Happy New Year Everyone!

2011 --- Wow! My husband and I remarked New Years Eve about how fast time was moving. Seems like it was just a couple of years ago (not 11) that everyone was scared about the Millennium Computer Bug! I’ve been told it’s a sign of aging when you feel time is moving faster – hummmmmmmmmm. . . .

I hope all of you had a blessed and joyous holiday season. We had a joint family Thanksgiving at our home. We had numerous family parties to attend over Christmas and my family celebrated Christmas in our home Christmas Day. In addition, we had the pleasure of having my grand daughter and two nieces (ages 11, 12 and 13) spend the night New Years Eve. Everyone had an enjoyable time. While it IS still Christmas until Thursday, January 6th, I am glad the holiday hoopla is dying down – our bank account is glad as well!

Rolling over a new year is always a good time for “do-overs.” The tips in this newsletter are designed to help you with decisions regarding an exercise plan and whether you should choose a home gym or a gym membership to shed those holiday pounds.

Be sure to check out the Book Reviews section to help you get started with your home organizing projects for 2011.

May you all be blessed in this new year, and thank you for your continued interest in Messy Makeover Magazine.

Shelly Morton

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New Years Resolutions – Exercise

Okay, I admit to having put on a couple of pounds over the Christmas holidays. Like most people, I’ve formed a New Years Resolution to start back on my exercise routine that got lost in the holiday rush.

You may be considering doing the same thing. If so, the tips in this newsletter are designed to help you get back on track.

Set a Goal and Know How to Reach It

Don’t set a goal that’s too high and don’t go “all out,” especially if you’re not used to exercise. Keeping it simple and taking it slow will be most beneficial. If, like me, you’ve been mostly sedentary, then set aside a regular time (1 to 2 days per week for 30 minutes each time) and work from there.

Some forms of exercise come with easy programs, others involve learning skills and planning. The best way to reach your exercise goal is to make it something fun that you enjoy. My favorites are: ballroom dancing and tennis. However, because I don’t do either on a daily basis, I need to supplement with additional things that make me move. I have a home elliptical machine and also have a minimum membership at a small gym. I plan on using them on the days I don’t dance or play tennis.

Either way, start slow. Whatever your goal, making the goal simple and clear and creating a plan to succeed will give you an incentive to exercise.

Look at Your Budget

Most budgets are tighter this year than in the past. However, lack of money doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. If taking up a new sport is your plan, be careful. By the time you've purchased the necessary equipment and/or signed up for a class to learn how to use it, the costs can add up.

If you're planning to take a class or go to a gym, check to see if there are free trials or free passes to try it out. The same goes for investing in equipment. Visit a gym or other facility to check and see if it works for you, before you make a big purchase. Don’t let the sales people talk you into the most expensive item.

Choose a sport or other activity that works for you and your budget. This is the key to continuing to keep it up over time.

Plan Your Time

It’s hard, but if you don't take the time to fit exercise into your busy schedule, you are not going to exercise at all. Find ways to fit it in with possible changes to your morning, evening or lunchtime activities. Create a schedule that works for you then stick like glue to that schedule. Find exercises that work into that schedule.

Forgive yourself when things come up so that you don’t work out. Beating yourself up mentally won’t give you the incentive to continue. Get back on track the next day. Be aware if you are using the same excuses every day (e.g. I had to work late and now I’m tired, etc.)!

Talk to a Doctor and Trainer

Before getting started, it’s always wise to have your doctor check you out to be sure you won’t have any problems prior to working out. Have your doctor give you an assessment of any health concerns that might be aggravated by exercise or any health issues that could be addressed by exercise.

A personal trainer can also do a body composition analysis and help you set goals for yourself. Be sure to tell them exactly where you are at. If you feel the program they design is too aggressive, say so. It can sometimes be hard for trainers to ascertain what it’s like to start out like a sedentary newbie.

Gym Membership vs. Home Gym --- Which One Is Right For You?

Different people have different needs. Look at the “pros” and “cons” of each scenario before deciding to purchase a gym membership or buy home gym equipment.

Home Gym Setting up a home gym can be far cheaper than paying monthly membership fees. If your home has enough space for a home gym, this may be the best alternative for you. You can set up a TV to play your favorite home exercise DVD’s or home movies while you run on your treadmill or walk on your elliptical. Don’t forget about weights for your upper body workout (or used canned goods) or go with inexpensive resistance bands. The choice is yours.

Pro’s -– The equipment is right there when you need it. Seeing it every day can also be a motivator or reminder that you need to work out. You don’t have to worry about waiting for a machine or seeing all those slender 20-somethings that make you feel intimidated. You can take a work out and shower in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Con’s -- The hardest part about home gyms is actually using it. It’s possible to become complacent when they you are no longer paying those monthly workout fees. You don’t have access to a personal trainer, but there are books available to help.

Also, if your equipment breaks, it’s up to you find out how to get it repaired or replaced. After you start, you might find you don’t have as much space as you thought to set up a home gym.

Gym Membership Going to a gym is the option that some feel works best for their situation. They feel that having personal trainers available, different types of exercises classes and working out with others will help them not get bored and stick with it. It is also possible that paying a monthly fee will help you remember and motivate you to go.

Gyms are usually loaded with amenities designed to lure you into a membership: saunas, spinning classes, basketball courts, pools, etc. offer those extras that you probably can’t afford at home. Try to find one that offers a free orientation to help you assess your level of fitness.

Pro’s –- Some people prefer to workout with others around them. If you are a social person and not intimidated by the youngsters in their skinny gym clothes, this may work for you. Some gyms offer one or more free personal training sessions. Gyms also have specialized equipment that you wouldn’t be able afford or fit in your home.

Con’s -- You might be paying a lot of money each month for classes and equipment you don’t like and won’t use. Some people dislike working out with others around them. If you’re not a social person, you may not enjoy your time at the gym. One of the most frustrating things about gym memberships is that you will probably want to use the equipment during peak hours when everyone else is as well. Good luck trying to find an open cardio machine after work!

As always, the choice is up to you. Happy 2011!

To Help You Get Started With Your Exercise Resolutions

101 Workouts for Women: Everything You Need to Get a Lean, Strong and Fit Physique

Product Description Muscle & Fitness HERS magazine has provided a program of rapid-fire core workouts for those seeking to "get moving" on a weight-training fitness program or for those who wish to expand, freshen-up, and enhance their workout regimen. There are 101 fully photo-illustrated workouts presented almost one per every page spread. This concept allows the enthusiast the opportunity to glance at the photo during a workout to check their faithful following of the routine. Whether one is a novice or an experienced weight trainer there is a chapter that focuses on a workout plan just for your progress level. And there is a guide to designing your own personalized workout system. Your fitness and well-being are considered with section presenting a cardio primer and there's a feature on basic fitness nutrition, as well. 101 Workouts For Women provides a complete one-stop get-fit package for fitness enthusiasts.

Anatomy of Exercise: A Trainer's Inside Guide to Your Workout

Product Description Anatomy of Exercise is revolutionary for its insights into how different muscles of the body actually work during exercise. The book is organized by body area and shows common sequences in the progression of a typical workout. Lifelike anatomical illustrations demonstrate each exercise and reveal in colorful detail exactly which muscles are engaged, which are being conditioned and how those muscles respond.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ballroom Dancing, DVD Edition (Complete Idiot's Guide to)

Product Description In addition to the step-by-step photos, footwork illustrations, and instruction covering all the common ballroom dances, this new edition of the bestselling Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Ballroom Dancing includes a 90-minute instructional DVD featuring award-winning dancer and dance instructor Jeff Allen. It corresponds with the text seamlessly, giving readers the next best thing to one-on-one instruction, at a fraction of the cost.

Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You

Product Description From Publishers Weekly Michaels, who gained recognition as a trainer on NBC's The Biggest Loser, pushes to get you in "the best shape of your life." Assuming you are already in fairly decent shape, if you have 20 or less pounds to shed and are willing to make the commitment, Michaels promises to have readers "feeling comfortable running in a bikini." Determining body fat percentage and taking a "fit test" is par for the course in this sort of book. What separates Michaels' program is that she bases the diet on whether a person is a "slow oxidizer, balanced oxidizer, or fast oxidizer." The idea is that slow oxidizers require more carbs, while fast oxidizers need higher percentages of protein. Michaels provides three different sets of menus and recipes (she claims that there is sound science behind this, but don't expect to see helpful footnotes quoting clinical studies).

Slim Calm Sexy Yoga: The 15-minute yoga solution for feeling and looking your best from head to toe

Product Description Inside this book is the secret to a new you.A slimmer, calmer, sexier you. The secret? A revolutionary approach to the traditional practice of yoga. Study after study has shown that yoga offers a multitude of benefits for today’s stressedout, busy woman, including a trimmer body, stronger immunity, lower blood pressure, improved mood, better sex, and more! In this comprehensive manual, you’ll find more than 200 body-shaping and life changing yoga poses, meditations, breathing exercises, and unique 15-minute routines crafted by yoga superstar Tara Stiles.

Tennis Skills: The Player's Guide

Product Description Like having a personal tennis pro on call for expert coaching. Tennis Skills is an in-depth guide to improving a player's game. It features a battery of lessons designed by tennis pros that lays down a solid foundation of stroke skills and game strategy. Clear instructions and annotated diagrams provide valuable coaching and corrective techniques -- most valuable for any player.

Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System DVD Set

Product Description Shed pounds and have a blast in the process with the Zumba Fitness Total Body Transformation System DVD set. Loaded with red-hot dance steps, pulsating Latin rhythms, and easy-to-follow routines, this invigorating dance-fitness "party" will have you movin', groovin', and shakin' the weight off to the sexy, exotic rhythms of salsa, cumbia, samba, merengue, and more. Each routine features interval training sessions that combine fast and slow rhythms with resistance training, helping sculpt and tone your body while burning fat. As a result, Zumba fanatics can enjoy multiple long-term health benefits while having fun in the moment. Working out can be a lot of things, but it's never been known to be an exhilarating experience--until now.

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