11 ways to get healthy in 2011

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It’s the oldest story in the book: January rolls around and suddenly we’re all obsessed with shaping up and eating right. However, by the time February hits, many of us swiftly ditch our health goals. Here are 11 tips from Rowdy Yates, personal-training manager at Crunch gym’s Lafayette Street location, about how to get — and stay — healthy in 2011.

1. H20 is key: Water intake should be consistent — 8 cups a day on non-training days, with an additional 4 cups on the days you work out. 

2. Take a multivitamin: The average person would have to consume 3,500 calories of “perfect” food to get all the nutrients the body needs. This is more calories than a typical nutrition plan calls for, so a multivitamin is key in most cases.

3. Know your calories: If you want to lose fat, burn more calories than you consume. If you want to gain muscle, consume more calories than you burn. If you want to stay the same, match your daily caloric burn.

4. Portion control: This is the easiest way to reduce calories. You need to space your meals throughout the day (4 to 6 small meals) — this will help boot metabolism, prevent overeating and provide energy throughout the day.

5. Weight train: Do some form of resistance (weight) training at least two times a week. Muscle burns calories, and it’s a crucial component to any program.

6. Cardio is key: Cardio is an easy and time-efficient way to boost your daily calorie burn and improve cardiovascular health. Keep your program new to your body by using the F.I.T.T. principle: Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type. Change one of these 4 variables every 2-3 weeks.

7. Stretch: Stretching is the most overlooked part of any program, and it’s the No. 1 reason why a large percentage of people get injured.  Plan on at least 10 minutes of stretching pre- and post- workout.

8. Eat after: A post-workout meal can be the most important food of the day. The simplest — and most effective — thing to grab? A shake, which digests faster than solid food. Aim for a 2:1 carb-protein ratio.

9. Write it down: Log your food for 30 days. By holding yourself accountable for what you eat, you’ll not only speed up results, but you’ll also be educating yourself.

10. Be patient: Don’t expect super-quick results — 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of body fat. You probably didn’t gain it in a week, so don’t plan on getting it off that fast. A 500-calorie daily deficit, seven days a week is 1 pound of body fat. This is a safe and effective way to lose fat without sacrificing muscle or restricting too many calories

11. Don’t cut: Never eliminate any of the major macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats), as they each have great importance in your diet.  Try to stick to 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat for optimal results.

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