by Laurie Towers —
After months of being relatively sedentary, jumping into an ambitious workout program often results in muscle pains and strains that can squelch enthusiasm and quickly derail fitness goals.
Here are tips for meeting those goals and some suggestions for keeping health and fitness a top priority throughout the year.
- Walk or bike to work, or get off a stop or two early on a bus/subway trip to help jump-start your metabolism and engage in a bit of functional fitness.
- Take the steps instead of the elevator. Walking up and down the stairs burns many more calories than hitting the “up” button. Of course, this applies only if there are no specific limitations placed on your joints by your doctor.
- Rather than linger over brunch, lunch or dinner, invite a friend to take a walk with you.
- Take your own food to work to ensure portion control and to monitor exactly what ingredients you are eating.
- Employ the buddy system for your workouts. You are far more likely to work out if you know someone else is counting on you.
- Cut the calories without sacrificing taste. Use healthier sweeteners (in cooking or in coffee and tea), such as honey, maple syrup, agave or stevia.
Set realistic goals that will let you become your own cheerleader and will continue all year long.
Remember that it is perfectly natural to allow yourself a cheat day in which to indulge in the less-than-healthy foods you crave. The key is to use that day as a reward for a well-balanced nutritional investment that you abide by the rest of the week.
Laurie Towers is a former professional bodybuilder and fitness expert. She is CEO of Physical Advantage Massage Therapy Center P.C., in New York City, and established The Bridal Body Shop personal and virtual fitness programs, 212-460-1879, www.physical-knead.com or www.thebridalbodyshop.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 1, February/March 2012.