Research yields tips on how to keep fit in 2010

December 13th, 2009 - 1:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 13 (IANS) As the weather chills and the economy starts recovering, many wannabe exercisers hope to invest in themselves by becoming healthier in 2010.
Research from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides tips and tricks for staying resolute on those fitness resolutions and enjoying a healthy, happy holiday season.

- Plan ahead. The holidays are stressful - but a few lifestyle tweaks can ease the angst. Researchers found that those who combated anxiety and weight gain with regular, moderate exercise (30 minutes per day of walking can suffice) and stress management techniques reported boosted mood and reduced body weight.

- Find your own reason to get fit. Research shows that men and women decide to exercise for different reasons. A study of 83 men and women found that men typically begin or continue an exercise programme to improve their physique, while women hit the gym to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Both genders, however, experienced similar levels of exercise “addiction” (the healthy kind!) and commitment from their exercise regimens.

- Test your competitive side. Another ACSM study showed that motivation to be physically active was higher when sports - instead of just exercise - were involved. Check at local health clubs to see if there are intramural leagues in your area.

- Stay fit in short bouts. Researchers found that those who exercised in three, 10-minute segments per day were more likely to stay physically active compared to those who exercised continuously for 30 minutes.

- Determine your barriers. Roadblocks to exercise are common - you don’t have enough time, lack the right resources, or just don’t know what to do to stay fit, says an ACSM release.

ACSM notes that exercise and proper nutrition are the best combination for weight loss and weight management. Besides, the holiday season is the perfect time to give the gift of fitness.

The study was published in ACSM’s official journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

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