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Resolution Revolution

Resolution Revolution


So you spent the past month scarfing down countless cookies and holiday candy, tossing back glass after glass of eggnog, gorging yourself at family get-togethers, and essentially throwing any nutrition plan you had as far out the window as possible. But now that the holidays are over and a new year is upon us, it's time once again for that annual resolution to lose weight, eat healthier, and get in better shape. This year, though, we've got some tips that go beyond the basics of 'eat right and exercise' to keep you on the resolution wagon and boost your health to new levels. Make Fitness Fit You Dread the idea of a half hour on the elliptical machine? Hate the idea of getting up for an early morning jog? Then don't do it, say health experts. The key to a successful exercise regimen is to do something you enjoy. Find alternative exercises to give you the results you're going for, and fit your routine in when you're most likely to do it. If it's fun, the experts point out, you're more likely to stick to your workout schedule. Optimize Your Exercise Few things are more daunting than launching a new exercise regimen, so here are a few tips from the experts at on not only getting started but also setting realistic expectations for yourself. ''Make a commitment. Write down what you want to accomplish and when, then make a contract and sign it. Keep a journal to track your progress toward your goal. ''Don't expect miracles. If you've never worked out before, don't expect to be able to run for an hour on the treadmill. Start slower'with shorter workouts and days off in between'and slowly work up to longer sessions. ''Get help. If you're not sure what exercise regimen is right for you, hire a personal trainer for one or two sessions to help you create a plan. ''Seek alternatives. If weight lifting or cardiovascular exercise isn't your thing, try alterative forms of exercise like yoga, tai chi, martial arts, or indoor climbing. ''Build support. Tell your friends and family about your new exercise program and ask them to join you. ''Find time. Hard-pressed to fit in a workout? Make simple changes like taking the stairs at work, going for a walk during your lunch hour, or do jumping jacks while watching TV. ''Have fun! Grab a friend and go dancing. Play a spirited game of tennis with a neighbor. Organize a bowling party. Do any activity you find enjoyable, because exercise shouldn't be a chore. Eat Superfoods Sure, you already know to cut down on the fat, calories, and carbohydrates and load up on fruits, grains, and vegetables, but there are 10 key 'superfoods' that you probably aren't eating but definitely should, experts say. ' Beets, for cancer-fighting compounds ' Cabbage, for cancer-fighting enzymes ' Guava, for vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene ' Swiss chard, to protect the eyes ' Cinnamon, to regulate blood sugar ' Purslane, an herb, for omega-3 fatty acids ' Pomegranate juice, to help lower blood pressure ' Goji berries, for antioxidants and to fight insulin resistance ' Prunes, to protect cellular health ' Pumpkin seeds, for fiber and magnesium Sinless Snacking Catch yourself eyeing the vending machines at work every afternoon? Try these five more nutritious approaches to snacking instead. ''Be prepared. Studies show that 64% of snacks aren't planned, so do some advance preparation by keeping healthy choices in your car, desk, briefcase, or purse for when a snack attack hits. ''Drink flavored water. Add a wedge of lime, kiwi, or cucumber to bottled water for a tasty alternative. Or buy bottled flavored water that contains no more than 10 calories per eight-ounce serving. ''Go baked, not fried. If you're going to indulge your craving for chips, opt for a baked version instead of the fat-laden fried products, which have twice the calories. ''Learn to substitute. Craving something sweet? Swap that chocolate bar for a piece of fruit. Need something to crunch? Think veggies, not chips. ''Buy measured snack packs. When you just can't fight that craving for 'bad' food grab one of those handy 100-calorie-pack options.

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Bob Adams