Get in Shape, At Your Own Pace
In less than 60 days summer will officially begin, and you can almost hear the sound of sweat beads falling as people rush to get in shape. There are a number of different reasons so many individuals will find themselves running, lifting, climbing, biking, and dieting. But no matter what your reason for getting into shape, it should all be done safely. Whether the choice is to diet or to work out – or both, at the end you want to feel better than when you started.
We are not all made equal. You know your body best and you know your limits. If you have just decided to start jogging – don’t expect to run a marathon on your first day, your first week or maybe even your first month. It’s always best to pace yourself. And that goes for dieting as well. Consult your health professional before making any drastic changes to your lifestyle, especially if you suffer with any chronic ailments, or have any health concerns that might preclude certain activities or include diet restrictions.
Once you’ve determined that you are ready to get started, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Set a fitness goal
- Formulate a workout plan
- Do a reality check (be honest with yourself about how fit you are)
- Seek support (get a workout friend)
- Eat right (to optimize the benefits of your exercise)
Importantly, start slow and build your stamina. That’s true for any form of activity you decide to take on. What you want to avoid is increasing your chances of injury. Don’t make it a chore; make it something you look forward to doing and that’s achieved when you find the activity that really motivates you. Remember that you have a wide variety of choices.
Experts also suggest that you cross-train at least once per week (e.g., runners could take a Pilates class, etc.).
If you decide to change up your diet to include more healthy foods, don’t go from steak and potatoes to a vegan diet overnight. Gradually introduce new, nutritious and tasty foods into your daily menu. Here again, starting slow will make it easier to stick to it and achieve better outcomes. With summer comes an assortment of fruits and vegetables that are both delicious and good for you. It is the perfect time to start changing up your menu – adding fresh fruits, salads, roasted summer vegetables, or raw veggie platters.
Here are a few tips from the Public Health Agency:
- Plan meals in advance
- Make a shopping list and stick to it
- Don’t shop when you are hungry
- Reduce your portions
- Snack on raw veggies or fruits in between meals
- Reduce alcoholic beverages, they tend to be high in calories
- Swap sugary drinks for water, or natural juices
The road to success is ahead of you, but remember that change does not happen overnight, it’s gradual. Don’t give up because you don’t see immediate results. Gradual change is a good indication that it will be more permanent. Now let’s get out there and move.
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References: Public Health, Foot Doctors Colorado, WebMd, Redbook, Shape Magazine
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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