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Diet Talk from the Doc

by Dr.Diet, Diet.com's Medical Director
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Life has a funny way of throwing obstacles in our path when we are trying to slim down and shape up.

Factors such as time pressures, stress, diaper changing poor sleep, long work hours, shifting responsibilities, lengthy commutes or tight budgets can be enough to make your comfortable fitness routine less than comfortable - and maybe even nonexistent.

At these important points in your life, your workout routine may play second fiddle.

Key life events like a new baby or spouse are likely to change the way you work out, but this doesn’t mean you’re destined to spend all that time as a new mom, a new employee or with your new honey on the couch.

Instead, you need to make a commitment to staying the course despite life- changing circumstances!

A recent Chicago Tribune article noted, “Before having children, a workout meant a long bike ride or run, a trip to the gym or yoga class. Now the bar is considerably lower: a workout is any movement I get during the day. I run next to my son as he pedals his little two-wheeler down the sidewalk. I weight lift by carrying groceries or lifting a 25-pound child out of a car seat. I lunge to pick up toys or wipe spills.”

See… a new mom who is focused will “fit in fitness” whenever and wherever she can.

This is a great strategy for all dieters to remember because when life gets in the way, you need a plan to keep your body as active as possible -- even if it’s impossible for you to make it to the gym.

Here are some tips to help you stay active for when time is short and life is hectic:

--Take a walking break with a colleague instead of a coffee break " a break where you can meet, talk and walk at the same time. As a plus, you’ll also get a boost in your energy level and mood.

--Instead of driving your car around and around looking for the closest parking place, park as far away as possible and walk briskly to your destination.

--Plan a stress-reducing, brisk walking ritual into your daily lifestyle " with your baby in a buggy, your toddler on a bike, your spouse holding hands or your dog doing his business.

--Find ways to boost your fitness at home (while the baby’s napping) by jumping rope, using hand weights or finding fun exercise videotapes or DVD’s.

--Share babysitting responsibilities with neighbors or friends so that you can get the time you need to go for a jog, do some yoga or just take a long, warm bath and re-charge your batteries.

Managing your stress level is an important part of your “fitting in fitness” plan!

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