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Holiday season no time to cop out on exercise

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I am writing this column midday on Christmas Eve. I am happy to report that the workouts at my gym were very well attended today. Most of my clients took an hour out of their undoubtedly busy day to put in some time for themselves before rushing out to wrap gifts and make last minute preparations. It reassures me to see that when someone really wants something, they find a way to make it happen.

As we start the new year, some of us need to be reminded of this in order to put things in perspective. Most new year’s resolutions are related to health and fitness and if you want make good on those resolutions, you need to want it badly and you need to get rid of the excuses.
Whether it’s mid January or mid summer, the time will come when you have a busy, stressful week, and you’ll be tempted to make excuses. You will likely say the words "I am too busy, I just don’t have time..." When uttered in the presence of a trainer or coach such as myself, this sentence is usually accompanied by a nervous sigh or laugh.

I understand that this is a defense mechanism. You know that you’ve made a decision that will have negative consequences on your health and yet you want me to tell you that it’s OK, that it’s not your fault. If I were feeling especially soft that day, I might respond with the assurance that you will change when you are ready and that it’s OK to have bad days.

What I’m really thinking is that it’s a total cop out. The truth is that every person is accountable for their own health and fitness. Everything you put in your mouth is a choice.

Every hour spent in front of the television is a choice. No one is putting a gun to your head. Are you ever too busy to change your baby’s diapers?  Would you drive your car with a flat tire for weeks without changing it? I don’t think so. So why is your car’s health any more important than your own?

Forget all the challenges, shakes, machines and gimmicks and just take responsibility for your life. Eat clean, non-processed foods, move around every day and get some sleep. There is no one program or exercise or supplement that is going to solve all your problems. Changing your life is up to you and if you want it bad enough, you can make it happen in 2013.

Tania Tetrault Vrga is owner and head trainer at CrossFit Winnipeg. Send questions to her at www.crossfitwinnipeg.com.

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