Did you ring in the new year with resolutions for a healthier YOU? Bravo! Writing this annual list is like the effect of dropping a NASCAR engine into the family sedan: You’ll whiz over the finish line. An impressive 60 percent of resolution makers hit their goals within months. (Folks who claim resolutions don’t work are all wet.)
Of course, what’s on your list counts, too. We YOU Docs want to change what we bet is in the No. 1 spot. Instead of the almost inevitable “Lose weight,” make it “Move.” Not to a new town. Move your butt!
That’s right. If you need to lose just 10 or 20 pounds, bump “Lose weight” and everything else down a notch, including “Eat your spinach” and “Learn to IM the grandkids.” Getting your body into gear became even more important in 2011. Here’s why:
Fitness edged out the scale. The fit/fat debate raged for years, until new data on 14,000 guys hit the news late in 2011. Men who stay or get active and fit are almost 40 percent less likely to die over 11 years than guys who slack off — even if they gain weight. Every increase in fitness level lowers the risk of fatal heart attacks and strokes by
19 percent. Cutting back on exercise boosts risk four times more than gaining a few pounds does.
The take-home lesson for you? Unless you’re obese (that’s a whole other issue), worry less about your weight and more about both getting and staying active.
Here’s how to make resolution No. 1 stick like glue for a healthier YOU:
Can’t always find time? Do mini-workouts. Often, the toughest thing about exercise isn’t doing it; it’s fitting it in. If you can’t swing a 30-minute walk every day, plus about 30 minutes a week of strength-training (our easy Rx for fitness), well, don’t worry about it! Slicing and dicing your activity into 10-minute chunks spread throughout the day works just as well for your weight, waist management and health. Just be sure to do 30 minutes total.
Use the buddy system. Why go it alone when being in cahoots with a healthy-change partner doubles your odds for success? You keep each other honest and cheer each other on. Plus, walking and talking with a pal naturally blows off stress — another big health-booster.
The YOU Docs — Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic — are the authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” For more information go to www.RealAge.com.
A 2011 study found these dangers from prolonged sitting:
Getting off your tush, even for a few minutes, breaks up the bad body effects.