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New Year’s fitness challenge enters final weeks

Nutrition and fitness - eat right and take care of your body. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Naoko Shimoji)

Nutrition and fitness - eat right and take care of your body. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Naoko Shimoji)

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Participants in the 2015 New Year Extreme Fitness Challenge - me included - have entered their final month of competition.

I'm not sure about my competitors, but I know that I slipped a bit on my fitness goals in the last few weeks. A nagging knee injury, a heavy work schedule, and life got in the way a bit.

That's why I was happy to get a reminder e-mail from Kara Nesle, program coordinator and health technician at Health Promotions.

"Are you keeping up the good fitness and eating habits you initially started? Whether your answer is a yes or a no, it's important to remember your goals and keep them in front of you ... because it's all too easy to get preoccupied with life and let them slip from our thoughts," Nesle said.

Nesle and registered dietician Bret Kugler are running the 12-week program for the 18th Aerospace Medicine Squadron. I have been able to earn points by attending health and nutrition classes and by exercising.

Nesle's email contained some other good questions that are applicable to anyone aiming for a healthy lifestyle, whether they're in the competition or not.

· How are you working toward your goals?
· Are you putting in an honest effort toward achieving them?
· Are you making them a priority?
· How important are these goals to you?

She also stressed the need to create SMART goals. That stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. In other words, say, "I will work out 30 minutes a day, three times a week, for 12 weeks with a goal of losing 15 pounds," instead of making a vague statement like, "I want to lose weight."

With less than 30 days to go, it's time for me to heed Nesle's advice and start working again toward my own goals.