THE FITNESS CLIFF 2017 falls on February 22. This is the date identified by Gold’s Gym as the point at which most people will give up on their fitness goals this year. The specific day varies from year to year, and is based on their gym usage data.
At this point we will still be in the dark days of winter, and exactly one week after the Fitness Cliff, Lent will start for some. Discouraging. How do we postpone that day, as least until the coming of spring permits outdoor exercise and injects joy into workouts?
Before it arrives, we can take action. Rather than find a cheerleading-type piece that encourages persevering at exercise (this is still a good idea), perhaps it might be more helpful to encourage exercisers to take a bit of a regular ‘holiday’, not from exercising, but from extremely restrictive eating. It’s an ‘apples and oranges’ approach, but my thinking is that if we can be a tiny bit permissive in one area of health and fitness (dessert), we can live with stricter discipline in another area (working out) and thus not totally sabotage our efforts at reaching a running or walking goal.
I wish I could say truthfully that I am following the diet I assigned myself, but it’s not so. I THINK about following it and mostly do, but inevitably cheat and then feel disheartened. This is a weekly cycle that becomes a vicious cycle after a while.
An article from FitnessMagazine.com provided the inspiration for the ‘holiday’ idea. It offers “Warm Winter Desserts Made Healthy” by Shannon Bauer. Just like a good foam roll, maybe it’s best to schedule a dessert day each week, recognizing that portion size must be kept reasonable and that it’s not a day that permits eating everything in sight that’s desired. Just one DELICIOUS dessert that’s not too unhealthy.
I briefly reviewed several of the recipes that especially appealed to me:
-Healthy Pear and Quinoa Apple Crisp
-Simple Oatmeal and Pecan Blueberry Crisp
-Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding
-Cranberry Christmas Cake
-Caramel Apple Trifles
-Bourbon Bananas Foster
I cannot vouch for the excellence of the recipes and the outcomes, or for the ‘healthiness’. But this group of recipes seems like a nice, safe place to start looking for and finding a couple that are designed to be healthy rather than decadent. I like to toast bread used in making bread pudding so I’ll likely experiment a bit with that recipe. Perhaps others of you will want to tweak one or two with a change in ingredients or method as well.
Let everyone know if you identify one of these desserts as a clear winner, or if the scheduling of a weekly dessert ‘holiday’ concept delays your personal CLIFF DAY.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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