Keeping Fit for the New Year

Year 2011 is just one day away! Are you all geared up to pave the way for another great year ahead?

One of the things people often talk about when it comes to self-improvement is resolutions. "What are your New Year resolutions?" is a common question to drive the conversation at an New Year party. Admittedly, it's something I delve into when conversation dries up.

Recently, I came across a meaningful quote by John Selden about New Year resolutions - "Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty. "

I suppose some people produce better results under pressure, and it really depends on personality. There are people who swear to shake off 5kg by the middle of next year and then get disheartened when they're 1kg short, and go back to doing things that make their goal drift further away. Then again, there are people who do everything to make sure that they do see their resolution through. Perhaps a resolution that everyone should make is to stick to their new year resolutions.

Jokes aside, whether you decide to reveal your resolutions or not, it's still good to start off the year with some sort of goal or plan in mind. It doesn't have to be something momentous or historic. It could be as simple as finishing off something from last year, or persisting with an achievement you managed last year.

Last year, I maintained a regular exercise regime (jogging and work outs at the gym) and I feel healthier and have fallen sick less often too. So for the new year, I'm going to continue doing that, but maybe try some more challenging sports to add variety. I did some research and found some sports which are easy to take up, promotes weight loss and doesn’t give you muscles:

Ice Skating
Suitability: Any age group, as long as your health permits. It’s not too difficult to learn if you’re not going for the fancy stuff.
Equipment: The ice skating outfit and skates. You should be able to rent these at the skating rink.
What it does: Improves ability to balance. Tones leg muscles. Increases stamina.
Approx. Calories burnt: 420 Calories per hour

Suitability: Any age group
Equipment: Just the bike if you’re a non-professional cyclist
What it does: Exercises your thigh muscles and knee joints. Promotes blood circulation
Approx. Calories burnt: 240 Calories per hour

Suitability: Any age group, but patient people are more likely to enjoy it. On the other hand, if you persevere, the sport will help develop your patience too.
Equipment: Sports attire, golfing shoes and gloves, gold club
What it does: All that walking strengthens your heart. Swinging the golf club helps stretch and strengthen your back muscle.
Approx. Calories burnt: 270 Calories per hour

Horse riding
Suitability: Age 40 and below. This is a sport with some risks. It’s also an expensive sport, and you must not fear horses.
Equipment: Riding attire, helmet, a docile horse
What it does: Trains your agility and body coordination. Exercises full body, especially leg muscles.
Approx. Calories burnt: 240 Calories per hour

Suitability: 30 plus and below. This is a high impact sport.
Equipment: Sports attire, sports shoes
What it does: This is a full body exercise that even tones your abdominal and bum muscles. It also trains your agility. If you’re still growing, the sport will help you grow taller.
Approx. Calories burnet: 260 Calories per hour (recreational)

Have a happy, healthy new year ahead!
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