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Melt those extra holiday pounds away!

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Presents, festivities, food, drinks. The holidays are a joyous time for many people, and we all tend to associate a good time with good food. Now that it's over though, you may have some regret or guilt over how much food and dessert you actually did consume. Luckily, you can redeem yourself with............ exercise!

If you are not feeling motivated, especially after overindulging, it may seem hard to start. However, the longer you wait, the harder it will be. So start off with something simple, like a walk around the block. Once you start, you will most likely be feeling good so it may turn into several laps around the block. Try this every other day, unless you feel you want to start walking on a daily basis right off the bat. Then you can increase the duration of your walk, along with speed and intensity. Work your way up to power walking, or even intervals of walking, jogging, and then maybe even running. By then you might even be ready to hit the gym full force!

If you're a veteran

If you do have the motivation and are ready to go "full speed ahead," make a mental note of what day you want to start on and do not deviate from that plan. Whether it's outdoor exercise or hitting the gym, be careful not to overdo it, especially if you've taken a "holiday break" from exercising. So for example, if you would run 6.0 mph with 7% incline on the treadmill, you may want to start off slower and with a lower incline after your exercise hiatus.

If you're a newcomer

If you are a newbie to exercise, you may want to consider hiring a personal trainer. Although it can be costly, it will afford you one-one time with a skilled professional that will customize a workout regimen that's right for you. It's also a great way to learn the fundamentals of exercise including how to ensure safety and how to execute exercises correctly.

Group fitness classes are another option for you. Almost all gyms offer classes, so find a gym that offers an aerobics program that you feel is right for you. A full-body toning/sculpting class would be an ideal class to start with, since it somewhat mimics what a personal trainer would have you do. It also goes at a slower pace and strengthens all the muscles throughout your body. You should avoid high impact, strenuous and fast-paced classes until you learn the basics of exercising and feel your body is ready for the next step.

Finally, if neither of the above floats your boat, maybe an at-home workout regimen is right for you. Look into fitness videos tailored for beginners and work your way up from there, until you'll maybe one day be ready to hit the gym.

NOTE: Make sure you get medical clearance before trying any new exercise or activity, and/or if you are starting a new workout regimen. If you feel abnormal pain or discomfort, stop and contact your health care provider.

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