Following through

Published 8:08 pm Saturday, January 8, 2011

Getting fit: Left to right, Beverly Greene, Barbara Kelly, Sherron Sanders, Wendy Phelps, Amanda Phelps, and Yolanda Jackson dance to a Zumba routine under the instruction of Nicole Fiorella, front.

Follow this advice to keep your health resolutions

At the start of each New Year, enrollment increases at local gyms as patrons attempt to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions.

But there are some important things to remember when beginning a new fitness routine.

“Preparation is the most important part in terms of success for your fitness plan,” said Chris Lovelette, fitness director at Anytime Fitness on Corporate Lane.

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It is important to plan achievable nutrition and exercise goals each week.

Lovelette advises his clients at Anytime Fitness to plan out their schedules on Sunday because that is the start of the regular week and the day that most people shop for groceries. When you begin your nutrition goals on the day you shop for groceries, you don’t have to worry about what you will eat when you get home at night and there are fewer reasons to settle for fast food.

When changing your diet, said Rodney Sanders, owner of GODHAP 4 Fitness in North Suffolk, “Take one thing that you shouldn’t be eating and eliminate that. Then the next thing will come and the next thing.”

If your goal is to loose weight, “Be consistent when you make your workout,” Sanders advised. “Make short realistic goals. Remember to take one day at a time.”

“Watch your nutrition, increase your cardio, and get into your weight training,” Lovelette added. “The muscle is the furnace for where the fat burns.”

Lovelette said that for around 95 percent of his female clientele, the hips, buns, thighs, and abdominal areas are areas they hope to target in losing weight, while many men focus on the mid-section and abdominal areas.

Many of his female clientele shy away from using weights initially for fear of becoming bulky, but Lovelette explains that weight training is important for weight loss. As a bonus, strength training can also help women maintain strong bones.

Pay attention to the number of calories you are putting into your body and the number of calories that are coming out, Lovelette said. If you do not belong to a gym, he said, you can walk in a park or visit a local high school with a track.

“Cardio is important for a number of reasons—for heart health and for calorie burn,” Lovelette said. “Cardio burns fat.”

Lovelette and Sanders both recommend increasing your water intake.

According to Sanders, many times when people believe they are hungry they are actually thirsty. Drinking more water can decrease cravings for food.

Also, cut back your soft drink intake, Lovelette said. Diet drinks have a lot of sodium.

And both instructors stress that anyone beginning a new diet or exercise routine should consult their doctor first so as not to compromise their health.

“The goal of fitness is the longevity of life,” Lovelette said.