Healthy Resolution Tips from the Father of Aerobics
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Making New Year’s resolutions related to health and fitness is a popular practice come each January. However, most people tend to fall off the resolution wagon within just a few weeks of getting started. Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, Founder and Chairman of Cooper Aerobics, offers a reminder that setting goals for yourself shouldn’t just be a one-time attempt; working toward better health and wellness should be a lifelong journey.
Research from The Cooper Institute has proven preventive medicine can prolong life and reduce death of all causes by 58 percent. Recently, the average life expectancy for adults in the United States has decreased to 76 years for men and 81 years for women. In order to improve both the quality and quantity of life as you age, it is important to make health and fitness a priority as early as possible.
“One of the most common phrases I have heard throughout my career is ‘if only,’” says Dr. Cooper. “Patients often come to me in poor health and wish they had followed the advice I gave them 15 or 20 years ago–they wonder what their life would be like if they had.”
Cooper Clinic’s Four-Step Approach
In order to safely and effectively measure your current state of health, Dr. Cooper recommends having an annual comprehensive preventive exam. At Cooper Clinic, a four-step approach is taken to help patients understand the goals they need to set to improve their health.
Go through the thorough examination comprised of six standard components. Cooper Clinic works to prevent disease; but if it cannot be prevented, a thorough examination can detect disease in its early stages.
Provide an educational and motivational experience for the patient. Cooper Clinic patients can spend up to two hours with their physician in order to fully understand the results of the exam.
Give personalized recommendations to help patients make healthy lifestyle changes.
Encourage patients to return annually in order to continue having an accurate and clear picture of health.
Although deciding on and setting New Year’s resolutions isn’t difficult, sticking with them can be a major challenge. Dr. Cooper hears many excuses from patients about why they don’t start or discontinue working toward their health goals.
I’m afraid my physical exam and testing will reveal evidence of disease
I don’t have enough time to exercise
There isn’t anywhere for me to exercise
Exercise is boring
I don’t have enough money to eat healthily and exercise
Do any of these apply to you? Don’t let excuses set you back. Health-centric resolutions should be more than just a to-do list to start checking off on January 1. Despite fear and lack of resources, making simple and minor adjustments to your habits can lead to major improvements in health, and the tips below can help you make resolutions that last.
Making Resolutions that Stick
“When making your resolutions and deciding to make healthy lifestyle changes, remember it’s cheaper and more effective to maintain good health than to regain it once it’s lost,” says Dr. Cooper. Following Dr. Cooper’s 8 Steps to Get Cooperized™ is a great place to start, but make sure to set realistic and achievable goals.
“When you set too many goals at once, it can be difficult to reach them all,” explains Dr. Cooper. “This can lead to frustration, and eventually things start to fall through the cracks. This is why most people give up on their resolutions.” Choosing one thing to focus on can help you narrow your focus and dedicate all your effort on making one healthy change.
If you’re nervous about getting an exam for fear of what may be found, you should instead feel comforted in having a clear picture of your health and the opportunity to find and treat disease early, if necessary.
Healthy eating requires much planning, but nutritious foods can be worked into the budget. Try these tips to get the most bang for your buck when shopping for wholesome and nutritious foods.
As for exercise, finding a group to encourage you and motivate you on your fitness journey is crucial. Gyms and fitness communities build camaraderie, use technology to combat boredom and encourage new forms of exercise through group classes. Plus, it’s proven that those who are physically fit are less depressed, have a more positive attitude and are less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s later in life.
A Family Affair
Dr. Cooper strongly recommends parents make their own health resolutions but also share them with their children. “Make healthy living a family affair,” he says. “Don’t solely focus on yourself and your own health–make sure to get the kids involved; do not leave them behind.” The United States is facing a health care crisis and an epidemic of childhood obesity due to lack of focus on nutrition and exercise for children.
Dr. Cooper always says, “fitness is a journey, not a destination.” Each person is unique in his or her needs to improve health and wellness. For more information about Cooper Clinic preventive exams, visit cooper-clinic.com or call 972.560.2667.
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.