The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.

The People News
Special Report






A New Year and a New You

by Alexandra Edwards

Just after the clock strikes midnight and the final chorus of  Auld Lang Syne has been sung, open your front door and let the crisp, clear air of 2008 enter your home. The beginning of a brand new year is the best time to start afresh. Start the morning with a hot shower to wash the remnants of last year out of you hair.

Now is the time to make your New Year's resolution. One of the most popular resolutions and probably the most difficult to achieve, is to give up smoking. Gimmicks and patches may work for some, but to quit smoking by the practice of pure self-control,  somehow makes for the ultimate successful achievement that will make  you and your family proud for the rest of your newly extended life. Many ex-smokers will agree that quitting the habit is one of the hardest vices to kick. It is said that if you can give up smoking you can achieve almost anything that is difficult in life because it takes liberal amounts of self discipline, determination and courage.

The smoker needs to decide the best way to quit smoking for them, though heaps of support

Alexandra Edwards

and encouragement can be helpful from family and friends. Some try by first cutting down on the frequency and later eliminating cigarettes completely. Others may discard their smokes and lighters and fight the fight head on, cold turkey. Either way keeping with the resolution is going to be tough, it will take strength and most of all, an enormous amount of will power. To fight the body's desire for nicotine, chewing gum or strong peppermints are said to be  helpful. Some say keeping your mouth fresh by brushing teeth and rinsing with mouthwash helps fight the addiction. A good strong cup of coffee may also help quell the desire for nicotine. Fortunately for the smoker that wants to quit, the recent much more stringent smoking laws have afforded a good opportunity to kick the habit. Your body and financial  health will immediately improve when you quit but there is an an often ignored benefit of self empowerment that is equally as valuable. Once the addictive power of nicotine has been broken, self-confidence to achieve the impossible becomes possible and the future takes on a new meaning.

Another very popular new year resolution also associated with health, is to lose weight, which is also a very difficult goal to achieve. As mentioned above, for those who have successfully

quit smoking, then losing weight should also be much easier.

First of all remember, everybody is different, bless our hearts, we come in all shapes and sizes. The diet and exercise routine that may work good for one may do absolutely nothing for another. Some fad diets can actually do more harm than good. Doing the wrong exercises may also lead to back problems or worse... a heart attack. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to get some professional advice before starting any strenuous exercise or  strict diet.

Many fitness centers have personal trainers that will help with an appropriate exercise routine

as well as nutrition regime. January is a good time to sign up for one of the tempting new year specials offered at many of the local fitness centers. Once committed with a membership, it will not be so easy to break your resolution.

Sticking to a diet can be really difficult and although several pounds may be lost during the first few weeks,  very often by  Spring time we find they are creeping back on again. Looking at it logically, a person being over the weight they should be, means they must be eating too much food for their size body frame. Therefore, by eating less food and taking in fewer calories, they should lose weight. Keeping active as well as eating the right food is essential to losing weight.  Everyone reading this article is educated enough to know what is meant by "eating the right food" and that we are an overweight nation simply because the wrong food is so much more tempting. Therefore, this column will focus on exercise and activities to burn off those extra calories obtained from the foods that we knew should have been resisted...

but weren't. Although exercise burns excess fat, no amount of activity will stave off the results of gluttony.

Walking is one of the easiest exercises and is said to be one of the best ways to help lose weight and keep fit. All that is needed is a good pair of walking shoes and a sweat suit. A good brisk walk for thirty minutes every day should help melt away those unwanted pounds, and at the same time give that all round good feeling that comes with knowing  you are doing

something positive.

Doing a specific work-out exercise is not the only way to burn off calories and lose weight. Just by keeping yourself active or by doing household chores it is possible to burn off as many as 300 calories.

For example;Re-arrange your bedroom by repositioning heavy furniture around for 35 minutes. Scrub your kitchen floor for 40 minutes. Tidy up your yard for 42 minutes. Spring clean your house for an hour.  You could also roller-skate for half an hour or dance to your favorite music for 35 minutes to burn 300 calories.

Simply changing your lifestyle by parking your car farthest from the exit of the mall or grocery store so that you walk further will burn extra calories. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Taking the dog for a walk in the park instead of letting it loose in the back yard are other ways to lose weight.

According to Reader's,  five minutes of stair climbing burns 144 calories. Standing for an hour rather than sitting burns off  36 more calories. Raking leaves instead of using a leaf blower burns 50 more calories every half hour. Chewing sugarless gum burns 11 calories an hour.  Hand-washing the car instead of taking it to the automatic car wash burns an extra 280 calories an hour.  Even playing with the kids, a game of basketball, touch football, or tag can burn off 80-137 calories every 10 minutes.

Whatever your new year's resolution, whether it be giving up smoking, losing weight, quitting drinking or just promising to see more of the family, as long as you don't set your goals too high, there's no reason why you can't carry it through. Well least until 2009.

Have a safe and happy new year.