Losing an unwanted holiday gift

Find ways to get fit after the storm of holiday wining and dining has subsided

Another new year is quickly approaching and another five pounds has been added to the already unsightly bulge over the top of your pants. You vow to lose it, but how can you set an attainable New Year's goal?

"Realistic goals are good," said Belinda Brownell of Forever Fit in Steamboat Springs. "Simple goals, like drinking more water."

Brownell said that at Forever Fit, the philosophy focuses on how a person feels.

"What is it about losing that extra weight that makes you feel well?" Brownell said.

Another huge part of shedding the extra baggage is making the time to do it, she added.

"Write it in your day planner," Brownell said. "If it's important you need to schedule time to do it."

But what is wellness? How do you determine how well you are?

These questions surround one answer -- "Wellness is a multidimensional state of being, describing the existence of positive health in an individual, as exemplified by quality of life, and a sense of well-being."

According to the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, people should strive to achieve wellness.

The council's Web site lists seven dimensions to overall wellness -- emotional, environmental, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and vocational/occupational.

What does this mean to a person who is just starting out in determining how well he or she is, and what can one do to improve overall wellness?

Brownell, recommends having a total evaluation before beginning any program.

"I think having a thorough evaluation is very important," Brownell said. "It helps point out what people need to work on, looking at the whole body and making it well balanced."

At Forever Fit, Brownell said that after the evaluation is complete, they set up an individualized plan for each client to better serve his or her needs.

"We want people to understand what they need and why," Brownell said. "Every six to eight weeks we set up a re-evaluation, and that really helps hold people accountable."

The main goal of Forever Fit is to help people learn how to prioritize their health and wellness.

Tammy Workman, manager of Trapper Fitness Center in Craig, said someone just starting out needs to set attainable, small-step goals.

"What some people don't understand is that their output needs to be a big part, if not the biggest part, of the regimen," Workman said. "You can't come in here and work out, then go to (a fast food restaurant). Diet and nutrition need to play a part. You can't have one without the other."

The physical dimension is just one aspect of overall wellness. Achieving physical wellness requires a person to encompass a variety of healthy habits.

These habits include exercising regularly, proper nutrition, abstaining from harmful habits, visiting your doctor regularly, and protecting yourself from injury, according to the University of North Dakota's Healthy UND Coalition.

Once you achieve these behaviors and practice them regularly, you will be on your way to increasing your quality of life.

Brownell said at Forever Fit, they tackle lifestyle planning, which falls into the categories of emotional, social and occupational wellness.

"Life is cumulative," Brownell said. "For the good or the bad, everything you do makes a difference."

Workman thinks that people are spinning out of control and they need to take their lives back.

"You have to push yourself," Workman said. "It's up to you to get to the next level on your own ability."

Tackling the physical aspect of wellness is one of the most challenging jobs, and getting a partner to help you, Workman said, is beneficial.

"You can count on each other," Workman said. "They can help with your willpower and motivation."

Workman said people should try for four hours a week, even if they have to split that up into 30-minute sessions.

"Try doing 30 minutes in the morning, and then again when you get home," Workman said. "You have to dedicate yourself."

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