4 Strategies for a Healthy New Year

Being inspired by Warren Buffet’s advice, our co-founder and shoemaker picked his four favorite strategies to be healthier this year. He also believes in one good concept: “The only bad workout is the one you don’t do.”

If you have the motivation, nothing can stop you!

In a documentary about Warren Buffet, Mr. Buffet goes to a classroom to talk to the students about some experiences, ideas, and other interesting topics. At one point, he asked the kids in the classroom to imagine what would be, to them, the perfect car. They had to choose one car among all the brands that they'd love to own. Once everyone had a car in their mind, Warren asked them what they would do if the car they picked was the only car they'll ever own in their entire lives. The answer was unanimously the same: they would take good care of it! Well, Mr. Buffet said, consider this only car as your body. You'll have only one for the rest of your life, so you should really take good care of it!

I cannot agree more with Warren Buffet. A healthy body is one's best asset!

A healthy body and mind allows you to see so many things and go so many places.

A healthy body allows you to do so many great things and allows you to go to so many great places. And vise versa, an unhealthy body limits you in many ways. Not only physically but also mentally, as it can affect your mood, attitude, and motivation to do things. I'm not even going to bring up the financial impact of an unhealthy body in this blog. Maybe next time.

A lot of new year's resolutions are about losing weight, getting in better shape, starting exercising … etc. But do people stick to these resolutions after a few weeks in or after finding out it actually requires work, discipline, and often some drastic changes? Mmh, kind of. There are hundreds of websites on how to eat healthily, start exercising, and lose weight. There are actually so many, it is overwhelming. And who to trust?

Well, I'd say the first person to trust is oneself! Another thing to consider is that it is never too late to start - and better late than never. If you believe you can do it, then there's no reason you can't! Here are a few strategies to start off on the right foot. When people want to get back in shape, lose weight, or just want to feel better, there are four keys to long-term success to consider:

1. Small Steps

One step at a time to reach your goals and stay healthy.

The first one is to start slowly with small steps. So many people who are over-motivated by their new year resolutions will go full-on to the gym right away, or start running distances that are too long, and most of the time they will give up after a few weeks if not days. So if you think that running would be good for you but you never really ran before, start by taking walks in your neighborhood. Then, after a week or so, start jogging that distance you've been walking. Again, after a few more weeks of a gentle jog, try to run that same distance a little bit faster, and so on. It is the same thing if you decide to go to the gym and lift weights. Start with weights you can lift without struggling and then, as your strength builds up, try with some heavier weights.

2. Consistency

Make a plan and hold yourself accountable for it. Don't let up and keep consistantly attacking whatever goal is in front of you. Procrastination is the biggest enemy.

The second key to success is to be consistent without burning yourself out. It is much more beneficial to gently run a short distance for 20 minutes every day than to run a long distance for two hours once a week. And keep in mind that 20 minutes of exercise every day will also limit the soreness compared to a long workout once in a while. In both cases some stretching exercises are always a good thing to do.

3. Nutrition

Eat fruits and vegetables. Adding natural foods to your recipes can make a huge difference in how your mind and body will feel.

The third key to success is food. You are what you eat, so feed yourself well! There is no need to write a whole chapter on that subject as we all know the answer: Cut all the processed food out of your diet and you'll find out that whatever is left is good for you.

A good way to know if what you are about to buy at the grocery store is healthy is to read the ingredients. How many are there? Would you use that many ingredients if you were to make it yourself? If the answer is no, you probably need to find a recipe on google instead, and not buy the product. If you have a hard time pronouncing more than one ingredient or don't know what it is, put it back on the shelf!  Want an example? “Butylated hydroxytoluene”; what? “Partially hydrogenated oil”; no idea what it is? “Sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite”; does this stuff grow on trees? “Propyl gallate”; another good one! “Sodium benzoate and benzoic acid”; doesn’t sound like a delicatessen! So take a minute to study each ingredient label.

4. Fun

Having fun is an excellent motivator to stay healthy. Find activities that excite you. Exercise doesn't have to be boring or stressful.

The fourth key to success, and probably the most important one, is to have FUN! It is important to choose an activity that excites you. Try several different ones out if you're not sure. It can be running, lifting weights, playing badminton, curling, zumba, martial arts, Crossfit, or anything that you really want to do and to learn, even if it involves time and work. It will be very hard to stick to a physical activity if you don't have fun doing it. And keep in mind that anything new requires commitment and dedication at the beginning, but it is so worth it!

And one more thing…

Leave the phone behind and get in touch with real people. Make friends. Go places. Life is too short to spend it staring at a tiny screen.

There is actually one more thing that can really help you achieve your goals: meet and interact with new people, make new friends and smile. Leave your phone at home!

To your health!

Written by: Olie Marchal, shoemaker and CEO of SOM Footwear

1 comment

  • Well said without being preachy!! Thanks Olie!


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