Focus on Fitness: Why wait to get back in shape? |

Focus on Fitness: Why wait to get back in shape?

Why wait for the new year to get back to the fitness club or reach for your health and fitness goals.

Empty champagne bottles, leftovers, cookies, no energy for days and hello to the New Year. Have you thought about what you can do now to prevent all that regret later?

Here are some easy tips to help you start.

• Start today: December is a month filled with family, friends and food. Why wait until January to start eating better? If you think just a couple of days of holiday splurging won’t affect you, think again. Most of the foods we eat during the holidays are composed mainly of saturated fats such as butter, fatty cuts of meat and hydrogenated oils, none of which are good for our overall health. That doesn’t mean your should replace everything with celery sticks and hummus. You can still splurge over the holidays as long as you keep your portions and nutrient density in mind. Be sure you are still eating your vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains first.

• Set small goals: A goal should be specific, adaptable, inspiring and achievable. Breaking your goals into smaller, more manageable short-term targets such as losing one or two pounds per week can improve your chances for success. Another good small goal is to start working out 30 minutes at a time, three times per week. Often, the new year comes, and we launch ourselves into workouts that are too strenuous. This can cause us to burn out quickly and lose track of what our goal was.

• Plan your workouts: Determine what type of exercise you are most likely to stick with. Options include spin classes, working out with a personal trainer, going to a fun, high-energy class such as Zumba or even yoga. Spend these last few weeks of the year discovering what types of exercise you like best and planning a regimen that will keep you committed and having more fun while your exercise.

• Get a buddy: Nothing works better than the buddy system when it comes to weight loss or exercise. You buddy can motivate you, keep you on track and support your commitment to becoming healthier. Pick a buddy who will challenge you. Studies show burning calories is easier when working out with a buddy.

It usually takes two to three weeks to establish a new habit, so why not start now? At the end of the day, there is nothing more important than your health and wellness. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Small positive changes add up and lead to success in meeting larger goals.

Shift your focus to making health and wellness a priority for life.

Marietta Roberts is fitness director and personal trainer at Old Town Hot Springs.

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