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Lifestyle

December 30, 2012

52 paths to fitness: Small steps to a svelte goal

This is the year you will resolve to ditch the diets, the “all or nothing” mentality and the “no-pain, no-gain” fitness goals. This is the year you will resolve to use common sense to eat less junk food, move more — and have fun doing it.

Remember what it was like when you were a kid and you thought nothing of playing tag for hours on end? That spirit still lives. You just need to wake it up. Maybe with a high-energy Zumba workout or Shaun T’s “Hip Hop Abs,” done in the privacy of your own home. Or by walking your dog while listening to a Dan Brown thriller. Instead of embarking on yet another diet, why not try to lose roughly 1 pound a week by creating a modest 500-calorie deficit each day. That’s easily accomplished by slashing about 250 calories from your diet (the equivalent of five Oreos) and burning about 250 calories through exercise, such as a brisk two-to-three-mile walk. You can do that easy.

Here are 52 tips for each week of the year, but we know we’re just scratching the surface. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. You “work” all week. No wonder you don’t want to “work” out. Find a way to move more and have fun doing it. Take a Zumba class. (Many studios will let you take your first class free.) Even if you never go back, it will redefine your definition of exercise.

2. You know that lazy, sluggish feeling you get when you drink alcohol? That’s your metabolism slowing to a halt.

3. Adopt an avatar. James Bond? Lara Croft? Put it in charge of slaying your food cravings. Or pretend you’re the Terminator and someone is standing between you and your workout.

4. Buy a pedometer. (We love the Omron HJ-112 Pocket Pedometer). Slowly work your way up to 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day. Parents can make it a game with kids: The person with the most steps for the day gets out of dish duty or earns more console time.

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