Tips and Support
Congratulations on starting your Get Fit Maryland program! You are about to take some really important steps to take control of your health.
Avoiding weight gain is one of the most important ways you can help protect yourself from illness due to diabetes and high blood pressure (especially if these problems run in your family). You can also help protect yourself against heart attack, stroke, cancer, and many other health conditions, and you’ll feel great!
In order to stop gaining weight, you need to burn as many calories as you take in. You don’t have to become a serious athlete, or go on a crash diet! It’s much better to make changes that are easy to fit into your life, and easy to keep up over time. Here are examples of ways that work for people:
Get Going! Listen to this podcast with tips from Dr. Verlyn Warrington, who talks about how using a pedometer can help motivate you to improve your health by increasing your physical activity. Dr. Warrington is a family medicine physician at the University of Maryland Medical Center and an assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Log an extra 2000 steps per day (about a mile): You can choose to park a little farther from your destination, give your dog a little longer walk, get off the bus a stop early, and/or take the stairs (If you work on the tenth floor, why not get off the elevator a few floors early!).
Take in 100 fewer calories per day: You can trade in an 8 ounce glass of regular soda (or fruit juice) for water or no-calorie soda. (Not a fan of diet drinks? I promise that if you do a taste test of 7 different no-calorie beverages, you’ll find something that you like!).
Think about portion size: if you trade in your 20 oz bottle of regular soda, you’ll save 250 calories -- you’d have to walk about 2 1/2 miles to burn off that much! Or, how about a fast food burger? They aren’t exactly health food, but less is definitely better: a Burger King Whopper has 760 calories, but their Whopper Jr. has only 390 (lots less fat and salt, too).
Find your baseline step count: Before you try to increase your daily walking, determine how many steps you take on a typical day now. To do this, wear your Walk4Life pedometer for three days in a row, then divide the total number of steps (for all the days) by three. This will give you your average baseline step count. Then, add extra steps to your day!
Set your goals: Research shows that setting goals helps people make changes they want to make. So, decide how many steps per day you’ll try for, and how you’ll cut some calories. Sign a pledge to yourself that you’ll try to reach those goals (It’s OK to adjust the goals later if you need to).
Get a buddy: Walking with a friend and sharing your progress can keep you going. As an incentive, you’ll get a discount on your registration fee if you pair up!
Reward yourself: give yourself credit when you meet your step goal for the day, or when you eat healthy.
Check out these helpful links