Post Holiday Shape Up

Inevitably, we end up eating more than we should in November and December of each year, despite the best of intentions. We may also exercise less as we sit around the fire, catch up with friends and family, and run (figuratively speaking) here and yon gathering gifts and attending parties.

So when our jeans seem to have shrunk in the wash (wink, nod) and that dress we slid into a month ago now requires a subtle squeeze, we have to look at the man (or woman) in the mirror and face the music.

Gym memberships and solemn vows of military-level commitment to losing pounds and inches always signal the start of a new year. By mid-February, the reality of working 40 plus hours a week and trying to get back into shape wears most of us down. We keep working, but we stop working out.

An Old Money plan of attack is much less drastic and can be far more rewarding. First, adopt an exercise regimen that is a way of life, not a new year’s resolution. Second, be honest with yourself. It’s great to set high standards, but beating yourself up by not attaining or maintaining them is not emotionally healthy. Set your sights on something you know you can do and something you know you can stick with.

I practice the Five Tibetan Rites, or 5 Tibetans. This daily exercise regimen is a series of five very simple yoga positions. The entire rotation takes anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to do each morning. In that regard, it’s doable for busy people. You don’t need exercise equipment or an instructor. (The Tibetans will kick your butt in the privacy of your own home, thank you very much.) You might consider a yoga mat. You can see and read about the 5 Tibetans here. (As always, consult your physician before implementing any exercise program.)

The benefits–both physical and psychological–of daily yoga practice are numerous and well-documented. I won’t go into them here. Suffice to say that the 5 Tibetans wakes your body up in the morning. It’s a concise, no-impact workout that will strengthen your core, increase flexibility and circulation, and have you ready to face the day refreshed and alert.

It will also melt extra pounds and inches off in a matter of weeks. There’s only one catch: you have to do it.


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