Healthy Living: Getting back into shape with small goals


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You might remember that weight gain term, the freshman 15, where you gain 15 pounds your freshman year of college.

Well, that’s got nothing on COVID-19, meaning the nearly 20 pounds you might have packed on during the pandemic.

Poor nutrition, lack of healthy sleep, lack of physical activity and pandemic stress. They’re all reasons why many of us have probably put on some pounds. According to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, 42 percent of U.S. adults say they put on more weight than they intended. Now, with summer creeping up, it’s time to get back in shape.

"People will only focus on exercise and wanting to lose weight, and while you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and do too much right away, remember that nutrition and getting enough sleep are just as important as exercise when trying to get back into shape," said Wellness Consultant with Regence, Allie Henderson.

Here’s where you can set your first attainable goal. Try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.

Phones down, TV off and relax. That show you’ve been binging on Netflix will still be there tomorrow.

"For nutrition, you’ll want to stay away from fad diets and just focus on increasing the amount of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and plant-based sources of protein and fat in your diet," said Henderson.

Henderson says focusing on your waistline is a big mistake. She says to set a specific goal instead.

"Try maybe an exercise-focus goal instead so you want to do so many pushups, bring down your mile time whether that’s walking or running and you want to squat a certain amount of weight and that can be the goal you’re tracking instead of a number on a scale," said Henderson.

Another mistake, she says is going too hard, too fast. Her best advice is to start slow, be realistic and focus on your successes, not your failures.

We all mess up. It’s ok to mess up. Try recruiting a friend or professional to help keep you on track as well.


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