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Handler Health: It's a New Year!

As part of our continuing committment to good health for handlers, Brenna Fender asks, "What healthy changes have you made for 2010?"

On January 1 every year, many people pledge to lose weight, eat healthier, get more exercise, and so on. New Year's resolutions are often broken, sometimes leading to even worse behavior. It's depressing when we can't keep up the bargains we make with ourselves.

I can't say I've ever been big on New Year's resolutions. I'm not a "go with the flow" kind of gal, so if most people are using the New Year as a springboard to good health, you can be sure that I'll make my decisions to change in December or February to avoid the trend.

Regardless of timeline, my intention is currently to lose weight and eat more healthy foods while trying to incorporate more exercise in my life. I'm never going to be someone who loves the gym, but I can use an Elliptical machine and watch TV at the YMCA while my son takes gymnastics. I can play the Wii Fit Plus and acknowledge that, while firing snowballs at opponents isn't the same as lifting weights, it's better than sitting on my rear and surfing the internet. I can keep prepared salad around and try to eat some every day ("salad in a sack" is my friend). I can keep yogurt around as my go-to snack.

When you make small changes, you get small changes back. I haven't lost two pounds a week. I can't honestly say I feel any better because I'm eating salad instead of something else. But I'm looking for long term.

I tried drinking Slimfast shakes and eating their bars every day until the drinks I was having for breakfast got recalled for some kind of bacteria problem. After that, my stomach kind of curled at the thought of more of this repetitive (and possibly contaminated) way of eating. It reminded me that I'm never going to keep up some restricted diet. I use up all my patience and discipline in other areas of my life. But small changes, like more bean dip and less hamburger in my taco salad, I can make. And keep.

As agility handlers, we may not consider ourselves athletes, but we do pursue athletic endeavors with our dogs. We need to be in decent shape to do well. And we need to be in good shape to live well.

What are you doing to get healthy in 2010? Send me the changes you are making, big and small, to Include your city and state in your email. I may print your comments in a future article!


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