Monday, January 28, 2002

Fit Bits


Ways to stay active and healthy

Compiled by Peggy O'Farrell

Tips

        Clean slate: The American Council on Exercise (www.acefitness.org) offers these nuggets of wisdom for sticking to your New Year's diet resolutions:

        • Be specific: It's easier to stick with a plan that calls for cutting out desserts and walking 30 minutes a day than a vague resolve to lose 10 pounds.

        • Change for the right reasons: Whatever change you're making has to be good for you — not others — or it won't stick. Negative feelings are a big part of why we relapse into unhealthy behaviors.

        • Be creative: Try to dovetail one resolution to work with another. If you want to exercise and spend more time with the kids, start organizing family hikes, bike rides, runs, etc. If you want to meet new people, take a new fitness class.

        • Believe in yourself: Find a realistic role model, someone like you, whose behavior you can model. If Bob the copier guy can beat the cigarette habit, so can you.

        • Be realistic: If you're dog-tired when you get home at night, how likely are you to stick with that evening aerobics class? Make changes that are easy to live with.

        • Anticipate roadblocks: At some point, fatigue, cold weather, illness or lack of time will get in your way. Work around it and get back on track.

        • Have fun: If you don't enjoy your new lifestyle — exercising daily or eating low-fat foods — you won't stick with it.

        • Get a support system: Recruit family and friends to help you stick with your goals, or join a club or support group.

Siting

              

        Gold standard: Check out www.usolympicteam.com for interviews with the athletes, inside info on the Salt Lake City games and tips and advice from the athletes on awakening your inner Olympian.
       

Help wanted

              

        Coaches needed: Girls on the Run needs coaches to help girls 8-12 train for a 5K run and learn to make healthy decisions. Next session is Feb. 16. Information: 731-0089, or e-mail Maxeyjl@aol.com.
       

:Shelf help

              

        History lesson: The Paleo Diet (John Wiley and Sons; $24.95) by Loren Cordain puts the emphasis on what our Stone Age ancestors ate: lean proteins, fresh fruit and non-starchy vegetables, theorizing that cavemen were free of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis, so we can be too. The book includes meal plans and recipes.

Nutrition

        Snack smart: It's possible to snack safely within the confines of your cubicle, says registered dietitian Karen Collins of the American Institute for Cancer Research.

        Low-fat crackers are a good choice. Ms. Collins recommends whole-grain choices, such as melba toast, rye crackers or reduced-fat whole wheat crackers.

        Dried fruit, including mango, papaya and apricots, are a healthy choice.

        But portion control is key, because calories add up quickly. Put together single-serving “snack-sized” bags of low-cal munchies at home and stash them in a desk drawer. Refill the bags from home as needed.

The Goods

        Snooze and lose: Stress causes weight gain. Sound sleep eases stress. So, a good night's sleep can help you lose weight. That's the theory behind The Relaxation Company's “Relaxation for Weight Loss” CD, a 60-minute combination of guided meditation and soothing music. The cost is $11.98. Available at major book and music retailers or online at www.therelaxationcompany.com.

        Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone: 768-8510; fax: 768-8330; e-mail: pofarrell@enquirer.com.

       



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