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You're not alone: Even experts make New Year's resolutions about their health

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Every year around this time you vow to get fitter, healthier and better.

You're not alone.

Even the experts make New Year's resolutions about their health.

We talked with five Winnipeggers -- all advocates for physical activity -- about their resolutions for 2013:


Mike Booth

Elite marathon runner and owner of Massage Athletica


His resolution: To exercise more.


Even a four-time Manitoba Marathon winner such as Mike Booth falls behind in his exercise regimen.

So Booth, who usually does not make New Year's resolutions, has made one this year: To try to work out "every single day."

The resolution comes after a crazy year or two of going to school for his massage therapy certification, opening a new business and regularly staying at work well into the evening hours. At the same time, he trained for the Manitoba Marathon in 2011 and even let the Free Press follow him while doing so.

"I tend to run around during the day with my head cut off," says Booth, who usually works out three days a week but feels he would be better off doing more. (Even though he's nursing an Achilles tendon injury, Booth says there are always ways to exercise around an injury).

So since Jan. 1 -- unwavering in his resolve -- the runner has worked out every day, as promised. Usually he fits his sessions in during lunch or at the end of the workday around 9 p.m., often at GoodLife or CrossFit.

"There's always time in the day to work out."


Danielle Bouchard

University of Manitoba assistant professor of kinesiology


Her resolution: She doesn't have one.


Bouchard never made fitness-related New Year's resolutions and she's not about to start now.

"I don't think I need to change something," says Bouchard, especially since research shows people tend to break these kinds of resolutions within a month of the new year.

But that wouldn't be her issue. Fitness has been a part of Bouchard's life since she can remember. "It's a lifestyle," says Bouchard, who, during a phone interview from her U of M office, walks on her treadmill work station, a cutting edge treadmill-desk that allows its user to move while writing, talking on the phone and using a computer.

"I'm walking right now, but I don't feel it," says Bouchard, whose treadmill desk moves at 1.609 km/h (one mph). "I'm not really exercising now. It's just that I'm less sedentary."

Bouchard's real exercise happens when she takes on a cardio workout five to six days a week for an hour per workout -- often during her lunch break or even as early as 5 a.m. (She either runs outside or heads to the gym.) Two to three days a week, she weight-trains.

Bouchard says even though the start of the year may not, in her eyes, be the ideal time to make resolutions, doing so can work for some people -- but it's up to them to decide to stick to it.


Barb Cajas


owner and director of CORE Training and Therapy, personal trainer, University of Winnipeg kinesiology instructor


Her resolution: To take jazz dance lessons.


She's known for her vast knowledge of the human body and for methodically whipping her clients into shape. But few know the former judo competitor as a dancer.

"That's my new year's resolution this year. I'm going to take jazz dancing lessons at the RWB," says Cajas, who was inspired during a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, where she watched a couple of jazzy dance performances that had her wishing she was onstage.

"I thought, 'I want to be doing that right now. Jazz contemporary.' They were doing pieces (to music) from Michael Jackson, Beyoncé. It's very motivating."

Dance is actually not new to Cajas. She used to jazz dance -- she even taught it -- in the late 1980s and early 1990s, just as she finished school and started her personal training business.

"That was just the tail end of Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons era, I think.

"(Seeing the dance performances) was such a neat reminder that I used to do that and things get busy."

Cajas planned to visit RWB last week to enrol in dance classes.


Jordan Cieciwa

Personal trainer who runs the blog


His resolution: To increase his flexibility.


He's trained MMA fighters and looks every bit like a fit personal trainer.

But he can't do the splits.

At least not since he ended his competitive martial arts career a few years ago.

So Cieciwa's resolution this year? To do the splits the way he was once able to.

"I'm not really worried about my health and fitness, but I don't pay attention to my flexibility as much as I should," says Cieciwa, who is more than aware that a lack of flexibility -- even for the most fit person -- can lead to injury.

"I used to be able to kick above my head. I don't do it on a daily basis. I'm never in a sparring situation."

His strategy to get back to his old self? Total body stretches, particularly focusing on the glutes and quads. "I don't want to stretch out just one muscle group." Because of his busy schedule, Cieciwa has turned his usually long workouts into shorter, but intense, 45-minute sessions. In the new year, he's added an extra 15 minutes to the end of each session to incorporate stretches, which he holds from 30 seconds to three minutes: "As long as it takes me to clear my mind."

He warns that stretching should be completed only after a workout, not during the warm-up, which should include dynamic movement instead. Anything else can lead to injury.


Janice Lukes

Winnipeg trails advocate.


Her resolution: To shovel her driveway more often.


She has spent the winter sledding, walking and skating with her family down Winnipeg's frozen rivers.

But there is one winter activity Janice Lukes has put off: shovelling her driveway.

"I have a mega driveway. It usually takes me an hour to shovel," says the St. Norbert mother of three 10-year-old boys. She says her New Year's resolution would not only result in a snow-free driveway, but also in a good round of exercise.

"When I shovel, lift and heave, I feel it in my back. I use muscles that I never use," says Lukes. "And I squeeze my stomach muscles when I'm shovelling. I'm sure that helps."


Have an interesting story idea you'd like Shamona to write about? Contact her at

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 14, 2013 D1

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