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Getting fit in New Year takes commitment

Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 6:19 PM
Last updated Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 12:30 AM
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Amid the thuds of punches and kicks as Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li plays on the big screen in front of him, Chris Nguyen sweats through his run on the treadmill in the Cardio Cinema at a Gold’s Gym in Augusta.

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People exercise while watching the movie "Street Fighter:The Legend of Chun-Li."  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
People exercise while watching the movie "Street Fighter:The Legend of Chun-Li."

“It takes your mind off of things,” he said. “They usually have some good action movies.”

Watching movies while working out also encourages him to run longer, he said.

Getting back into shape is a common New Year’s resolution, and the fitness areas at the Salvation Army of Augusta Kroc Center are going to be buzzing soon, said Heather Altman, the facility’s health and wellness manager.

“It’s really busy probably until about mid-to-late February and then people start to drop off,” she said.

A few key factors can ensure greater success at sticking to a fitness resolution, Altman said. Make sure it is a commitment and something you track diligently in an activity and diet diary, she said.

It is better to start slow, perhaps working out a couple of times a week at first. Don’t make the first couple of sessions too strenuous, she said.

“Otherwise, they’ll end up being very sore and somewhat unlikely to come back,” Altman said.

Pick something that is more enjoyable, she said.

“For some people, it might not be lifting weights or working out on the treadmill,” Altman said. “For some people, it might be playing basketball or taking a daily walk with their dog or a bicycle ride.”

Set realistic goals about what is achievable and don’t expect to lose 20 pounds in the first month, she said.

“Honestly, one of the biggest problems is, people want the quick fix,” Altman said. If the weight accumulated over a long time, it will probably take a long time to come off, she said.

“Healthy weight loss is really only about two to three pounds a week,” Altman said.

Getting people more fit means helping them work exercise into their lives. Gold’s offers childcare and juice bars at some of its Augusta gyms to help people do that, said the general manager, Ben Daniel.

“If you’ve got kids, you can bring your kids in while you work out,” he said. “The juice bar, your body needs those proteins and carbohydrates after you get done working out. Or people want to just stop in during the day and grab a protein shake as a meal replacement, especially when people are trying to lose weight. That’s an excellent way to work that into the diet.”

Having something like the Cardio Cinema provides a more entertaining way to spend an hour on the treadmill, Daniel said.

“Ultimately, it can get monotonous and people get bored, but that kind of helps to mix it up,” he said.


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