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The Alaska Club

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New Year's Resolutions

Posted by Barbara DuBois | Dec 29, 2023 4:12:19 PM

As we commence the New Year with aspirations to do better, we know that most people who make resolutions, particularly in matters of health, fail. Fully 95% of people who go on a diet, do not achieve their goal. Many even gain weight in the process. There is definitely a better way. Success is at hand, and it is done one day at a time.

For now, let’s ignore the trend altogether of an obsession with scales or weight even. Instead, the process, the cultivation of the healthy lifestyle that creates the desired body weight should be the focus. There will always be an initial inertia to change, but there is a myriad of ways to overcome that inertia. Building healthful habits will ultimately generate the desired weight loss. But how do we go about changing a lifestyle at any age? There are numerous steps that will ensure a person’s success regardless of age. Let’s consider those steps.

Consider your environment and the options. The Alaska Club easily has the best facilities in the state for getting fit! You name your sports, and the Alaska Club offers most of them. The list is immense: tennis, racquet ball, pickle ball, handball, swimming, water aerobics, swimming lessons, Zumba, Insanity classes, Yoga classes, weightlifting equipment, cardio rooms with stationary bikes, recumbent bikes, treadmills, walking paths, and all of that includes several trainers to advise you and get you set up! Apart from the health club, Anchorage consists of two thirds woods. We have over 200 miles of trails that offer the best options in the country for hiking, biking, skiing, running, jogging, dog walking, roller blading and any other kind of mobile activity you can come up with. The lakes across the city are groomed for ice skating and hockey. Some people flood their backyards to get their kids out skating. There are more options here than anywhere else I can think of.

Motivation is always a critical factor in cultivating healthy habits. This goes hand in hand with the company you keep. It’s always easy to stay involved in something new when you have friends who enjoy the same activities. I have made many friends at The Alaska Club who love to swim. The banter in the pool and the locker room is always a source of happy vibes. If you find something you enjoy and have a friend or a family member who does it with you, you are more likely to stick with it. Most people swear by music as a motivator. It definitely jazzes up a person’s ambitions and gets you moving faster. Having a dog is a super motivator for getting out on the trails as well.

Establishing routines takes practice! You didn’t learn to walk or ride a bike overnight. You started as an infant with crawling, then gingerly walking while holding onto something. Be as patient with yourself as you would be training an infant to walk or teaching a child the alphabet. It’s a process that takes practice, patience and above all, repetition. Staying consistent in a routine will make it easier to keep the good health habits of working out, swimming, weightlifting, whatever your activity of choice is. Have an established time of day, before work, right after work, on the weekends, keep the rhythm going and you will find the reasons to not work out, simply fall away. You will no longer wage this inner argument with yourself that something else takes priority or a certain mood seems to prohibit you from getting it done.

Access to health club facilities, good friends, motivation, music and practice, practice, practice are the essential ingredients for cultivating lifelong healthy habits. This is not a one-time, one-shot deal but a new way of living. Happy New Year to a healthier you.

Written by Barbara DuBois

MA Health Ed. & Int'l Journalism; PhD Sports & Health History; Texas Tech Univ. & Wayland Baptist Univ. instructor; Health Ed. Program Manager Maniilaq Assoc.

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