Six tips to get you motivated and moving

Fitness Q & A

February 16, 2003|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,Special to the Sun

I stopped exercising during the holidays, and now I can't get back into the routine. It's so hard to make myself work out in the winter. How can I get motivated again?

You're not alone. Let's face it, your legs and midriff aren't exactly on display this time of year, and being a bit fuller in certain spots sure beats jogging in 30-degree weather.

The New Year's resolution rush at Gold's Gym in the Power Plant has already died down, according to one of the gym's fitness counselors, Rob Kowalski.

People put on a few pounds during the holidays and then vow to get back in shape, he says. "They hit the ground running, but lose momentum."

It doesn't have to be that way. Before you miss another workout, try these surefire six strategies:

* Work out first thing in the morning. If you aren't a morning person, go straight from work to the gym or the courts. Stopping at home is a guaranteed workout buster.

* Spoil yourself: Buy a new pair of athletic shoes or splurge on a new piece of equipment for your home gym. That stationary bike is worth the cost if it gets you cycling again.

* Set short-term fitness goals and reward yourself for meeting them.

* Find a workout buddy.

* Start a fitness journal. Logging workouts will remind you how far you've come.

* Be creative. Tape your best 10K time on the treadmill for inspiration, or hang the bridesmaid dress you will soon need to fit into in plain view.

"Commit to just three times a week for three to four weeks," suggests Kowalski. "You will start to see results."

I saw something that looked like a stability ball cut in half at the gym. Do you know anything about this gadget?

What you saw was the BOSU ball, one of the hottest new fitness devices around. Standing for Both Sides Up, the BOSU is a balance trainer. Shaped like a half sphere, it has a hard platform on the bottom and can be used dome-side up or flat-side up.

The belly is made of vinyl and is inflated using a hand pump. The ball can hold up to 350 pounds, and is virtually burst-free (we hope). The ball is great for core muscles and balance training, and its wobbly nature strengthens small muscles that ordinarily don't get worked.

You can use it in many ways, including standing or hopping on it to improve stability, using it for modified crunches and back-strengthening exercises, and doing BOSU pushups.

The BOSU costs $129.95 and comes with instructions, hand pump and a video. Order it at www.bosu.com, or call 800-321-9236. Or check one out at the gym.

Do you have a fitness question? Write to Fitness, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. You can also fax questions to 410-783-2519 or e-mail fitness@baltsun.com.

Calendar

Classes

Breast self-exam training. St. Joseph Medical Center, 7601 Osler Drive, Towson. Thursday, 6:30 p.m. A discussion of breast health, breast cancer and information on how to perform a proper breast self-exam. Free. Registration necessary. For directions and to register, call 410-337-1479.

Natural health techniques workshop. Oak Lane Practice, Hampton House Apartments, 204 E. Joppa Road, Suite L-06, Towson. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ShareCare, a one-day seminar that teaches people how to relieve pain and promote relaxation. $100 per person. Pre-registration is recommended. Call 410-321-6396.

Lectures

Chest pain seminar. Union Memorial Hospital, Finney classroom. Thursday, 2 p.m. Information about your heart, how to get answers to heart questions and the proper diagnosis from cardiac specialists at Union Memorial Hospital. Free. Call 877-744-3278.

Screenings

Reduce risk of stroke. Eldersburg Public Library, 6400 West Hemlock Drive. Friday, 10 a.m. LifeLine Screening will offer non-invasive screening to identify risk of stroke as well as vascular diseases or osteoporosis. For cost and required appointment, call 800-643-6188.

Support Groups

Diabetes education. Ellicott City Senior Center, 9401 Frederick Road. First Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. Offers help in keeping up-to-date on latest information for diabetes. Free. Call 410-740-7695.

Services

Help for the visually impaired. Video magnification machines that help the visually impaired to read letters, books, e-mail, prescriptions, medicine bottles and photographs are available for use at the Catonsville Senior Center, 501 N. Rolling Road, 410-887-0900, and at Ateaze Senior Center, 7401 Holabird Ave., 410-887-7233. Free.

For calendar listing, please send releases four weeks in advance to Ellen Hawks, Features, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. Send e-mail to healthcalendar@baltsun.com or fax releases to 410-783-2519.

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