By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
1. Sleep enough
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that results rely on your ability to recover,” said Austyn Affronti, president of Affronti Fitness in Rochester. “You need enough sleep. Otherwise, it’s like working 40 hours and getting paid for 20.”
2. Stay active each day
“Match with your fitness skills the activities you do daily no matter what,” Affronti said.
“Every day, drink water,” Affronti added.
Unless you are sweating excessively from a workout, you do not need a sports recovery drink. Skip other sugary beverages such as sweetened tea, juice cocktails, soda and energy drinks as well. Most of these offer empty calories.
4. Make health your lifestyle
“Set a water, step, sleep, and protein goal and attribute them to achieve weight loss and now you’re thinking about weight loss all day long with your normal activities versus the 45 minutes you’re in the gym two to three days a week,” Affronti said. “It’s building a healthy lifestyle.”
5. Engage in resistance training
“The answer is to build more muscle,” said Kerri Howell, online personal trainer, nutrition coach and owner of Rochester-based hourglassmom.com. “Muscle is the body’s furnace. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn just sitting at your desk.”
Resistance training should be two to three times weekly, in addition to cardiovascular exercise.
6. Prioritize protein
“Eat one gram of protein per pound of desired body weight,” Howell said. “Typically, people don’t eat enough protein.”
7. Eat whole foods
“If you avoid processed foods, you’ll stay at a healthy weight,” Howell said.
8. Watch calories
“Most people don’t realize how much they eat,” Howell said. “One-quarter cup is a 160-calorie- serving of pistachios. People have to pay attention. It’s about portions, not never eating cake.”
9. Find what works for you
“It’s important to find an activity that you’ll do consistently,” Howell said. “It’s harder to get people to incorporate resistance training. Anyone can walk or hike, but it’s harder to prioritize 15 to 30 minutes of weightlifting, using bands or doing body weight exercise.”
10. Get professional help
“Working with a professional or a coach that can progress things in a graded fashion is best,” said Bryan Guzski, doctor of physical therapy and strength and conditioning specialist at Motive Physical Therapy in Brighton. “A DIY approach to a new exercise program is great but it can be helpful to have a coach or trainer. Ask around in the community and call your gym about trial memberships. Some may have complimentary consultations with nutritionists or dietitians.”