5-20-2016 2-43-30 PMSeems like almost everyone has lower back pain at some time. Matter of fact it is one of the top causes of missed work in this country. Lower back pain can range from just a dull ache to shooting pains. Lower back pain can make it difficult to move or even stand up straight. Acute pain comes on suddenly and is often the result of an injury or heavy lifting. Chronic pain is pain over a long period. Both acute and chronic lower back pain need to be checked by a doctor.

The kind of back pain that follows heavy lifting or exercising too hard is often caused by muscle strain. But sometimes the back pain can be related to a disc that bulges or ruptures (often called a herniated disk). If a bulging or ruptured disk presses on the sciatic nerve, pain may run from the buttock down one leg. This is called sciatica. Sometimes a job that involves lifting, pulling, or anything that twists the spine, may contribute to back pain. However, sitting at a desk all day can be a problem, too. A purse, backpack, or briefcase over your shoulder can cause back pain because it is the lower back that supports the upper body and anything you carry. Overdoing it during exercise or playing a sport such as golf may result in back pain as well, especially if you tend to be inactive most other times.

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Poor posture is also a problem. Your back supports weight best when you don’t slouch. This means sitting with good lumbar support, shoulders back, and your feet resting on a low stool. Being overweight and an inactive lifestyle can contribute to low back pain.

Back pain due to muscle strain will usually get better on its own. A heating pad or warm bath may provide temporary pain relief. You may not feel like getting out of bed when your back hurts, but if the problem is muscle strain, often doctors recommend returning to your normal activities as soon as possible. Often, bed rest can actually make the pain worse by losing muscle tone and flexibility.

If pain does not go away after a few months, yoga or other conventional stretching exercises may help. Make sure your instructor is experienced at working with people with back pain and can modify postures and stretches for you. Massage therapy may relieve chronic low back pain, especially when combined with exercise and stretching.

Lower back pain can often be helped with over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen. Pain-relieving creams may be helpful for muscle aches. For severe pain or chronic pain, your doctor may recommend prescription medication.

If medications are not helping, injections into the back may help. Injections usually contain steroids. If long-lasting back pain is interfering with your daily life, and other treatments have not provided relief, you may be a candidate for surgery or physical therapy. A physical therapist can show you stretches, strength exercises, and low-impact cardio exercises that may relieve pain and strengthen your back.

There’s no sure way to prevent back pain as you age, but the steps to lower your risk include staying at a healthy weight, exercising regularly, lifting with your legs, not your back, and making sure your work station position isn’t contributing to your pain.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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5-6-2016 10-33-03 AMWhen did you first get involved in fitness?
I began running and participating in aerobic classes when I was in my 20’s, primarily because I wanted to look good. I soon realized it made me feel good too. Exercise helped me with sleep and the stress of my career as a chemist.

What inspired you to start a career in fitness?
I began teaching aerobic classes in order to earn a little extra money and get a free membership at a local gym. I realized I was good with people and really cared about the quality of classes that I was teaching. I wanted classes that welcomed everyone not just the young and fit. Wherever I taught I tried to get the gym to offer classes for beginners. Because I started teaching at a time that certifications were not required, I saw lots of unsafe and poor quality classes. This led me to read as much as possible about fitness and choose to get an ACE Group Fitness Certification.

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I continued to teach fitness classes wherever I lived. Then after I decided I no longer wanted to work as a chemist and tried my hand at some small businesses outside the fitness field, I decided to open Curves. Curves had an excellent program for women new to fitness or women uncomfortable in a gym setting. This was just the group that I liked to work with. While I had Curves, I studied and received my ACE Personal Training certification and then my ACE Health Coach Certification.

What do you like most about the classes you are teaching now?

Most of my classes now and most of my personal training clients are 50+. I think this group is most appreciative. They are more focused on their health and well-being rather than on their looks. I am always thrilled when a student or client tells me the benefits they are seeing after just a few sessions. I look forward to every one of my classes and seeing every one of my clients!
What is your favorite workout to do on your own?

Because I have my own studio above our garage, I work out up there. I usually ride the elliptical doing intervals and then resistance work with free weights or elastic tubing. Sometimes I walk or run the neighborhood. If time allows, I attend a yoga or pilates class.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I guess that depends on the time of year. If weather permits, I like to be outdoors working in the yard. If you want to find me on weekends in the spring, just drive by and look in the yard. I also love antique/junk shopping which is visible by the eclectic yard art. During the cold, dreary winter days, I read, work jigsaw puzzles, and make or fix jewelry. Once or twice a year, my husband and I travel. We enjoy visiting places that involve hiking, history, and culture.
Which client/student has inspired you most?

All my students/clients inspire me for different reasons. I think I have learned just as much from them as they have from me.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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4-15-2016 5-00-59 PMSince activity trackers first came out, I have had dozens of people ask me which one I recommend. I have always suggested that each person do their own research and decide which features work best for them. Most activity trackers today report steps, heart rate, calories burned, distance, and pace. Below are some specifics reported as a result of an ACE survey from earlier this year.

Trackers that measure steps (basic pedometer): This is a great measure for those people that are more sedentary and have a goal to be more active. These trackers give a person a better idea about how much or little they move. These trackers usually just provide information about the quantity of steps but not the quality of the steps. For example, steps strolling through the mall will not be differentiated from steps taken during a brisk walk.

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Trackers that measure calories: These are great for the person than wants to lose weight and needs to see how calories in and out affect weight loss. This is a great tool when teamed up with a food-logging app or just a simple food diary.

Trackers that measure heart rate: These are great for those watching their exercise intensity or for more athletic people who want to gauge one workout against another to improve performance.
Trackers that measure duration, distance, pace: These are great for both beginners and the more athletic person. These trackers measure how long, how fast, and how intensely one exercised during their workout. This allows a person to compare measurable outcomes to improve performance.

The above variables are common in most trackers, but other features are available. Some trackers monitor sleep, information that might be helpful. Other trackers act as a “watch dog” for inactivity by encouraging users to get up and move around to attain their step goal or to break up their sitting/inactivity.

I still recommend you do some homework. Decide what you are looking for in a tracker – do you need all the bells and whistles? Determine what you want to spend. Decide if accuracy matters, as not all trackers have the same accuracy levels. If you just want to compare your steps to the steps you did yesterday, accuracy may not matter. Are you a computer person? If so, maybe you want a tracker that allows you to plot your data. If you want something super simple, maybe a simple pedometer is your best option.

For myself, I have a Garmin that is several years old. I use it when running for checking my distance. I set a distance goal and run in local neighborhoods. Without it, I know I would not run nearly as far.

For more information about setting fitness goals and keeping track of your progress, call Janet at 256-614-3530 or email at jhunt9155@gmail.com.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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4-1-2016 12-03-56 PMIt has been known for some time, and confirmed in a report last year from the World Health Organization, that processed meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer. Processed meats are also known to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

So what are processed meats? They are meats that have been salted, smoked and/or cured for flavor and preservation. They include bacon, salami, bologna, ham, and other deli meats, and hot dogs. Unprocessed meats include fresh beef, lamb, pork, etc.

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For any known carcinogen, the effect depends on the dose or amount of exposure. High levels of exposure (consumption) can be quite risky, while low levels may be significantly safer. To prevent colorectal cancer, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommends avoiding processed meats except on special occasions. The AICR has concluded that eating about two ounces of processed meat each day leads to an 18% increase in colorectal cancer. AICR also recommends limiting unprocessed red meat consumption to 18 ounces per week. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (based on a review of research on processed meats and risk of heart disease and diabetes, but not cancer,) concluded that that one serving of processed meat per week (three ounce serving) is associated with low risk.

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It is not clear why processed meat poses an increased heath risk more than unprocessed meat. Research is looking at the possibility that higher levels of sodium and preservatives like nitrates are responsible for the higher health risk.

Based on the available evidence, the safe amount of processed meat probably falls between the AICR’s “only on special occasions” recommendation, and three ounces per week.
For more information regarding healthy eating and lifestyle changes, talk to a registered dietician or an ACE certified Health Coach (Janet Hunt at 256-614-3530).
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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3-18-2016 10-55-22 AMPhysical activity reduces the risk of nearly three dozen harmful conditions and life-threatening diseases. Medical dictionaries, fitness and exercise data sources all indicate that the following medical conditions respond positively to physical activity:

1. Low cardiovascular fitness – cardiovascular fitness is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscle tissues and the ability of the muscles to use oxygen to produce energy for movement.
2. Coronary heart disease – generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease.
3. Endothelial dysfunction – compromise of normal function of the endothelial cells (inner lining of blood vessels) leading to the inability of arteries and arterioles to dilate fully in response to appropriate stimulus.
4. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) – plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood.
5. Hypertension
6. Stroke
7. Congestive heart failure – a weakness of the heart that leads to a buildup of fluid in the lungs and surrounding body tissues.
8. Osteoporosis – disease of the bones. Bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or another minor accident
9. Osteoarthritis – most common form of arthritis. Chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints leading to pain, stiffness, and swelling.
10. Rheumatoid arthritis – a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the small joints in your hands and feet.
11. Depression
12. Anxiety
13. Cognitive dysfunction – mental health disorders that primarily affect learning, memory, perception, and problem solving, and include dementia.
14. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease – accumulation of fat in the liver of people who drink little alcohol
15. Diverticulitis – inflammation of one or more diverticula (small bulging sacs pushing outward from the colon wall) characterized by abdominal pain, fever, and changes in bowel movements.
16. Constipation

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17. Gallbladder disease
18. Accelerated biological aging/premature death
19. Type 2 diabetes (including insulin resistance and prediabetes)
20. Metabolic syndrome – the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke
21. Obesity
22. Colon cancer
23. Endometrial cancer
24. Breast cancer
25. Sarcopenia – loss of muscle mass and strength, which in turn affects balance, gait and overall ability to perform tasks of daily living.
26. Balance problems
27. Bone fracture/falls
28. Dyslipidemia–high total or high LDL cholesterol level, or lowHDL cholesterol.
29. Gestational diabetes – develops during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes affects how your cells use sugar, causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
30. Polycystic ovary syndrome – a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female sex hormones. This may lead to changes in the menstrual cycle, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health problems.
31. Preeclampsia – pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys.
32. Erectile dysfunction
33. Hemostasis (blocked blood flow)–an abnormal blood flow obstruction such as plaque.
34. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh.
35. Pain

There is just not a simpler way to say it. “Move it, my friends, and if you need help, call me!”
For information about exercise classes in the Athens/Limestone County contact Janet Hunt, an ACE Personal Trainer and an ACE Group Fitness Instructor, at 256-614-3530 or jhunt9155@gmail.com .
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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3-5-2016 9-57-20 AMEach year, millions of people over 65 years old fall. In fact, one out of three fall each year, and once a person falls their chances of falling again doubles.

Not all falls cause injuries, but one out of five does. Falls can cause broken bones, such as wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures. Falls also may cause head injuries, which can be very serious, especially if the person is taking medicines like blood thinners. An older person who falls and hits his/her head should see their doctor right away to make sure they don’t have a brain injury. Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear may cause a person to cut down on their everyday activities or begin shuffling. When a person is less active, they become weaker, which also increases their chances of falling.

Research has identified many risk factors that contribute to falling. Many risk factors can be changed or modified to help prevent falls. They include:
• Lower body weakness
• Vitamin D deficiency
• Difficulties with walking and balance
• Medications such as tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants; even some over-the-counter medicines can affect vision
• Foot pain or poor footwear
• Home hazards or dangers such as broken or uneven steps, throw rugs or clutter that can be tripped over, and lack of handrails along stairs or in the bathroom

Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors, and the more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling.

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Falls can be prevented, or at least greatly reduced. There are some simple things you can do to protect yourself. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to review all your medicines (including those that are sold over the counter). If you are not taking a vitamin D supplement with calcium, ask your physician about this. Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve your balance two or three days a week, and flexibility exercises every day. Wear safe shoes; never wear slip on shoes or heels. Instead, wear those that tie or Velcro so they can be tightened as they begin to stretch out. Get your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year, and be sure to update your eyeglasses as needed. If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only your distance prescription for outdoor activities, such as walking. Sometimes bifocals or progressive lenses can make things seem closer or farther away than they really are, which can increase the risk of falling. Make your home safer by getting rid of things you could trip over, adding grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet, installing railings on both sides of stairs, and making sure your home has lots of light by adding more or brighter light bulbs.

For more information about building up muscles in your legs, contact Janet Hunt, ACE certified Personal Trainer and ACE certified Group Fitness Instructor to visit one of her classes.

Janet Hunt – 256-614-3530 or jhunt9155@gmail.com
Strength & Balance Class @ Senior Center on Pryor Street – M/W/F @ 8:30
Strength & Balance Class @ East Limestone Senior Center – M/W @ 11:30
Cardio & Strength Class @ Round Island Baptist Church – T/Th @ 10:00
Class are open to all. No signup needed. Donations Accepted.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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2-19-2016 11-28-33 AMThe Internet is loaded with information about exercise. At this time of year, every magazine advertises their “magic” exercise program to lose weight and more. Some programs claim ways to burn fat, while others are designed to improve your strength or flatten your abs. Some experts believe cardio is most important, others promote strength training, while still others tout yoga or Pilates as the best.

As I have said before, there are no good or bad exercises (as long as they are safe). You need to do what works for your body and what you enjoy. If you hate, running – don’t do it. In general, though, a well-rounded fitness regime should include three components: cardio, resistance, and flexibility training. Below is a summary of each component and why it is important.

Cardio work is exercise that gets your heartrate up. It is training your heart to be more efficient at pumping blood throughout your body. Regular cardio work makes it easier to perform daily activities like walking upstairs or cleaning house, and it lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. Your goal should be to perform cardio work 5-7 days per week for at least 30 minutes. These 30 minutes can be at one time, or broken into 10 minute increments several times a day.

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Resistance or strength training is the exercise that places external stress on your muscles and joints. Your body responds to this work by increasing its bone density and its lean muscle mass. By increasing your muscle mass, you increase your metabolism. Since muscles burn calories, the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn. Experts recommend performing eight to ten strength training exercises two to three times per week. Resistance exercises can include body-weight exercises, dumbbell exercises, resistance tubing exercises, kettlebell workouts, and more. Strength training helps with your stability and strength for all your daily life activities such gardening, laundry, or lifting kids or grandkids.

Flexibility training is often overlooked, but it is equally (or maybe more) important as cardio or strength work in your fitness program. Lack of flexibility is associated with poor posture and sometimes pain. Without flexibility exercises, you begin to lose your range of motion which affects even the simplest daily routines. To improve your flexibility, mobility, and range of motion, perform a stretching routine two or three times per week. Focus on stretching a large muscle group such as hamstrings and hip muscles, lower back and chest to reduce the impact of daily lifestyle activities like sitting or standing.

After you find a fitness program that you like, make sure to change it up periodically to prevent boredom and encourage progress. Try different activities or classes to see what you enjoy the most. If you enjoy the exercise activity that you are participating in, you are more likely to establish a long term commitment to and remain consistent in your exercise program. Regardless of your fitness level, each program can be adapted to your current wants and needs. If you are uncertain of where to begin, hire a certified personal trainer. This will ensure that you learn proper form and technique.

For more information, contact Janet Hunt, ACE Certified Personal Trainer at 256-614-3530.
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
By: Janet Hunt

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2-5-2016 4-48-34 PMJanuary and February is the time of year that many people decide to lose weight, exercise, and improve their diet. Group classes such as Silver Sneakers, Zumba, Cycling, etc. are some great choices. People who participate in group exercise routines are more likely to continue participation due to regularly scheduled times and other participants often hold you accountable and offer continuing encouragement. Below are some suggestions for when you begin a new fitness class.

• Introduce yourself and let the instructor know that you are trying the class for the first time. You should mention any injuries or medical conditions that might limit your activity level. This assists the instructor in monitoring you during the classes.

A good instructor will provide options if the class includes an exercise that may not suit you; the instructor can also keep an eye on your technique during class. If the instructor introduces you in the class, other students will often give you some pointers about the class.

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• Buddy up and take the class with a friend. The social support is important. Often, going to a new class with a friend can make the class less intimidating and more fun.

• If you are uncomfortable standing or sitting in the front, then find a space in the middle. Definitely do not stand or sit in the back row. I like to see new students and know that I can be seen by them. If you are in the middle, you can also watch participants in the front who probably attend classes regularly. Since I teach outside a gym, my classes do not have mirrors, but in a gym, fitness rooms usually have mirrors. Don’t be intimidated – everyone is watching themselves! And hopefully you will too. Mirrors give you an opportunity to look at your form.

• Listen to your body. If a certain exercise feels uncomfortable or unsafe for your body, feel free to substitute another exercise, omit part of the exercise, or just skip it all together (let your instructor know). During my classes, I often remind students to skip an exercise if they have injuries or pain. Never hesitate to ask the instructor to clarify or even watch your technique after class. Form and technique are more important than intensity or number of repetitions of an exercise. I am always glad when a student asks for help because I know they are serious!

• Try the class at least three times before you decide you do not like it. I remember the first time I took a step class, I hated it. After another try, I became a faithful student and eventually a step class instructor. Try taking classes from different instructors. Each instructor makes the class unique based his/her personality and background.

I love exercising in a group setting even when I am not teaching. It is social and fun. Some people (including me) work harder when working in a group. No matter what you enjoy, I am sure there are classes available for you. If you cannot find what you are looking for, give me a call. I can possibly point you in the right direction!

Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.
jhunt1@pclnet.net

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1-22-2016 10-52-31 AMI realize it is early in the year and we will probably have at least two more months of cold weather, but as a Master Gardener, I am always thinking about gardening! Also, because I am an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, fitness is another thing that is always on my mind.

The next session of Master Gardener classes begins on February 4th, and we still have some openings available. The classes in the winter/spring meet every Thursday morning from 9am to 1:30pm for 13 weeks, whereas the fall classes meet every Thursday evening. Most of the classes meet at Belle Mina. These classes are a combination of Morgan County, Limestone County and Madison County students. Classes are taught by college professors, county extension people, state Master Gardeners, and other professionals. The topics include just about everything from soils, to fruit and vegetables, to grass, and flowers. For more information regarding the classes and Master Gardeners, visit the Master Gardener website (www.mg.aces.edu) or call me at 256-614-3530.

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Gardening offers both mental and physical health benefits. Being out in nature, (whether it is on your back patio, out in the woods or in the mountains,) is very relaxing and healing. Gardening is associated with mental clarity, feelings of reward, and offers physical benefits. From soil preparation to the joy of harvesting, there is always a task! If you have ever done any gardening, you know this is great exercise. Whether you enjoy working in your own private garden or community garden projects, gardening is great for fitness.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), moderate-intensity level activity for 2.5 hours each week can reduce the risk for obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer and premature death. The CDC considers gardening a moderate-intensity level activity, and can help you to achieve that 2.5 hour goal each week. Additionally, those who choose gardening as their moderate-intensity exercise are more likely to exercise 40-50 minutes longer on average than those who choose activities like walking or biking. In addition to the physical activity, you can get your vitamin D. The most natural way to get vitamin D is by exposing your bare skin to sunlight (ultraviolet B rays). This can happen very quickly, particularly in the summer.

The type of exercise you get by gardening are the things you need to continue to do in everyday life – bending, kneeling, reaching, carrying objects, pulling, and pushing. Gardening is a great way to incorporate the entire body while exercising.

Let’s not forget about the mental benefits of gardening! Many experts say the fresh air can help prevent Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is a disorder common in all age groups. Gardening has also been shown to be a stress reliever. Stress can cause irritability, headaches, stomach aches, heart attacks and worsen other pre-existing conditions in the body.
Experiments have compared gardening to reading as a stress-relieving activity. Test subjects that gardened experienced a more significant decrease in stress when compared to the subjects that were assigned to read. Of course, we already know that physical exercise helps your brain stay sharp. It increases oxygen to your brain and reduces the risk for disorders that lead to memory loss. Exercise also enhances the effects of helpful brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones.

Finally, if the mental and physical benefits are not enough to encourage you to garden, there are other things like increased property value. Also, if you grow your own vegetables, you might save money on your grocery bill!

If you want more information about Master Gardener classes, contact Janet at 256-614-3530 or call your local extension office at 256-232-5510.
Happy Gardening!
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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1-8-2016 10-33-41 AMIt’s that time of year again: New Year’s. For many people, it is a time to set goals for the year ahead, an opportunity to start over. A new year signals something inside us to change, and we are more aware of our own shortcomings. There are all kinds of promises we make to ourselves, such as learning something new (my classes started on January 4th), paying off debt, or getting organized. Also, most people have at least one health-related goal on their list of “resolutions.” Incidentally, it is often the one that was also present last New Year’s, but that somehow never became a priority. Instead of needing to lose that 20 pounds, we now need to lose 30 or maybe even more.

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Why is it that we don’t meet these goals we set for ourselves? Part of the problem is that we don’t know how to set goals. If we set goals that are unrealistic, then we set ourselves up for failure from the very beginning. For more information on goal-setting, especially as it relates to exercise, see Janet Hunt’s article on page …

Rather than making a generalized goal like “eating healthy,” losing weight, or “getting in shape,” it is important to clearly and specifically define your terms. Make the most of your New Year’s resolutions by making a plan that you can actually stick to and accomplish that goal you’ve been setting for yourself year after year. Also, make sure that you are truly ready to change your habits before promising yourself you will. If you aren’t committed to the change, it is much less likely to occur, thus setting you up for lower self-esteem and more procrastination.

Many people set goals for themselves with the wrong motivation. They think that if they lose that weight, get that new job, or pay off that debt, then it will make them happy, improve their relationships, or somehow make life easier. When these things don’t happen, the “bad behaviors” that people are attempting to change revert back to the comfortable lack of action.

In order to make your resolutions stick, you must rewire the pathways in your brain. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a neuroscientist, says “It all begins in your mind: your thinking, your emotions, and your choices. If your mind isn’t right, then you will not stick with anything, no matter how great.”

Below you will find some tips to improve your outcomes when making resolutions.

1. Focus on one goal as opposed to several. Changing just one little thing at a time is much more manageable than trying to totally reinvent yourself.
2. Make resolutions SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
3. Don’t wait until the new year to make your resolutions. Instead, try making one new resolution every 3 months (or more often if you like).
4. Fully integrating a change takes at least 21 days, so make a goal that you are willing to spend some time on.
5. Find a buddy. Having someone to hold you accountable will increase your likelihood of accomplishing your goals, and will help your friend accomplish theirs in return.
6. Focus on what you can do today. Worrying about tomorrow, next week, or next year only sets you back.

By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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