Holidays & Entertaining

Shape Up For Spring!

Text by L. Baker

With obesity on the rise we all need to be on the offence and take charge of our own health and welfare. The average Canadian puts on an average of 3-10 extra pounds over the winter season. If we neglect that over a period of a few years we can be in real need of a healthy weight reduction plan and exercise regime. Whether you are in need of losing weight or would just like to tone up for the spring, a solid plan of attack is what you will need.

If you are in need of losing weight, whether it’s a few pounds or 40 lbs, you need to resign yourself to the fact that diets don’t work but life changes do. You can simply begin by following the Canada Food Guide. There are more fad diets on the market than you can imagine, but for real life changing success a simple meal plan including foods from each food group is the most effective. Cutting out refined sugars, junk food, pop and excessive carbs will put your weight loss plan on the right track. If you are a person who craves food all day long you may want to break up the food on the Canada Food Guide into six small meals and snacks. Some people do better eating six small meals a day than they do trying to hold off their hunger for only three meals a day. You must design a food plan that will work for you, not against you.

Along with a healthy eating you will need to drink your water. The average body requires 6-8 oz of water a day. All day long your body releases water through perspiration and urination you need to replenish that water. It is very easy for people to become dehydrated and not realize it. Water also assists your body in riding itself of the fat that is breaking down and it gives your skin that healthy glow. The best way to fit your water consumption into your day is to have 1 cup of water when you first wake up and have one cup every two hours.

The final and most important part is exercise. Not everyone gets excited about exercise. We aren’t all pumped about going to the gym and not all of us are born runners so where does that leave us? Walking is still the best form of exercise and it’s very inexpensive. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes and then look at your weekly schedule and see where a 30-minute walk 6 times a week will fit in best. Choose a scenic route or you may prefer joining a small walking group. Which ever way it works for you, just get out and get active. Take a Walkman with you and listen to a CD. If you approach your walking routine as a “special time out” you will be more inspired not to miss your exercise time.

There are four months before summer hits, just enough time to make that commitment to a healthy eating plan, good hydration, an exciting exercise plan and conditioning yourself for summer, so get out there and get to it!

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