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Seven Tips Toward Better Fitness

Posted on Apr 26, 2013

The beautiful weather beckons outdoors. It’s the perfect time to start doing something good for your health. Get started now with these seven simple tips from Palo Alto Medical Foundation internist Linda W. Shiue, M.D.

1.  Limit your screen time to less than two hours a day. Being sedentary, as in spending time sitting in front of a TV or computer, is strongly linked to obesity and related diseases. If your job requires a lot of screen time, simply standing rather than sitting while doing those same activities will make a difference.

2.  If you haven’t been exercising regularly, start slow. Consider signing up for a few personal training sessions at a gym. You’ll learn how to exercise safely and will gradually work up to your fitness goals.

3.  Find a fitness buddy. You’ll keep each other motivated and honest, and it’s a positive and healthy way to spend time with friends.

4.  Make it a family activity. At least once a week, take a family walk or hike, or bicycle together as a family. Here in the beautiful Bay Area, there are  many trails right outside your door.

5.  Mix it up. Boredom is the biggest enemy of maintaining an exercise regimen, so vary your exercise. Walk or jog on some days; take a yoga or spinning class on others.

6.  Leave the car at home. If possible, try walking or biking to work, school or to run errands. It’s a good way to make exercise part of your normal daily routine without having to schedule extra time.

7. Track your steps. Getting an inexpensive pedometer (there’s a free app for that) can be a good way of making sure you reach your fitness goals. Aim for 10,000 steps a day.

For more information on how to live an active, healthy lifestyle – and current exercise recommendations, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s physical activity guidelines.

Linda W. Shuie, M.D.

Good luck with your new fitness program!

Linda W. Shiue, M.D., is an internal medicine physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.