Fitness Tips: February 17, 2014

Don't always wait for motivation to come; just do it and the feeling of excitement will often follow.

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Make Your Goals a Reality
The foundation of every successful program is making permanent changes in your lifestyle and health habits. How do you make permanent changes? Consider following these six strategies for success:

1. Make a commitment
To stay committed, you need to be focused. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to change your habits.

2. Find your inner motivation
You must undertake diet and exercise changes to please yourself. What's going to give you the burning drive to stick to your plan? Make a list of what's important to you to help stay motivated and focused.
3. Set realistic goals
Make sure that your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-limited.

4. Enjoy healthier foods
Get started by eating a healthy breakfast every day, eating at least four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits daily, and using healthy fats, such as olive oil, vegetable oils and nut butters.

5. Get active, stay active
If weight loss is your goal, the key is burning more calories than you consume. Because 3,500 calories equals about 1 pound (0.5 kilogram) of fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose 1 pound. So if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you'd lose about 1 pound a week (500 calories x 7 days = 3,500 calories).

6. Change your perspective
It's not enough to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even months if you want long-term success, habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your daily routine. You have to move beyond simply recognizing your challenges – you have to plan for how you'll deal with them if you're going to succeed.

Remember that you're planning to change your life and it won't happen all at once. Stick to your healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it.