By Muriel J. Smith
Want to lose a few pounds? Eat better? Exercise more? It’s not too late to make a New Year’s Resolution to do so.
Even though the statistics from last year aren’t too terrific – 49 percent of those who made resolutions Jan. 1, 2014, failed, and do so every year. In fact, only 8 percent are usually successful.
Still, statistics also show that you’re far better off making a resolution even if you don’t keep it, than if you just ignore your desires and determination altogether.
It seems women are more prone to making resolutions in the first place; weight loss, fitness and health, cessation of smoking and spending more time with the family always fall within the top ten resolutions made every year.
Jane Frotton of Atlantic Highlands, who gave up smoking 10 years ago for health reasons and used acupuncture to ensure it would be successful, said her New Year’s Resolution for 2015 is “to continue with regular health checkups, regular visits to my doctor, and regularly undergo any tests he recommends.” Frotton said her resolution is prompted by the recent very serious illnesses distant members of her family are currently facing. Some, she knows, may have been avoided had there been a better adherence to regular health care.
Kathi Slavin of Holmdel, a former model, admits she makes resolutions every year and generally keeps them “at least part of the year.” This year, Slavin, now a septuagenarian and grandmother of seven, is concentrating on health and fitness and has already signed up at Meridian’s Fitness Center at Airport Plaza in Hazlet to ensure she does physical exercise throughout the winter. “In the summer, I swim and do water aerobics at the pool,” at Village Grande where she lives, she said, “as well as play tennis frequently. But I don’t want to be stagnant all winter. By joining Meridian, I can engage in yoga, Pilates, and take advantage of lessons learned from the nutritionist on staff there.”
Slavin is convinced because of her own experience, that in addition to keeping more fit and agile, exercise helps lose weight and losing weight means a drop in blood pressure to safer levels.
Amit Patel, a registered pharmacist at Colts Neck Pharmacy on Route 34, dispenses prescriptions all day long, as well as answers questions on health issues and explains the effects and side effects of specific meds to his customers. He laughs over the idea of resolutions, however, saying he usually makes resolutions on the first of the year, and breaks them by the third. Patel said, “The national average, I believe, is that a person keeps a resolution on health issues for 15 days. By breaking mine within three days I’m just ahead of the norm.” Growing serious, the pharmacist noted the importance of following healthy regimens, following physician’s orders, and keeping fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Jeanette Killen, a salon assistant at Shear Success Beauty Salon in Colts Neck said her resolution is “to exercise more, go to the gym and do cardio exercising.” She’s doing it, she said, “because I feel I’m out of shape, but more importantly I have three kids and I want to be healthy to see them grow up and enjoy them.” By going to a gym, Killen said, she knows she can use equipment that will have her “running, jumping, and dancing.”
Donna Butcher, owner of the salon, said her resolution is simply “exercise, exercise, exercise.” She noted that her recent knee surgery means doing a lot of this exercise at regular physical therapy sessions, but more motivation comes with “wanting to work off all those calories I’ll gain over Christmas.” Butcher also thinks it’s equally important to have mental and spiritual health, and to that end, she is resolving to “connect with old friends, and wonderful people in Missouri and Massachusetts that I haven’t seen for a long time.”
In the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, it’s the resolution-makers in their 20s who have a better success rate than those over 50. Thirty-nine percent of the younger ones keep their resolutions until they achieve their goal, compared to 14 percent of those over 50. Three-quarters of everyone who makes resolutions lasts the first week, but by the time June rolls around, only 46 percent are still goal-conscious.
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