Monday, February 22, 2010

Five ways to shed fat and have fun!

By Sandy Braz

Spend time with Fido
Sure, having to walk your four-legged friend will get you moving and burning calories, but there’s more to it than that. Studies show that having a pet helps relieve stress, a major contributor to your expanding waistline due to cortisol – the hormone released into your bloodstream in response to a fight-or-flight situation. Getting out with your furry companion is a great way to get a double dose of fat-fighting activity.

Sign up for a fundraiser
Committing to participate in an event that supports a worthy cause is a great way to get you training, fundraising and shedding fat all at once. Try a national event like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the world’s largest 5K run/walk. This event, which runs locally in various cities across the US, raises funds for breast cancer research.

Enter a fitness event
It's all about setting goals. Consider training for a fitness competition in your city; that extra push could help you keep your eye on the prize. It could be just the motivation you need to shed those last 10 pounds. Check out local gyms or community centers for events in your area.

Have a potluck makeover
Host a potluck dinner and invite friends over to reinvent high-fat entrées into clean, nutritious versions. Need a little inspiration? Check out Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Cookbook (Robert Kennedy Publishing, 2009). The latest edition – in hardcover – is loaded with nutritious takes on classic favorites like burgers, chili, fajitas, pasta dishes and dessert (yes, even crème brûlée!).

Test a new fitness class
Most gyms include group fitness classes as part of your membership fee, so take advantage of what’s available to you. Experts say trying new forms of exercise and varying your workouts will help keep you motivated to reach your weight-loss goals. Just one aerobics class can burn up to 350 calories per hour*!

*Based on a 130-pound woman

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