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January 8, 2014

New Year and the dreaded New Year’s resolutions!

It’s the start of 2014 and another year has gone by. January is often the time when many people decide to draw up a set of New Year’s resolutions, even though 83% of us break them!

Newspaper articles saying that we typically eat 7,000 calories on Christmas Day are also fresh in the mind. As a result, many people decide January is the time to try and get healthier by giving something up, or starting something new. But does it work?

It’s arguable that alcohol is the best thing to give up for New Year’s. The liver, responsible for detoxifying alcohol, is about the only organ capable of regenerating itself in weeks. The liver has tremendous regenerative capacity but for a heavy drinker, a month won’t see the liver go back to normal because of the level of tissue damage and scarring.

Chocolate and caffeine are also commonly given up around this time of year. However, like the old saying goes, ‘everything in moderation’, there is no real benefit to giving up one thing unless you make a conscious decision to eat healthy and exercise regularly, to see long term benefits.

Now in general I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions, partly because I can’t stick to them for longer than a few weeks. But this year, my sister asked me to join her in running for Sports Relief in March to raise money for charity, and I decided to give it a go.

Unfortunately, I haven’t run in a long time and 6 miles may not sound like a very long distance but it is tougher than you think. A few years ago I ran a 10 km (6.1 mile) race and ended up with a terrible side stitch halfway through, which made the last few miles extremely painful. However, after completing the course I did feel a great sense of satisfaction and achievement which made all the pain worthwhile.

Seeing as the Sports Relief race is in March, I still feel I have plenty of time for training as the panic has yet to set in. This time, I have decided to be sensible and take it slow and steady, working my way up to the 6 miles rather than ‘winging it’.

Having come back to the gym after Christmas, I was shocked to see how busy it was, with everyone jumping on the January fitness frenzy band wagon. I also noticed a big difference in the amount and type of classes that are now available compared to a month ago. Gyms must know that once the Christmas period is over there is an influx of people trying to get fitter for the New Year. How long this resolution lasts remains to be seen!

So despite how busy the gym is and how miserable the weather is outside, I am still determined to stick to my New Year’s resolution of running 6 miles. After all, it’s for charity!