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Ester Marsh column: Holidays are over, now what?

Happy New Year!

Boy, I almost thought I was back in the Netherlands with these arctic temperatures!

The holidays are over, now what? Many of you already started your New Year’s resolutions to include exercise into your healthy lifestyle. Many of you made a resolution to continue your regular exercise program (which is the way to go). And, then there are the ones who feel they messed up through the holidays and are dragging their feet to start back again. You are not alone! I know when I was home for Christmas, I ate so much more than I usually would because it was the first time in 28 years I was back for Christmas and the food was so good! I enjoyed every bit of it. Time spent with my family eating and drinking is worth the three pounds I put on.

Fortunately, exercise is part of who I am so I worked out three times with my mom at her gym, and since I have been back, I have hit the ground running. Starting or restarting an exercise program is your goal. You decide when, what and how. Don’t worry about what people think when they haven’t seen you exercise or you don’t look the way you used to. When people come back or see me at the store and I haven’t seen them, they always feel obligated to explain why they haven’t exercised. I am just happy that you are exercising again! I know how hard it is to make time for exercise.

In the 12 days I was in the Netherlands, I exercised three times. Granted, I walked a lot but, for me, that is a third of what I normally would do. I had other, more important things to do such as spending quality time with my family. In other words, I get it. Starting and/or continuing an exercise program is not easy and it takes lots of effort on your part. You are the one who has to make that first step. You are the one who believes you should, you are the one who needs to believe in you. I know, there are many obstacles in your way, but I have faith in where there is a will, there is a way.

So, if you haven’t started back yet, or haven’t started at all, I challenge you to get off your behind and make that first step! Start easy and progress slowly. There are so many ways you can work out. Any of our trainers at the YMCA can help you start with a program that works for you. I can tell you this, even if you don’t like to exercise, you will love the way it makes you feel!

Ester H Marsh Health & Fitness Director JF Hurley Family YMCA.

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