Share Tweet Share Email

Seven healthy ideas to reach happy new ‘ending’

February 7, 2014
Eric Appiah

Eric Appiah

When were you in the best shape of your life? Think about it for a minute before you keep reading. What were you doing? How did you feel?

Hello, NIU!

As the assistant director of Fitness and Wellness at Campus Recreation, I wanted to talk to those of you who are serious about your fitness goals for 2014. Did you accomplish your goals for 2013? For 2012? Let this be the year with a different kind of ending. No matter what your goal is, the key to your success is planning and consistency.


We often have appointments with each other on campus. We also make appointments with the doctor, the dentist, the hairstylist or barber, and a lucky few even meet with the massage therapist regularly. We do whatever we need to do to make it to these appointments. These appointments are very important to us. With that said, make an appointment with yourself to get in your workouts on specific days. Make it as important as the other appointments of your life. Someone once told me, “If you don’t have a plan, then you plan to fail.” So make a plan, and plan to succeed.


One of the screen savers on my tablet says, “There is no substitute for consistency.”

The more appointments you show up for, the more consistent you become. This is how you form new healthy habits and make lifestyle changes. Murphy ’s Law states that “if anything can go wrong, it will.” Despite sounding a little cynical, there is some truth to it. Life happens. Things come up such as getting sick, emergencies, injuries, changes in your schedule or a child’s schedule, etc.

This shouldn’t surprise you … or discourage you to the point you stop making an effort.

Do not beat yourself up when “Murphy” strikes. If you know that “he” is coming, it is a good idea to prepare yourself. You will find that “Murphy” does not strike as often when you are prepared.

What am I saying? Accept that you will miss some of your appointments. Don’t be surprised or discouraged. When this happens, you must make sure to get back up and get going again. These are hiccups in an otherwise good plan that you have made. Stick with it. I guarantee you will have a different kind of ending this year if you do.

Student Recreation CenterTips for those days
when you “just don’t feel like it”
(We all have them once in a while!)

There are going to be some days when you just don’t feel like going in to exercise. For those days here are some pointers:

  • Tell yourself to go in and exercise to one track on your music player. Anyone can exercise for one song …
  • Pack your clothes and have them by the foot of the bed or in your exercise duffle or, better yet, in your car already. So many times you get ready to work out and, “Oops! Where are my socks?” or “Uh-oh, no shoes!” Packing everything the night before allows you to be prepared.
  • Have a workout program schedule. So many times I see people set off to “become healthier and exercise more” but go in and do whatever looks good for the day. If you are serious about changing the end of your story in 2014, then you must have a plan. Unsure of how to make a plan? Let us help you get on the right track by:
  • Make every effort to get through the first two weeks of your new plan. These are historically the most difficult when making a new habit or routine. Believe me when I say it does get easier after this.
  • And finally, a quote to ponder: “I regret that workout” … said no ene ever.

Eric Appiah is assistant director of Fitness and Wellness at Campus Recreation.