Feb. 17--Living in a society of instant gratification may be a deterrent to getting into shape because doing so takes a while and the process can seem overwhelming.
Some area residents and two experts on fitness and nutrition have offered the following 12 suggestions for getting into shape in today's world:
Raeanna Johnson, employee wellness coordinator at Weber State University, said consulting with a personal physician or a personal trainer are good ideas because they will know your limitations and what's best for your situation.
"It's hard to start because it's overwhelming," she said, naming the benefits of doing so.
Neil Higley of Hooper said his karate instructor has a saying, "Don't feed the elephant."
Higley said the saying means a person should only start out doing what he or she can do at the moment.
"You have to roll to crawl, crawl to walk, and then walk to run," Higley said. "It doesn't happen overnight."
Higley also suggested that people not think of getting into shape as a fad or an instant diet, but a lifestyle change.
"Start out small to change now before you're forced to change later by a health condition that will force you to do so," he said.
"Regardless of where you may be with your lifestyle choices, choose a reasonable goal and begin," said Kelli Calabrese, who has been a fitness, nutrition and lifestyle coach for almost three decades.
"It may be as small as drinking more water, walking 30 minutes after dinner, getting in seven hours of sleep or something more lofty like competing in a mud run or triathlon."
Calabrese speaks internationally and is an executive with Isagenix.
Pick exercise you enjoy
"There are many options when it comes to exercise, but finding something you love is important when it comes to sticking to it," Calabrese said.
"Nothing keeps the weight off like distance running," said David Leon Seedenburg of South Ogden. "The endorphin high is a perk."
"Swimming laps is my favorite," said Barbara Bernstein of Ogden. "After that, walking a dog."
Cindy Brunson of West Weber said she enjoys water aerobics.
Jacque Stonehocker of Pleasant View said she enjoys walking "our awesome trails around here."
But she also reminded that trails may be found anywhere and they are free.
A reader said hula hooping was enjoyable and inexpensive. Another suggested swimming at the Marshall White Center in Ogden to save money.
Calabrese suggested creating a budget for getting in shape to increase results.
"There is something for every budget from an exercise app, to the gym, or having a personal coach," she said. "While there is no need to break the bank, some of the luxuries of an expert increase motivation and results."
Put healthy choices on your calendar
"Plan for your exercise and honor the appointment the same way you would an important professional meeting or doctor visit," Calabrese said.
"Keep that time sacred and if you need to reschedule, make it up as soon as possible."
Know your needs
"It's a good idea to assess your current level of fitness and health prior to getting started," Calabrese said. "That will give you a good baseline for how your program is working and to compare improvements."
She suggested looking at one's Body Mass Index before getting started.
An adult calculator for BMI can be found on the website for the Centers for Disease Control at: www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator.
A child and teen BMI calculator can be found at http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnpabmi/.
"Motivation can come from within, from a spouse, buddy, app, online coach, group of people who you respect, hired coach or anyone who cares about your goals," Calabrese said.
"You can find motivation from books, games, videos and athletes who may have achieved what you aspire to."
There also are interactive games and videos developed for this purpose.
Learn to make better choices
"Every day we have options," Calabrese said. "Good or bad, our body will respond to them.
"Make the most healthy choices when it comes to eating wholesome and organic foods, getting your body moving most days of the week, sleeping seven hours a night, drinking eight glasses of water a day, hanging around with positive people and setting goals."
A quiz designed to help people learn how they can get back on track with their weight and exercise can be found at http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/information/.
The site http://www.discoveryfitandhealth.com/ also is filled with information about disease and health.
There's an app for that
Gina Vodopich Heiner of Ogden said she uses the application Myfitnesspal.
"I document calories, activity and water levels," she said. "This keeps me accountable and cognizant of my goals."
Another reader said an application called "The Couch to 5K" helped her get going to the point that she now enjoys running.
Johnson also named RunKeeper, which has a GPS that keeps track of the terrain where a person runs in order to calculate how much energy is used.
"The nice thing about a device is it will keep track of how many calories you've burned," Johnson said. "It's nice to put in what you ate, too."
"I am hearing that more and more," Calabrese said of those using phone applications to help.
"People are dialing in to get the best choices. When at restaurants, they are looking at their phones to check calories, fat, cholesterol and even gluten."
There is an application titled "Healthy Eating, Healthy You" that features exclusive healthy recipes developed by chefs at MGM Resorts, Calabrese said.
One titled "Child Obesity Guide," provides caregivers with assessment and planning tools. It includes chapters on how to diagnose obesity, meal planning and how to use labels to eat healthy.
An app titled "Nutrition and Healthy Eating" provides three science-based learning games for preschoolers and kindergartners.
"There is no reason to go about being healthy alone," Calabrese said. "Enlist your spouse, buddies or even young children to support you.
"Let them know about your goals, keep them posted on your progress and even consider professional help."
Report your progress
"Having someone to hold you accountable is key," said Dee Dee Williams, owner of 12th Street Fitness.
She has been a gym owner and trainer for 10 years.
"People trying to get healthy and in better shape are 98 percent more successful with help from a trainer or a group," she said.
Williams said she has seen time and again how accountability has made the difference in people's lives.
"You can record your improvements online, on other devices, in a journal or a spread sheet," Calabrese said.
"It's a great way to show improvements to your health and fitness."
Johnson warned against counter productive rewards.
For instance, she said a reward of a movie or a candy bar will not reinforce a person's goal of slenderizing their body.
"You kind of have to think outside of the box," she said, naming a new workout outfit or shoes as good choices for rewards.
She said a great incentive for something like losing 50 pounds would be to schedule a trip somewhere that will require wearing a bathing suit.
Get sleep/relieve stress
"Getting seven to eight hours or sleep will actually help you lose or maintain your weight," Johnson said.
She discussed cases where people have done everything else on the above list and still have not been able to change their physical shape because of sleep deprivation.
And she said getting sleep and stress management go hand-in-hand.
"Sleep helps relieve stress," Johnson said. "When you sleep, your body releases hormones that relieves stress."
She added that people who are working out need sleep to help their bodies recover and rebuild.
Contact reporter JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at
(c)2014 the Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah)
Visit the Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah) at www.standard.net
Distributed by MCT Information Services
Original headline: Planning to get fit in 2014? These 12 tips may help
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