10 Easy Steps to Boost Your Fitness in 2012

Worried about weight loss in the New Year? Stuck in a cycle of weight gain and loss? Forget the resolutions and commit to a few easy lifestyle changes – you’ll avoid the seasonal guilt and see huge fitness results in just a few months.

  1. Stop (or at least cut down) drinking soda and calorie-dense beverages. Switch to water for better hydration and better health.
  2. Don’t skip meals. Try to get a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner in every day.
  3. Speaking of meals, eat vegetables at every meal. For extra health add foods with high fiber content (whole grains and beans) to leave you feeling fuller longer.
  4. Eliminate one unhealthy food from your diet every week – until they are all gone. (See #1 for a good place to start!)
  5. Try one new fitness class or physical activity every month. Yoga may not be quite right for you – but what about Zumba? If you hate walking, try swimming. There’s an activity out there that will be perfect for your personality and schedule.
  6. Park in the farthest spot from the door and take the stairs wherever you go for an added calorie burn.
  7. If you can afford it, visit a personal trainer once or twice a month to learn new exercises and tools for weight loss. If you’re a member at a local gym, stop by the front desk and ask for a tutorial on using different machines.
  8. Get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Studies have shown that the right amount of sleep leads to greater weight loss;
  9. Limit your time in front of a screen. Televisions, computers, cellphones – these time suckers can keep you on the couch. Get up and move around instead!
  10. Laugh every day. Laughter really is the best medicine; experts say it can help lower your blood pressure and relieve stress.

+ Looking for fitness guidance from an expert? Bon Secours In Motion has personal trainers at clinics throughout Hampton Roads.

2 thoughts on “10 Easy Steps to Boost Your Fitness in 2012

    1. BSHR Post author

      Amy,

      We consulted with our fitness, nutrition, and weight loss experts to get the correct answers to your questions!

      First of all, the small meal schedule is good for some individuals because it helps keep them full throughout the day. When meal time does approach, those who eat smaller portions are much less likely to overeat. It may also help to keep their energy level high and appetite down. Eating regularly is also effective for one’s metabolism. Skipping meals and irregular meal patterns can have a negative impact on weight loss.

      However, eating small meals can backfire, as well. It is important to make sure all of these small meals are nutritious and healthy food items. The more times that one sits down to eat, the more opportunities they have to possibly overeat, so it is important to make sure these “small meals” are appropriate portions and healthy foods, and not an opportunity to “snack” between meals.

      Regarding your bike question: “According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the average adult needs a certain amount of exercise each day. This amount is based on the intensity level of the activity. Aim for either 30 minutes of moderately intense cardio five days a week, or 20 minutes of vigorously intense cardio three days a week. If you’re pedaling at a higher intensity on a stationary bike, then 20 minutes a day four days a week may be enough exercise to meet the cardiovascular recommendation for physical activity.”

      So, to make it easy, 30 minutes of biking 5 days a week would be an appropriate amount of time on a recumbent bicycle. To get cardiovascular heart benefits, one would need 150 minutes per week, or 30 minutes/5 days a week!

      We hope this helps.

      Best,
      BSHR

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