How To Start the New Year Resolutions
by: Wesley Somoza
Owner of Visit Southern California
I have heard from friends and strangers alike that the end of 2016 can not come soon enough. Whether it be the tragic losses of people who have influenced our lives or the crazy election we all just witnessed, 2016 in the rearview mirror is what most people want to focus on. So what to do, change or make better in 2017?
For starters the most well known New Year resolution is to get in shape. So many people flock to renew or pay for a new gym membership to 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness or Equinox here in So Cal. I think that is great. I have been a card carrying (now index finger to the machine) 24 Hour Fitness member since I was 14 years old, back when it was known as Family Fitness. I think making a committment to the gym is a great start, however out of the massive amount of people I see enter the gym on January 2nd by January 30th they are all but forgotten. From a financial stand point why pay for a gym membership if you are not going to see it through? Working out at the gym is a long term committment that will gain you results in weight loss, muscle mass or increased stamina if you put the time into it. If you can not make it out to the gym for a minimum of 1 hour per day then it is a waste of money. If you are going to do the gym, committ yourself to it. Don't give up citing routine boredom or lack of results when you have only been back at it for a month. I hear far too many tell me, "running on a treadmill is boring" or "weight lifting hurts my back". Okay, if that is the case don't lift weights for size lift for resistence. Meaning low weight high reps. That way you build stamina and muscle at the same time. Therefore killing 2 birds with one stone and elimnating the "boredom" and "pain" on your body and mind.
If the gym is too expensive or if your schedule does not permit you to go during a good hour of the day here are some other great activities to do...
Running Outdoors- If the body is willing the mind will not get bored when you challenge yourself to run around your neighborhood or run uphill. Hiking is also included here, and depending on how much time you have, if you can mix in an outdoor run for 30 minutes and then find a park and do a combination of pull ups and push ups for the next 30 minutes. You will be golden. Your body will see immediate results from this activity and the best part is you can accompish it first thing in the morning, late in the day or night or in the middle of the day. Find different places to explore on your running routes and challenge yourself each week to increase the production of pull ups and push ups you can do. You will see in 6 months time that you have dropped weight and built muscle.
Eat Better- I do it every year and many people I know attempt to do it as well. Eating healthy or starting up a diet is a top New Year resolution many of us start but never see through. Why? Lets be real. We do not change our diets for a prolonged period of time cause good tasting food is usually bad for you. And it is easy to be lazy and enjoy the tatste of the drug sugar then it is to completely wind down from it. I will tell you though that if you give up most foods with a lot of sugar after about a 2 week period of headaches and mental breakdowns you will feel like you are lifted from a cloud. You will have more energy and your body will feel alive again. The call of the bad food is always right by you though, so this is a tough committment to stick to for a full year. So I recommend pick some things that you over indulge in and cut them out. For me this year I am cutting out dessert during the week, lemonade (cause Simply Lemonade tastes amazing) and tortilla chips. The dessert and lemonade elimination will curb my daily sugar intake and the tortilla chips will cut down on the amount of salt and fatty carbs I add to my waist line. Will I be miserable? Maybe for a few days, but since I am not completely shaking up my world I will be alright. Chose 3 things from your daily or weekly diet and remove them. Stay strong on this (especially if you are not doing any type of major exercise) and results will be had. The impact will not be immediate but over a 6-9 month period you will see your waist line drop and clothes will begin fitting good. If you are drastically overweight I suggest doing a combination of the above mentioned resolutions if you want to be serious about bettering yourself.
Get Creative- We live or work in So Cal. Get creative this New Year. Will yourself to surf or take weekly ocean swims. Go moutain bike riding on any number of trails that surround our state. Go hiking through the hills. Challenge yourself! Go hit a few hundred balls at a batting cage (that will work muscles and stamina). Find a league or play pick up basketball. Shoot hoops just by yourself for an hour a day. Again that will build stamina and and muscle. Find a partner and work with them to accomplish your goals. In the ocean go kayaking or stand up paddleboarding. Push yourself to the limit and you will doscover what you are made of. Going back to the batting cages for a minute I have not hit 70mph and faster in over 20 years. I started doing it just to challenge myself and now I am addicted. I push myself hard to hit every ball in the cycle or try and place balls to the left or right side.
Track Your Activity- Fitbit, the crap that Samsung sells or an Apple Watch. Rather than rounding up or down as to the effectiveness of your resolutions, actaully track them. I prefer the Apple Watch and I daily track my active calorie goals, exercise time and stand up time. I try to beat or hit my goal each day. Again it is just another way to challenge and compete against myself. On a side note for anyone that owns a first generation Apple Watch much to the word of mouth the watch is extremely water resistant. I consistentlhy surf with the watch one and it has never had an issue. Now would I go diving with it in 20 foot ocean or pool water? No probably not but for my 2 plus hour surf session it holds up great!
At the end of the day have fun with what you do. Challenge and compete against yourself or a partner. Most importantly make your New Year resolution count! Don't give up and shut down and let another year go that is a waste. In case you were wondering why I did not specifically mention crazes like Cross Fit or Soul Cycle it is cause I have either never tried it or in the case of cross fit I hear horror stories from Firefighters who respond to the scene of a call cause some cross fit athlete has just destroyed their back pushing a huge tire or something. As always we want to hear your comments below and our next blog will discuss the 2017 video shorts that Visit Southern California will be working on with some of our great clients!