by Lisa Breslin
By now, many of you are among the 80 percent of Americans who resolved to exercise more and eat better so they could drop a few pounds and feel healthier — but didn’t. By now, you have contributed to the statistic (as reported by U.S. News) that four-fifths of all New Year’s resolutions fail by February. There are so many factors that play into people’s ability to reach their goals, especially when those goals are linked to better health, says Dr. Jean Pollock, owner of Innovative Counseling Services in Hanover.
“Too often goals are set too high. They aren’t even realistic,” Pollock says. “And there is no accountability to anyone.” Pollock recommends connecting with someone — a friend, a life coach — for inspiration and accountability. “The procrastinators, the goal setters… It’s important to connect and to start with baby, realistic steps.”
Hanover Magazine hears you, Dr. Pollock. So we are going to help readers, especially three lucky readers, ease their way to better health one stretch at a time.
The 15-, 25-, 45-Minute Challenge
It’s hard to find time to exercise if it is not as ingrained into your daily routine as brushing your teeth or showering. But if you can dedicate 15 minutes a day to a little exercise and make small changes to your diet, you will feel healthier and look better.
Whether you opt to jump-start your way to feeling better by dedicating 15, 25 or 45 minutes of time for exercise, Hanover Magazine and your only local gym, Club 2000 Health and Fitness Center, hope you will join the Easing into Feeling Better Challenge created by the gym’s manager, Tom Jacoby.
Try the challenge on your own, or be one of three lucky readers who will receive Jacoby’s mentorship and use of the gym facilities free for one month, beginning in March.
Hanover Magazine will follow this trio’s journeys as they set aside 15, 25 or 45 minutes to exercise routinely for one month.
The 15-Minute Challenge
Jacoby has created an exercise routine for readers who consider themselves non-exercisers, or moderate exercisers. It’s for those who have made New Year’s resolution after New Year’s resolution to exercise more and feel better, but just have not been able to follow through. They might walk occasionally, but exercise is usually linked to everyday movement to and from the job, the grocery store and other appointments — with an occasional romp with a son or daughter — or maybe a grandchild. This is a circuit-type training that should be done three to five days a week. It works well for folks who are just are just getting started on a fitness routine and have consulted with their physicians. Each exercise requires one to three minutes.
“The number of repetitions is not important,” Jacoby notes. “But try to take note of how many times you can do the exercise within the one- to two-minute time frame.”
The 25-Minute Challenge
This challenge was created for people who already exercise a little each day but they want to “put just a little extra grit” in their physical activity. “If you are familiar with the gym but still struggle to find time during the day to fit in a routine,” Jacoby recommends this starting point. This 25-minute routine is also circuit style training, with focus placed on the upper body one day and the lower body the next day. Jacoby recommends the routine be attempted four days a week.
The 45-Minute Challenge
This challenge is for someone who is ready for a serious change in his or her lifestyle and who is ready to make exercise an important part of the day. The routine targets specific body parts and requires going to a gym. In addition to a warm-up, Jacoby recommends cool-down time for the heart, such as walking at 3.5 mph and ensuring that your heart rate does not rise above 150 beats per minute.