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10 Ways to Keep Your Fitness Plan on Track

Guest Article

Courtesy of ARA Content

The average American basically hibernates during the cold winter months. We eat more, exercise less and generally become increasingly out of shape.

"Winter is a challenging time of year for those who are trying to maintain healthy habits such as working out and eating low-fat, low-calorie foods," says Jeff Zwiefel, president, Health Enhancement Division of Life Time Fitness.

But complete deprivation is not the answer. "Life is meant to be enjoyed," Zwiefel says. "At Life Time, we think it's possible to balance healthy habits with enjoying special gatherings and foods. We encourage balance and moderation in all areas of your life," he says.

Here are 10 great tips, courtesy of Zwiefel, for staying fit and eating well all winter long.

1)  Drink lots of water throughout the day. It suppresses the appetite and is something everyone should do year round.

2)  If you're going to an evening party, don't starve yourself all day. It's a good idea to eat a smaller lunch than usual, but if you are starving by the time you arrive, you're more likely to make high-fat, high-calorie choices when you're at the buffet or table.

3)  Snack on fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods whenever possible. Dried fruits are healthy and a good alternative to many sweet snacks such as cookies and candy.

4)  Limit alcohol consumption. Remember that alcohol contains almost as many calories per gram as fat. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or club soda while you're at a party.

5)  At a party, eat healthy foods first. Use a small plate so you can't load up as easily, or have a friend who has healthy eating habits make up a plate for you.

6)  Enjoy the outdoors as much as possible: bundle up and take the dog for a walk, and try skating or sledding; squeeze 10-minute walks into your schedule. Any extra activity helps.

7)  Enlist the help of a family member or friend to help keep you on track with healthy habits. Choose someone who can provide not only encouragement, but a good example as well.

8)  Acknowledge that you're probably going to miss some workouts from time to time and plan now to work around it. Schedule different times or substitute another activity, even if it's at home.

9)  When you attend events or parties where there is a lot of food, leave at a reasonable hour. In addition to helping you get enough sleep, you'll also be removing yourself from the temptation to continue eating unnecessary calories.

10)  Remember that balance, variety and moderation apply to celebrations as well as to most other things in life, so don't be too hard on yourself if you slip up. Keep your good intentions, spend time with family and friends and enjoy life!

Contact a Lifetime Fitness facility nearest you or log onto their Web site.

10 Ways to Keep Your Fitness Plan on Track. Copyright 2003 by Fitness Pro Advantage. Used by permission.

The above guest article was posted on this site July 29, 2003.

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Guest Articles: General Health and Fitness

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