How-To Series 2015: How to be fit

(At every start of a new year, people resort to coming up with all sorts of resolutions they would like to accomplish. Some of these promises range from becoming fit and healthy, to mastering financial strategies. So in line with this, Sun.Star Cebu Live! dedicates every Wednesday of January to presenting a series of how-to stories. Enjoy!)"

IT'S the New Year and with that comes a bucket full of resolutions. One of the most frequently used and proclaimed resolutions is losing weight.

Some do, while others heave a huge sigh because they failed or never even got to it at all. This year should be an exception but the question is “how?”

Try these tips which include important guides by strength and conditioning coach Pio Solon, together with mobility expert and wellness advocate Silver Mercado for a new and healthy look for the year ahead.

Seek professional help

Ask guidance from the right people who can help you reach that goal like doctors or nutritionists. Even when deciding to hit the gym for instance, Pio recommends asking for professional help “The best thing to do is to go to a facility and find a trainer who can assess your needs, determine your goals as well as your limitations in order to design a good program for you to suit your needs,” he said.

Start with the basics

It’s very important to keep in mind to always start with the basics. As a strength and conditioning coach, Pio stated that for strength exercises, mastering planks, push-ups, squats and the hip hinge movement is beneficial as a preparation for more vigorous types of workouts. Walking is another basic form of workout packed with health benefits. Break the monotony once in a while by trying out other activities but always revert to the basics.

Don’t overdo it

People who often use the gym maximize their time because they would like to get their money’s worth. Erase that mindset and don’t overdo it. And that applies to all forms of exercise. For the general population, 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity five days a week to sweat it out is ideal, according to the American Heart Association.

Keep moving

Keep moving

Even when at the office, people are often tied to their desk and feel sluggish the entire day. Have some standing breaks once in a while. Moving often helps increase one’s concentration. Use the stairs more often also. Even when at home, doing household chores is another way to lose weight.

Eat six meals a day

Eat six meals a day

Waiting longer between meals increases the hunger, resorting to overeating. Start off the day with breakfast being the most important meal after that eight-hour snooze and from then eat every three to four hours of light meals. Silver recommends eating fruits, vegetables and other healthy options.”Go for snacks like nuts. You can even make your own trail mix. It’s not that expensive. Also try eating apples in the morning. It’s really good, and it keeps you full,” she said. She also recommends looking up recipes on the Internet.

Make use of your apps

Aside from social media use, download apps that can help in reaching the desired goal like a pedometer which can record the number of steps taken or an app that counts calories.

Find a “fitspiration”

Take a cue from Pio and Silver. They’re currently reading The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life by Rick Warren. So whether the inspiration comes from a friend who recently lost weight, from a book or from anything that’s inspiring, always bear that in mind to keep you motivated.

Prepare your meals

Dieting is crucial when it comes to losing weight. Go for fruits, vegetables and food loaded with protein, and go easy on the carbohydrates and anything too sweet. Prepare the meals more and eat fast food less.

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Don’t be so hard on yourself

Sometimes looking at the mirror, it does get frustrating knowing days of exercising and dieting isn’t evident yet. It doesn’t happen just like that. But think of the benefits that these are doing to the body, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t feel too guilty after eating that slice of cake. Indulge once in a while, and don’t forget to keep on moving.

Be in this for the long haul

Set long-term goals instead of short ones. Always keep in mind that this is a step in achieving a healthy and fit look not just because there’s a high school reunion looming for instance. Some have a tendency to do a lot of shortcuts and they wind up getting sick or gaining more weight, but Silver says not to lose hope. “It’s a mindset for me. They have to stay committed and help themselves. Don’t set short-term goals and don’t hasten. Take the necessary steps before you get there and don’t skip them.”
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