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Work Your Body, Work Your Mind

It took me a long time to admit that I wasn’t successfully coping with my depression and anxiety on my own. It took even longer to come up with a plan to fight back against my own...

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Top 5 Things to Do

Fitness books, CDs and magazines all claim to know the secret to getting in shape, yet it’s often difficult to separate fact from fiction. While “experts” might contradict each other regarding the most effective means of getting in shape, there are some basic elements you need to do to get in shape:

1. Assess your fitness level.

Take a fitness test and see where you stand. Once you understand your current level, you can formulate a fitness plan that works for you. Workout plans are never “one size fits all,” so be sure to address your specific fitness needs as opposed to following what everyone else is doing. Remember that a good fitness plan includes aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility exercises; address all three components.

2. Develop healthy eating habits.

A successful fitness plan requires the right fuel. While in the past you might have worried about counting calories, your workout plan should focus, instead, on making every calorie count. Stick to sensible eating themes, such as including lots of fruits and vegetables and lean protein in your diet, as opposed to following fad diets. Also, staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining your workout energy: Drink at least six glasses of water a day.

3. Hire a trainer.

At least one day a week, enlist the services of a personal trainer or join a group exercise class. Fitness professionals can tailor a workout plan for your body and teach you to execute the exercises in good form. The added attention you receive from a trainer can help you progress faster and feel more confident.

4. Partner with a buddy.

If most of your friends are couch potatoes, you might find it difficult to stay motivated. Seek out new friends who embody the fitness lifestyle and use them as role models. You’re also less likely to bail out on a workout if you know your friend is waiting for you. Who knows? Eventually you might inspire your couch potato friends to get fit.

5. Stay positive.

Forget about all the times you’ve tried to get fit in the past. Tell yourself that you’re going to be successful this time and do everything you can to prove yourself right. The key to your fitness success lies in your mind.

Posted: 11/21/07