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  1. From Couch Potato to Fitness Fanatic in Just 5 Steps


    I know I could be doing better at weight loss if I got my butt off the couch and started working out more often.

    From Couch Potato to Fitness Fanatic in Just 5 Steps

    I keep telling myself that this coming "Monday" will be the day I start exercising in earnest. But it just doesn't seem like that particular Monday ever arrives.

    Frustrating? Yes. Impossible to overcome? No.

    My good pal Alicia Kirschenheiter is a total wellness guru and she's agreed to nudge me in the right direction with her five steps that she says will transform me from couch potato to fitness fanatic.

    See if Alicia can motivate you to get moving too.

    The 5 Steps

    1) Put Down that Chip

    Decision time is the hardest part! That's right. The first step to wellness is the decision to be well. That's a decision that can be made every minute of every day at any time.

    But make no mistake it must be a conscious decision that requires weighing the consequences, the benefits and -- above all -- your own readiness to change.

    2) Start Moving

    So where should you start? With 30 minutes of activity, that's where. Most experts advise at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a day. Unless you have a medical reason, you should strive for a half hour of movement.

    This can be as easy as walking. The great part about it: You can break those 30 minutes up however you want. Find time for 10 minutes in the morning, another 10 in the afternoon and the final 10 at night. Work it in to your convenience.

    3) Challenge Yourself

    Once you get the 30-minute thing down from step 2, it's time to make those 30 minutes work more effectively for you. This can be as easy as walking faster, changing your stride, adding in skips and jumps (up in the air, not hurdles) and heading for the hills!

    If you are using a treadmill, try a steeper incline. Then add a few other machines into your mix. You can even throw in a few punches and kicks -- yes, anger works for fitness! Jumping jacks, high hops and skipping rope will also fire up your metabolism. Just be sure to get off the machines before you start jumping around!

    4. Pick Up a Weight

    Now that you are in the groove let's keep it going by adding in some weights. Use light weights to start and do one or two sets of 12-15 repetitions. Your best bet is simple exercises that work big muscles like squats or military presses. Start once a week and build up to 2-3 times a week.

    Adding in weights will help you burn calories and sculpt your body. Keep it up and you'll keep the weight from returning.

    5. Learn to Love It

    I said it before and I'll say it again: Without the right attitude your best intentions are probably doomed to fail. I mean it when I say you need to learn to love activity. There needs to be something inside of you that recognizes the successes and benefits in what you are doing.

    You need to take note that you are feeling better, breathing easier, and climbing the stairs without needing oxygen! Cling to those improvements in your health.

    All of your successes will make all of your setbacks -- and everyone has them -- seem much less important in the long run. Once you feel the success you'll want it all the time!

    For more great advice from Alicia, check out her Diet-to-Go blog.

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