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Fit For Life: Five Day Countdown to Fitness Starts Now

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Here are some tips to help you do the countdown to being Fit For Life in 2014.

Today marks the five day countdown to 2014 – what can you do to use these five days to assure success in your new year’s resolution to be healthier, happier, and more fit?

For many of us setting arbitrary goals and start dates do help us prepare for success. As with other lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, for example, 90% of your success comes from your decision process – have you truly decided to “do this” – and are you fully committed to it? That starts today. Here are some tips to help you do the countdown to being Fit For Life in 2014:

Day Five – Today

Start the psychological wheels turning about your fitness goals. What do you want to accomplish? Looking better? Feeling better? Being healthier? Living longer? Getting stronger to avoid injury at work? Spend some time thinking about the ‘whys’. And it’s ok to do it for someone else – your children, your spouse, your family, your job. More than thinking, you should visualize what life will be like for you when you are well on your way to your goal. What will your day look like? How will it change? What will you do that you can’t do now? Use all your senses to wrap yourself around that feeling. If you meditate, use visualizations. Talk out loud about your goals to those who will be part of helping you get there – and not undermining your success. As with many good and enjoyable things, it all starts in your mind. Make this a powerful tool to success.

Day Four

Today is research day. Read good sources of information – spend some time on the internet. Don’t go to those beat-down sites, as I call them – most of those quick and easy plans won’t work for you – they might in the beginning, but not long term. And that is what you are striving for. If you succeed now, you will be in maintenance mode, not in life changing mode all the time. Talk to your friends who you admire for their fitness levels, good eating habits, etc. What do they do? What will you enjoy doing? Remember – a gym membership is not an answer. It’s just a tool, like other tools you can use. But if you truly hate your workout choice, you won’t stick with it. So – gather the info – print articles out – cut out magazine stories, and sit back with a cup of green tea and think about your options.

Day Three

Going cold turkey is tough. For anyone. And, as I’ve said over and over again, you can’t workout a bad diet. Take a look at what you eat. Start a journal to document and really capture all that you eat, not only food, but also drink and snacks. You’ll want to note what type of food you are eating, too. GMO foods in your diet? Get rid of ‘em. Read the labels. Clean your cabinets free of junk. Ban the soda and the power drinks, especially the caffeine boosting drinks. Get a water filter. Or buy bottled water. Americans eat far too much – and usually the wrong things. It’s ok to pile up your plate, but that should be veggies and some fruit and good sources of protein, not mounds of carbs, or gravies, or fatty foods. Browse a supermarket with good choices. Buy a cookbook. If you know what you are doing and commit to eating sensibly, you shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to do this. Think about bringing healthy lunches to work, quick things you can eat for breakfast, good-for-you snacks and your main meals. Buy a crockpot so you can come home and find a healthy dinner, ready and waiting for you. You will now be on your way to eating healthy, good, real food – your power source to success.

Day Two

Is it New Year’s Eve? Well, before you go out tonight, maybe do some shopping. Do you have functional sneakers for your work out – there are different ones for walking, running, etc. If outdoors will be part of your routine, and of course it’s winter, you’ll want to get a natural fiber (cotton, wool) hat, scarf, gloves. Cover your mouth and nose with a scarf when it’s bitterly cold. Buy some lightweight clothes to layer on – there are some expensive items out there that will wick the sweat away from your body – but remember, you don’t need these, they are an extra tool. Do you have comfortable sweatpants or shorts for the gym? Will you be showering there? You’ll want to make up a gym bag of items that you can take back and forth with soap, shampoo, etc. If mobile apps and pedometers will help you keep your commitment to fitness, go right ahead and get them loaded up and purchased. Now – you have everything you need – go out and enjoy a Happy New Year – it’ll be happier because you know what tomorrow will bring – the beginning of a whole new YOU. Make that part of the toast – to you!

Day One

It’s here. You’ve got everything you need. You have your plan, your things, your tools. Write it all down today. Spell out your goals in writing. If you need help from a personal trainer, or someone to take you shopping, remember – good personal trainers will do more than work you out in a gym. So – let’s review. You have your stuff – clothes, equipment, tools. You have your food, some recipes and cookbooks – you’ve tossed the junk food and junk drinks out of your house. You have a plan – you know what type of exercise you will start with – even if it’s just walking for today.

Remember, you want to mix it up – don’t do the same thing for too long – keep variety in your workout and it will keep your interest and mix up your muscles for maximum benefit. Now – as with everything – your success starts at the beginning. Your commitment. If you truly have embraced being more fit, healthier and happier in 2014 – and beyond – it starts with a solid decision to do so. You may have to revisit this along the way and recommit, if you slip. Don’t be hard on yourself, just get right back up and continue on. Good Luck – I wish you to be FIT FOR LIFE – and it starts TODAY!

Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and continues to train at several facilities in the Providence area including Gold's Gym and CORE Studio, and he believes continued education is a must in his field. Email Matt:matt@fitnessprofiles.net, check out his website atwww.fitnessprofiles.net or on Facebook atMatt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut.


Related Slideshow: New England’s Healthiest States

The United Health Foundation recently released its 2013 annual reoprt: America's Health Rankings, which provides a comparative state by state analysis of several health measures to provide a comprehensive perspective of our nation's health issues. See how the New England states rank in the slides below.



All Outcomes Rank: Outcomes represent what has already occurred, either through death, disease or missed days due to illness. In America's Health Rankings, outcomes include prevalence of diabetes, number of poor mental or physical health days in last 30 days, health disparity, infant mortality rate, cardiovascular death rate, cancer death rate and premature death. Outcomes account for 25% of the final ranking.

Determinants Rank: Determinants represent those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For clarity, determinants are divided into four groups: Behaviors, Community and Environment, Public and Health Policies, and Clinical Care. These four groups of measures influence the health outcomes of the population in a state, and improving these inputs will improve outcomes over time. Most measures are actually a combination of activities in all four groups. 

Diabetes Rank: Based on percent of adults who responded yes to the question "Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes?" Does not include pre-diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy.

Smoking Rank: Based on percentage of adults who are current smokers (self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke).

Obesity Rank: Based on percentage of adults who are obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher.

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/

Prev Next

6. Rhode Island

Overall Rank: 19

Outcomes Rank: 30

Determinants Rank: 13

Diabetes Rank: 26

Smoking Rank: 14

Obesity Rank: 13



1. Low prevalence of obesity

2. High immunization coverage among adolescents

3. Ready availability of primary care physicians  


1.High rate of drug deaths

2. High rate of preventable hospitalizations

3. Large disparity in heath status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/RI

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5. Maine

Overall Rank: 16

Outcomes Rank: 25

Determinants Rank: 12

Diabetes Rank: 23

Smoking Rank: 29

Obesity Rank: 28



1. Low violent crime rate

2. Low percentage of uninsured population

3. Low prevalence of low birthweight  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2.High rate of cancer deaths

3. Limited availability of dentists

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/ME

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4. Connecticut

Overall Rank: 7

Outcomes Rank: 15

Determinants Rank: 4

Diabetes Rank: 16

Smoking Rank: 4

Obesity Rank: 12



1. Low prevalence of smoking

2. Low incidence of infectious diseases

3. High immunization coverage among children & adolescents  


1. Moderate prevalence of binge drinking

2. Low high school graduation rate

3. Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/CT

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3. New Hampshire

Overall Rank: 5

Outcomes Rank: 7

Determinants Rank: 5

Diabetes Rank: 16

Smoking Rank: 11

Obesity Rank: 22



1. Low percentage of children in poverty

2. High immunization coverage among children

3. Low infant mortality rate  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2.High incidence of pertussis infections

3. Low per capita public health funding

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/NH

Prev Next

2. Massachusetts

Overall Rank: 4

Outcomes Rank: 14

Determinants Rank: 3

Diabetes Rank: 10

Smoking Rank: 7

Obesity Rank: 2



1. Low prevalence of obesity

2. Low percentage of uninsured population

3. Ready availability of primary care physicians & dentists  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2. High rate of preventable hospitalizations

3. Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/MA

Prev Next

1. Vermont

Overall Rank: 2

Outcomes Rank: 12

Determinants Rank: 1

Diabetes Rank: 4

Smoking Rank: 9

Obesity Rank: 5



1. High rate of high school graduation

2. Low violent crime rate

3. Low percentage of uninsured population  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2. Low immunization coverage among children

3. High incidence of pertussis infections

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/VT


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