Local readers give healthy advice for 2012

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Jan. 3, 2012
Drink water instead of soda. Photos by D. Coffey.
Drink water instead of soda. Photos by D. Coffey.

Who hasn't resolved to lose weight or live healthier in the new year? If this is the year for you to send those pounds packing, or tone up the old abs, consider these pearls of wisdom from your Quiet Corner neighbors.

Don't drink soda
Leo Blain of Putnam lost 30 pounds in 140 days just by cutting junk food from his diet and drinking water, rather than soda. He allows himself a couple of hard candies a day. He speed-walks for exercise during his shifts at the Home Depot. He drinks water and doesn't eat after 8 p.m. He stays as far away from cookies as possible. “It would set in motion a craving I'd have trouble stopping,” he said.

Set realistic goals

Marie Blain, owner of Curves for Women in Putnam, advises people not to try to do too much at once. “Make one change at a time,” she suggested. If you're willing to allow yourself two months to lose five pounds, you're less likely to give up. “It's a lifestyle change,” she said.

Use camaraderie for motivation
Julie Wood started exercising to lose the 30 pounds she had gained when she had a baby. The people she exercised with provided camaraderie and motivation for her to continue. “It's fun,” she said. “You get the endorphins going. We motivate each other.”

Try not to pick too big a goal
Pixie Major, who works at Midtown Fitness, makes sure she has a good nutrition plan. “If you eat right, it doesn't matter what you do for exercise,” she said. Lately she is using a Tabata protocol in her exercise regimen. It calls for 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The entire cycle is repeated eight times and lasts four minutes. “I don't want to do the treadmill for an hour,” Major said. “I'd get bored. People have to figure out what works for them.”

Make it a part of your day
For Danny Goyette, it starts with taking care of yourself. “Ninety percent of who we are is what we eat,” he said. You've got to start eating fruits and vegetables. You've got to drink plenty of water. The Putnam Ford general manager has made exercise a daily habit for the last 19 years. “It's that easy, once you start doing it,” he said. “And afterward, after I've showered and changed, I feel like a million bucks.”

Write down your goals

Valerie Strunk exercises daily to blow off steam from a high-pressure sales job. It's a routine that she started in her mid-20s when she joined a gym that was on the way home from work. “There was no excuse for not working out,” she said. Strunk keeps a log of her food intake and her workouts, and she weighs herself once a week. She suggests downloading a fitness application for your cell phone.

Start with 15 minutes
Anthony Greer's doctor told him he had to get his diabetes under control. He'd always been active, so getting exercise wasn't a stretch for him. “It's a mindset,” he said. What motivated him was knowing what diabetes could do. “I didn't want to take medications,” Greer said. “You have to work out a time that works for you. This is my time. Even if it's 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes is a start.”

Use children as motivation

Julie Soper doesn't always feel like exercising. But with an eight-week-old baby at home, exercise time is also quiet time, a thing she cherishes. It leaves her feeling more relaxed and energetic. “I'm not as hard on myself,” she added.

Getting yourself here is key
Justin Faucher has exercised regularly since middle school, but there are days even he doesn't feel like exercising. He'll find himself sitting in the parking lot, wondering why he's at the gym. “But once I get going, I feel good,” he said. “I feel better.”

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