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Losing weight in 2016
The eat-half habit will still not reach its full potential for taking weight off and keeping it off unless one more habit is added, and that habit is you guessed it the exercise habit. - photo by Linda and Richard Eyre
The idea of a simplified eat-half approach to dieting from the first column led to a second column about some practical pre-habits that can be adopted to help us reach the half-habit. Both stressed the motivation that comes when people diet for their families for the purpose of getting themselves in better shape so they can be the best spouse and the best parent to their children.

But The Half-Diet Diet or any weight-loss effort will still not help anyone reach the full potential for taking weight off and keeping it off unless one more habit is added, and that habit is you guessed it the exercise habit.

We are in Australia as we write this article, and it seems an ideal setting. Are there any people in the world more active, more into fitness and more outdoorsy than Aussies? We doubt it.

Putting less (and better) food into your body, and more water, is going to make your body work better. But youve still got to make your body work.

Should it be a chore, a task, a constant struggle to force this work to happen to force your body to exercise? Does it have to be something you hate doing but keep motivating yourself to do anyway for your own good, like taking cod liver oil?

No! Exercising, like eating, should be one of the natural and simple and pure joys of life. It should feel good while youre doing it as well as when youre through, and it should be a way of rewarding yourself, not a way of punishing yourself.

The key is to find a form of exercise that you like, one that makes your body smile while its sweating out that pore-cleaning water and pumping those endorphins around through expanded lungs and a healthier cardiovascular system.

For me, Richard, its tennis. It used to be basketball, but now its tennis: hard tennis singles, without breaks between games, so that its aerobic. For me, Linda, its the bike: the road bike if the weather is good, the stationary one at home if its not. For one of our daughters, its running; for another daughter, its hiking. For a good friend, its the aerobic yoga class at the gym that has a good nursery for her two preschoolers. For another friend, its the StairMaster while he reads the morning paper every day. For yet another friend, its early morning lap swimming.

What were saying here is simply that youve got to find or develop a physical passion of some kind a form of exercise that you like. You dont need to instantly like it. It can take a little time to get into something, to get good enough at it that its enjoyable, and to get hooked on the way it makes you feel. If you dont know what your physical passion might be, start trying things until you find one.

The point is that we all need an output to go with our improved input. Disciplining ourselves with regard to our input into our bodies less and better food, eaten more slowly, and more water has to be accompanied and enhanced by the passion and rigor of the output of our exercise. One side is working on the quality and quantity of the calories we put in, and the other side is developing the most enjoyable and beneficial way of burning and sweating them out.

The very best kind of exercise habit is one you can enjoy with your family. Families who have a favorite sport, one that they enjoy together, gain the win-win, double benefit of physical improvement and emotional improvement. Its all been said before: The family that plays together stays together.

If you are a skiing family, you will be motivated to get more in shape and stay in shape for skiing with year-round exercises or a skilike elliptical machine. If you are a tennis family (like we are), you will play more often with others to become better for when you play with your family. If you run together, swim together, hike together, bike together whatever it is it will help you with both your exercise habit and your familys communication habit.

Then, put these good habits together with the water habit, the slow habit, and the eat-half habit from the previous columns, and you will find that all these positive addictions will begin to work together for the benefit of your family as well as the benefit of your body.
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