Five 2005 Trends that Will Make You Want to Stick to Your Fitness Resolutions in 2006

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If you feel like the health care rug is being pulled out from under you, you’re not alone. Here are five trends from 2005 that should strengthen everyone’s resolve to improve their health and fitness habits in 2006.

You know the drill. Put on weight over the holidays. On January 1, vow to get fit. By February, brush it all off until next year. But a mother/daughter fitness publishing teams sees 2005 as a wake-up call that in 2006, we really do need to make good on our fitness resolutions.

“2005 brought twists and turns that exposed many of our health-related vulnerabilities,” says Jennifer Luhrs, 55, creator and publisher of the Streaming Colors Fitness Journal (http://www.streamingcolors.com), a calendar you color in with your positive fitness actions each day. “Being fit is no longer just a matter of how we want our clothes to fit, but of better surviving without many of our traditional safety nets.”

If you feel like the health care rug is being pulled out from under you, you’re not alone. Here are five trends from 2005 that should strengthen everyone’s resolve to improve their health and fitness habits in 2006.

#1 – Oops, there goes your health insurance. 46 million Americans have no health insurance and the number is growing. Whether you’ve been downsized, outsourced, denied coverage, had your employer shift more of the healthcare costs to you, switched to a high deductible plan, or were just plain priced out of the market—you can’t afford to get sick. Exercise, better eating habits, and quitting smoking are proven ways to avoid certain costly diseases, and they’re within your control.

#2 – Oops, there goes your pension. Now even “healthy” companies are getting rid of pensions as a way to “stay healthy” financially. But what does that mean for your health? And what about Social Security? If you’re going to be working into old age (as you may well be) your good health, fitness and vitality will make you a more attractive job candidate and a more physically capable worker.

#3 – Oops, there goes your house. 2005 was a particularly cruel year for hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, wild fires, not to mention the terrorist threat still hanging over us. If you have to get out fast, can you count on your stamina and your own two feet? Or will you be slowed down by excess weight, poor aerobic conditioning, your oxygen tank? 2006 is the year to quit smoking and control your stress and your weight through better exercise and eating habits.

#4 – Oops, there goes your prescription drug. If the recalls of certain prescription drugs have left you wondering whether you’re better off — or worse off without them, consider that exercise and better nutrition can help you lessen your dependence on, or avoid the need for some of those costly medications and medical procedures altogether. Check with your doctor, and then start taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

#5 – Oops, there goes our kids’ future health. Childhood obesity rates have quadrupled in the past 25 years, and one 2005 report suggests our kids may expect shorter (and unhealthier) life spans, due to sharp increases in obesity-related disease, especially type-2 diabetes. There’s no quick fix for this heart-breaking, ticking time bomb, but there is something you can do right now. Start adopting healthier habits yourself. Remember, you’re the role model for kids. Also, challenge your school system to serve healthier food and to re-institute mandatory physical education classes.

“The good news is that we can avoid costly illnesses if we improve our health habits,” says daughter Alexis Luhrs, 27. “In 2006, each of us can begin making small changes that will add up to big improvements in our health status. 2005 should solidify our resolve to exercise our individual power over our own health.”

Jennifer and Alexis Luhrs created and publish the Streaming Colors Fitness Journal, a calendar that combines the power of journaling with the fun of coloring. Coloring in each day serves as an immediate reward for taking small, positive actions. Seeing too many empty white days in a row is a reminder and motivator to do more.

The Streaming Colors Fitness Journal ($15.95) is available online at http://www.streamingcolors.com and at amazon.com, and through employers, health care providers, fitness trainers and other retailers.

Luhrs Media Company is a small, independent publishing firm located near St. Paul, Minnesota. Founded in response to the alarming rise in childhood obesity rates, it seeks to develop fun, practical tools to help people avoid lifestyle-related diseases.

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