One Step at a Time

One Step

Getting fit is a matter of taking one step after another toward a fitter healthier life. You don’t have to change your life all at once to become the healthiest person you can be. One reason people fail to start a fitness program is they think they have to sign up at a gym, throw out all their old foods and start eating rice wafers and celery. That’s simply not true. No matter what your fitness goal, you can start anywhere you want making one small change at a time.

Eat healthier by making small changes.

Eating healthier isn’t dieting. Diets don’t work. They restrict your eating and often leave you hungry. Those that cut calories severely can even put you into starvation mode, where you body slows metabolism to conserve calories, making it harder to loose weight and easier to gain it once the diet ends and they do end. That ending is the real reason they don’t work, you then go back to your old eating pattern that put weight on in the first place. Eating healthier can occur by making small changes, such as eating wild rice instead of white rice or using Greek yogurt to substitute for sour cream. It might mean having healthy snacks ready for mid-afternoon or morning to stave off hunger so you don’t overeat at your next meal. These are all small changes that add up to big calorie savings.

Move more and more frequently.

Make it a point to move. Rather than circling the parking lot until you find a parking space close to the door, park further away and enjoy the quick walk. Take the stairs at work rather than the elevator. If you’re building is tall and you’re on a top floor, start by getting off the elevator a floor or two below your office and taking the stairs the rest of the way. Have fun and play with your children, cats or dogs. When you go to the mall, walk all the way around the mall first and then start your shopping trip. As you build strength, wait until you have a load of packages, then walk the mall. These are all ways to start exercising before you have a formal program.

Sign up for group training if you’re not sure you’re ready for a personal trainer.

Group training cost less than private sessions, but you still get all the benefits of having a personal trainer. Choose an option that allows you to go two to three nights a week and one that doesn’t last long, such as a six weeks course. Most of the time, people love the results they see after just a few weeks, they’re ready for a private program.

Have fun when you workout or get exercise. Exercise shouldn’t be grueling. Dancing is exercise and it’s fun!

Say no to an unhealthy treat at least once each week. If you’re in the habit of eating a donut each morning, substitute an apple one day a week for a while, then go to two days a week until you no longer have a donut during the week.

Shut off the television or put it on music videos and dance to the music for at least one or two songs. It doesn’t have to be a fast dance and you don’t have to be able to dance. Just move to the music joyfully.

Try something new and healthy each week when you eat. Try a new recipe, such as using Spaghetti squash instead of pasta or making a cauliflower crust pizza.

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