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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 1, 2006

Toss resolutions; invest instead in healthier life

By Donna Lee
Special to The Advertiser


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3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Happy New Year!

"New Year's Day! Is it here again already? Where's my list of resolutions?"

List? What list? You know, the one that everyone pulls out, dusts off and pretends they are going to complete? Yup, that list the dreaded "New Year's Resolution List." It usually goes something like this:

  • Lose weight.

  • Do taxes early.

  • Lose weight!

  • Go to annual doctor's checkup.

  • LOSE WEIGHT! (Oh, and start exercising.)

    The problem with this list is that we all start with the best intentions. But if we don't accomplish and complete the tasks before January is over, then we are a complete failure.

    I once worked at a fitness center. The first day after the New Year, a new member entered and proceeded to spend the next 4 hours doing every possible exercise he could think of, including a group exercise class. It was too much, too soon: He ended up in the emergency room. While he looked OK on the outside, on the inside his body was saying, "No way!" He ignored all the warning signs and violated the three golden rules: slow, gradual and progressive.

    Rome wasn't built in a day. You can't expect your body to make instantaneous (and miraculous) changes overnight. Do yourself a favor. Toss out the list this year and make a commitment to a better lifestyle. Your muscles will thank you for it!

    Donna Lee, a personal trainer, is an exercise and sports science instructor at Kapi'olani Community College.