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5 Tips for Fall Health Makeover

Great America, trips to visit relatives, time at the cabin, boating, swimming, bike rides, Thursday night band concerts, gardening, ice cream — all of these things remind us of summer! Summer is about making memories with our family and friends. We tirelessly run ourselves ragged as we try to fit in as much as possible during those magical three months when the kids are home from school. As much as I loved summer and having the kids home, I have to admit that I also looked forward to the kids going back to school and getting routine back into my life. The Tuesday after Labor Day was always the defining day in our family that summer was over and it was time to have regular bed times, dinners and scheduled time for play and homework. What did that mean for me? Some welcome “me” time! Finally, time for “me” to think about what projects I might want to get done while the weather is still nice, time to spend with friends catching up on all our summer activities, and most of all, time to think about undoing some of the damage that was done with excessive summer eating and lack of scheduled exercise. If you are in need of a fall health makeover, now is the time to start planning for your success. As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is my top five list of necessary plans for your own fall health makeover: Doctor visit Have you had your annual physical? It is important to make sure that there is nothing going on internally that would prevent you from having your best results. You also want to make sure that your health is good enough to handle changes in your diet and an increase in exercise. Mental preparation I certainly could have written a book on how to lose weight when I weighed almost 300 pounds. I knew what to do, I just wasn’t doing it. It is important to look at our lives to identify stressful areas that may be preventing us from doing the necessary work. It has been extremely helpful for me to identify those areas in my life that I have control over and those areas that I don’t have control over. I don’t have the necessary energy to spend worrying about things that are out of my control. If I do have control over something that is causing me unhappiness or stress, then I need to change it. Goal setting If I get in my car and just start driving, how will I know when I’ve reached my destination? The same thing goes for your health. If you just start making random changes with no goal in sight, how will you know if you are successful? It is helpful to have someone help you set your goals. They can help you be realistic in your goal setting, and it also gives you some accountability. You always want to set yourself up to be successful in reaching your goal. If you make your goal to never eat pizza again, you will surely fail. If you make your goal to eat pizza once a month and to have a salad before you eat the pizza, that is most likely something you can live with. Diet There are thousands of diet books out there, each promising to be the one to guarantee your success. I have tried most of them with little to no success. What works for me has been changing my thought process from “what sounds good” to “what does my body need?” There are occasions in my life that I get to eat what sounds good to me but most of the time, I need to remove the excitement from eating and just focus on what I need. Learning balanced eating and eating strategies are key. One diet does not fit all. Find a program that will take into account your plan for yourself and your lifestyle. Exercise Start your program with a realistic plan. I talk to a lot of people who want to exercise, but they don’t know where to begin. Hiring a personal trainer is the safest way to begin a program. A good personal trainer will help you set up a plan and will work with you to make sure that you accomplish your fitness goals with a safe and manageable program. You are never too old or young, too thin or heavy, or too fit or out of shape to benefit from working with a personal trainer. Finding the right personal trainer for your goals will be the key to meeting your individual goals. Labor Day is fast approaching! Do you have a plan to set aside some “me” time to accomplish your goals? I will host a free seminar at 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Reality Fitness that will focus on fitness goal setting for fall. Call 630-357-7087 to register.

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