Knowing more could help you prepare for New Year

Published 7:09pm Thursday, January 2, 2014

This article is one installment in a two part series.
Well, the New Year has come, and we’re officially into January 2014.
Here are a few facts about January and the New Year you might not know.
January comes from the Latin word “ianua” meaning door and is named after Janus the god of the doorway. Janus had two faces – one looking forward and one looking back. Julius Caesar was actually the first to set Jan. 1 as the New Year.
In 1778 poet Robert Burns was so touched by lyrics, allegedly received from “an old man” that he sent “Auld Lang Syne” to the Scottish Musical Museum. Translated as “Times Gone By,” the message of the song is that despite the pain, we must remember those we’ve loved and lost.
Ever watched the American tradition, the Rose Parade, officially called the Tournament Of Roses, on New Year’s Day? An estimated 18 million flowers are used to make those parade floats. Also, noise making and fireworks are a New Year’s tradition believed to have originated way back in ancient times. One modern tradition observed today is the New Year’s resolution.
That is a time when many folks decide to exercise, be healthier, lose weight, become stronger and get in better physical shape. That’s a wonderful idea, but by January’s end, many have lost motivation, and quit all together.
Today, I’m going to show you ways to help you follow through, and finally get in shape this year.
First, take out a sheet of paper, and write an entire page of what it will cost you and what you give up in terms of health, money, relationships, self esteem and enjoyment, in the near and distant future, if you don’t make positive changes.
This is the only time I want you to feel bad, but really get those feelings.
Next, take another sheet of paper and write an entire page of all the benefits you’ll gain in all those same areas of your life, if you commit to pursuing your fitness and nutrition plan.
This approach is known as the carrot and the stick. You see, everything we do in life, we do for one of only two reasons; either to avoid pain or to gain pleasure.
If you associate enough pain with not following through, and enough pleasure in keeping your fitness/nutrition commitment, you’ll actually get leverage on yourself, and follow through.
Next, check with your doctor to see if you’re ready for an exercise program. You might have conditions you’re not even aware of, like high blood pressure or high blood sugar levels.
Once you’re medically cleared, start slowly. Sometimes folks are a bit too enthusiastic in the beginning and get hurt. This will not only delay progress, but will really douse your enthusiasm.
Get help from a professional.
So often I’ve seen folks at gyms start a fitness program and try to figure out proper exercise technique on their own, or even worse, try to imitate a friend or colleague who doesn’t know how to exercise properly, either. Just because you’ve exercised a long time, doesn’t mean you are performing all exercises properly.
Also, there’s no such thing as the perfect exercise routine, forever. You need to know when to change up your program, so you make real progress. Teaching exercises takes experience.
I have other personal trainers come to me to help sharpen their training skills, and help them become better trainers. They learn quickly that even working personal trainer have to keep up with new and better exercise techniques.
Once you get proper instruction, become accountable. When I train those trying to lose body fat, I require they make what I call the wardrobe commitment. Every time they drop two sizes, they must give those clothes away. This serves two purposes; one the needy get clothing, and two, my client has no way to turn back.
Some, trying to lose weight might say, “I’ll hang on to my larger sized clothes, just in case I gain the weight back.” Nope; you have to make the commitment.
You can win the weight loss and fitness game; you just have to know the rules and never, never, never give up.
To thank my readers for all the letters, calls and emails, I’m holding a free fitness/nutrition seminar on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 6:30 p.m. at Ken’s Fine Meats and Seafood in downtown Landrum. We’ll cover a number of topics including weight loss, muscle toning, strengthening, bone health, supplements, diets and much more, including any questions, you might have.
The seminar is free, but you must make a reservation. You can make reservations by leaving contact information at 864-457-3369 or 864-457-5144.
If the voicemail box is full, wait a bit and call back. I look forward to meeting you all.
Diet or exercise question?
Email me at or visit David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 27 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girl’s gymnastic team, and the Converse college equestrian team. He served as a water safety consultant to the United States Marine Corps., lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. Crocker was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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