February Fitness: Day 1 - Getting Started - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

February Fitness: Day 1 - Getting Started

By Stephanie Byars - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The week of February 21-25, health reporter Stephanie Byars is talking to the experts to answer all of your fitness questions. The hardest part of exercising, dieting, or changing your health goals: getting started.

First, when it comes to exercise, Healthpoint fitness manager Amy Sutherlin says you have to take that first step. You can walk, ride a bike, join a gym, or simply take your pet for a walk.

"Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and get out and try something new," Sutherlin said.

Next, take it slow.

"It takes some time to build up your endurance and stamina so we recommend starting out with 10 minute bouts of cardio," Sutherlin said.

She recommends from there follow the 10 percent rule: add 10 percent more each week.

And there are no excuses when it comes to getting fit.  Sutherlin says just because you don't have a gym membership or maybe you've got a busy schedule, is not a reason to stay on the couch.

Some ideas: walk up and down your stairs, take a stroll around your neighborhood, or invest a small amount of money in some hand weights or a balance ball.

Once you get going, don't expect instant gratification.

"It's taken years and years for a lot of us to get out of shape and not work out" Sutherlin said. "We can't expect to fix those problems in one or two weeks, we're talking about a lifestyle commitment that takes four to six weeks to even establish."

Remember, whether you're just getting started or you've fallen off the workout wagon, everyone has to work at it.

You can do that by starting with a small goal and setting new ones along the way.  Maybe you want to fit into a pair of jeans or run a 5K race. No goal is to big or too small.

Our last tip is one many of us won't have a problem with: buy some new shoes.  Sutherlin says the proper shoes are key to keeping your body moving healthy.

When it comes to making change to your diet, you need to drink up, water that is.

"Even substituting that one glass of water for a calorie laden beverage can reduce your total daily calories quickly," said dietitian Raina Childers.

Also, Childers says you need to focus on fruits and veggies.

"Adding a salad with your lunch or adding a piece of fruit to your afternoon snack can make you feel better and improve overall nutrition quality," Childers said.

Now that you know what to eat and drink, it's important to know when to eat.  Childers says you need to eat a small meal or snack every two to three hours.  That will keep hunger pains and bad decisions away.

"When you aren't physically hungry you don't have big binges," Childers said.

Another tip to eating better, when you head to the grocery store you need to be savvy about your shopping.  Childers recommends reading the label of everything you put in your cart.  Pay attention to calories, fats and sugars.

Finally, plan ahead.  Childers recommends you take some time to make a meal plan for the entire week.

"It feels like a big investment but its very liberating on the backside when the week comes around and you know what's on the agenda for each night of the week," Childers said.

You can leave a comment below or head to the KFVS Facebook page to ask the experts your diet and exercise questions.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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