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7 Spring Fitness Tips

Think smoothies, salads, and farmers' markets

5. Stop dieting! As for weight-loss diets, I don't go on them. I'm against anything that's too restrictive. That includes regimens that tell you what to eat and what not to eat. I don't count calories, carbs or fat. I mainly eat natural, high-quality food, and I try to avoid a lot of fat and sugar."Yo-yo" dieting, going on and off restrictive eating plans, doesn't help your shape. In fact, it can make your waistline look like the equator. The proof is in a study conducted at Yale University several years ago. Researchers there studied women who had gone up and down in weight many times during their lives as a result of repeated efforts at losing weight. What they found was intriguing: Women with a history of on-again, off-again dieting and fluctuations tended to gain fat mostly in the abdomen. In other words, when fat returns after you go off a strict regime, it deposits around your waist. It's better to find a healthy way of eating that you can continue for a lifetime, rather than going on and off diets.

6. Spring into walking. I don't really like to walk or jog when I'm all bundled up in a coat. Come spring, I get excited about taking runs or walks in the warm, fresh air. If you're an exercise beginner, walking may be the best method of getting in shape. It's easy to do, convenient, and inexpensive. What's more, walking just one mile burns approximately 100 calories. If you're just starting a walking program, begin the first week by walking 20 minutes, three times a week. For the next few weeks, increase your time to 30 minutes. As you feel more energetic and fit, add an extra session or two to your weekly walking program. Try to work up to five sessions a week, for 30 to 45 minutes each time – especially if you're trying to pare off pounds.

7. Pour on the water. It's getting warmer out, which means you may sweat more. Don't let yourself get dehydrated. Millions of us don't feel as good as we should because we don't drink the eight or more glasses of water we need daily. It is an often overlooked nutrient. I know that if I'm dehydrated, I feel really tired. But when I regularly drink H2O, I have more energy. That's because water assists with so many bodily processes. Keeping your body well hydrated is important for preventing dizziness, cramps, and exhaustion during exercise, too. It's generally a good idea to drink one to two cups of water two hours before you exercise. Guzzle up during exercise, too. When I work out, I have a few ounces for every ten minutes that I exercise. If you can commit to taking in more water, you'll notice a change in the way you feel and in the energy you have. You'll even feel a mental kick, which sufficient water gives.

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