a supermodel make you a better parent or a better man/woman?  Instead, focus on health.  Your fitness goals should revolve around a higher quality of life and to live disease-free…and if you look better and weigh less as a result (which is inevitable), then it’s a bonus.  Bonus, not focus.

On the bullet point about diet, well, I love to eat, and maybe it’s a bit unfair on my end that I can eat anything I want and still be skinny.  However, there are tricks that will allow you to enjoy your food and be guilt free (even aiding you in losing pounds).  There are tricks to make healthy food very delicious.  Oh, and I subscribe to the thought that you should not be afraid of fat…fat, the good fat, is your friend and you should have lots of it.  (I suggest you read a book by one of my favorite authorities on health, Dr. Bruce Fife, called Eat Fat, Look Thin)

If lack of time is your excuse, then you may be encouraged to know that my exercise regimen only takes 15-20 minutes, tops.  This consists of high-intensity interval training and one-set strength exercises.  Again, the goal is not a bodybuilder’s physique, it’s just reaching and maintaining a respectable level of health and fitness…and to this end my workout suits me just fine while allowing me the time to do other, more important things.

Being healthy is expensive?  It doesn’t have to be.  I used to be a gym rat, but now, times and priorities have changed.  I’ve learned that an obsession with fitness can be like a vice, robbing the more important things in life the time and money they deserve.  All I need today are a good pair of running shoes and home dumbbells.

I can’t really help you, though, on the last one.  If you have a negative mindset on exercise, then it will be tougher than ever to get started.  But I hope what I said here would make adopting a healthy lifestyle look like an easier pill to swallow that you once thought.  Be encouraged that even as a lazy, and very busy working father of three, I can make it happen…so can you.

To close, I will follow up this article with several others meant to show you in more detail how I maintain a healthy lifestyle.  They include:

The food that I love to eat, and my body doesn’t hate me for it.
My daily workout regimen that all busy people can adopt.
Healthy habits that don’t cost a cent.
Putting health and fitness in perspective.

I will make it a priority to publish more health articles in 2013, and so the follow up ones to this article will be published in the coming weeks.  On that note, I suggest you subscribe to my blog (see links below) and/or check back to this article from time to time, as the bullet-points above will become links to the new articles as they are published.

Comments are welcome, and my God bless you with the Happiest, and Healthiest of Holidays!


  1. Hi Carlo,

    I happened to stumble on your blog. Great posts!

    Hmmm.. This is my top resolution too for 2013. I kept putting this off for months now.

    Anyway, all the best to your fitness resolution!


    1. Well, keep tabs on this blog. I'll share lots of stuff soon.


Share this to friends!