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    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | January 1st, 2017


    A woman’s health is her capital”

                                                                                                         Harriet Beecher Stowe

    Have you thought about health as capital?  Maybe that is why the gyms will be jam-packed this January. Staying fit and being healthy is one of the top New Year’s resolutions made each year. Unfortunately, only eight percent of those who make a resolution will be successful. By March, the gyms will not be as crowded. However, what we do know is that you are 10 times more likely to attain your goals if you are explicit about what you want to do than if you are not. Setting a goal is helpful.

    A few months ago, I was introduced to the 3,000,000 step challenge by a friend. I decided yesterday to reach out to my friend to get more information. She told me it was more than just steps. It was an exercise challenge.  There are four categories of exercise and the challenge was to do all four every week. Exercise consisted of aerobics, strength training, flexibility and balance. We have a tendency to focus on one area and that is not good for overall health. They put a number on the steps to have a name but that was a minimum that was required in the challenge.  Every month, the people in her group would send her what they have done. As a matter of fact, yesterday she was tallying up everyone’s workout accomplishments. She told me it was helpful to call it a challenge rather than a resolution. It was also helpful to check in with someone monthly. She was that ‘someone’. She is also preparing their 2017 challenge.

    I thought it would be a great idea for us to have our one year challenge. I was going to call it the HEALTH IS MY CAPITAL 2.5 MILLION STEP CHALLENGE.

    Start date: January 9, 2017

    Challenge: Incorporate all components of exercise regularly for one year.

    Aerobics: Movement that gets your heart rate up – minimum 2.5 million steps over the year – that averages 7,000 steps a day or 210,000 steps in a month.

    Strength-training: Builds and maintains muscles and bones – at least 20 minutes, 2 times a week. Remember that you need to wait at least a day between exercising the same muscle group. Strength training can be done at home or in a gym. If at home, you can use free weights or resistance bands. You can use YouTube videos.

    Flexibility: Stretches the muscles and keeps joints limber – You may consider stretching before workout or do exercises (yoga or Pilates) that are particularly geared towards improving flexibility at least twice a week.

    Balance: As we age, if we do not make a conscious effort to incorporate balance, we are at risk for falls. Practice at least twice a week – It can be as simple as alternating standing on one foot until you can do it without leaning. Again, yoga or tai chi are great.

    If you are interested in the challenge, send me an email at I will put your name on a spreadsheet. At the end of each month, send me the information of what you have been doing. At the end of the year, if you have been consistent, your name will be placed in a drawing. I will draw two names and provide a $100 gift certificate to each person for a pampering service – massage, pedicure, manicure and/or brow services. You will be required to provide the name of the salon.

    What is the catch? As my sisters, you are important to me. I want you healthy to build capital. Also, I would never have you do something I am not willing to do. I have to admit, I hate strength training, so it will truly be a challenge. I can walk a half marathon, but I find it difficult to incorporate strength training. This challenge will help. I am looking forward to a wonderful year.

    Happy New Year!

    Wishing you peace, love, happiness and good health for 2017.

    More on the benefits of exercise, check out the blog, Exercise –The ‘Whys’, ‘Whats’, ‘Wheres’, ‘Whos’, and ‘Hows’




    3 Responses to “ARE YOU UP TO THE CHALLENGE?”

    1. Ernestine says:

      Not ready to commit yet but seriously considering it.

    2. chinelo achebe says:

      Would love to try

    Leave a Reply

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