Many of these exercises can’t be performed in the plant environment. What you’ll need is a way to burn calories and tone muscles while slaving away in the work-a-day world. You may have heard of isometric exercises, those static muscle contractions against a fixed resistance. Easily performed, they were the rage for a while. Alas, it was too good to be true and isometrics were brought low because of overblown claims about their efficacy for building muscle mass. You can get the full story from Paul Spencer-Wimpkeny at isokinetics.net in the United Kingdom. Visit www.isokinetics.net/basics/exercise.htm [no hyphens] to read his comments.
The second approach to raising your caloric burn rate will test your tolerance for acting somewhat dorky in front of people who are competing with you for a paycheck and continued employment. “How to Exercise at Your Office,” a treatise from eHow Inc., Palo Alto, Calif., demonstrates activities you can use to “boost energy levels, relieve stress and burn calories.” This material is found at www.ehow.com/how_5755_exercise-office.html.
Another office exercise routine is found at http://forum.mamboserver.com/showthread.php?t=4672. It’s easier and doesn’t make you appear too silly.
The other half of the equation
Minimizing input is purely a matter of self-control. No magic diet or diet supplement can slim you down while still giving you unfettered access to the feedbag. It’s your hand that holds the fork. With that said, I offer you “3 day diet,” a page posted by Foo Yeong Seng in Bandar Kinrara, Puchong, Malaysia. The major thesis Seng claims here is that you can lose 10 lbs. in three days by strict adherence to a particular diet regimen he details. Then, you can return to your regular eating habits, if you don’t overdo it. Perhaps it works. The reason I mention this Web site is not so much the diet claims, but rather the access to a list of food items showing the calories, protein, fat and carbohydrate content as a function of portion size. Superimpose this data on a constant amount of physical exercise, and you can determine changes in body weight as a function of fuel input. It allows you to find the tipping point below which you can lose weight at a controlled rate and reduce your BMI. Drop in at www.3-day-diet-plan.com [hyphens separate each word] and you’ll be in control of your own fate and weight.
Ditching the monkey
Another common resolution is to cease using tobacco in all its forms. You already know, I’m sure, the arguments for making this resolution stick. Few of us, however, know much about the background of this agricultural product. That knowledge gap can be filled by a page on Loring Holden’s Web site, http://smokingsides.com/docs/hist.html, where you’ll find “Breed's collection of tobacco history sites,” a page attributed to Larry Breed, DrPH, of the Community Health Education Institute. It has no fewer than 280 links to sites holding much arcane tobacco lore. Learn about indigenous peoples of the Americas and tobacco use, the experiences of explorers and colonists, the history of tobacco control, places with a tobacco-related history and more. The material is interesting and I wanted to find more, but was unable to locate the Community Health Education Institute’s own site.
But, back to quitting. For that, I direct your digital attention to a site operated by our friends at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “How to Quit,” found at www.cdc.gov/tobacco/how2quit.htm, is a site dedicated to the proposition that it’s possible to cease and desist from using the weed. It offers resources that explain the physiological effects of nicotine on the body. It makes an appeal, sometimes emotional, to those who are serious about wanting to quit. That select audience will find a lot of supportive motivational material that can help beat the addiction. The site also has material for clinicians to use in persuading patients to start the process and for helping them be successful. Nevertheless, it’s your hand that holds the lit match.
Move back from the edge
When Ben Franklin made his famous comments about lending and borrowing, he had no idea of the depth of the financial abyss that we would be able to dig for ourselves. With recent changes in personal bankruptcy law making it much more difficult to leave someone else holding the bag, it’s conceivable one would feel that paying off credit card debt might be a worthy resolution. But it’s tough to kick the habit and move from a plastic-based economy to one based on good old cash that comes out of current earnings. Because the withdrawal symptoms aren’t necessarily pleasant, this resolution easily might fall by the wayside of daily life.
Of the thousands of Web sites offering tips and advice about personal debt, one with the least gloom-and-doom content is The Motley Fool. David and Tom Gardner founded this multimedia financial education company with a mission: to educate, enrich and amuse individual investors around the world. Their site addresses the matter at hand with its “Welcome to the Get Out of Debt Seminar!” It includes five lessons plus links to several other resources that can be of value to someone whose bank balance could use a little more value right now. So, point your mouse in the general direction of www.fool.com/seminars/sp/index.htm?sid=0001&lid=000 to start the seminar. Explore the rest of the site while you’re at it.