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Desert Companion

Get up! Get out! Get started!: Two local fitness gurus on getting off the couch and into action

Maybe you can't bound up 20 flights of stairs like a Cirque acrobat - especially while lugging that baggage you acquired during the sugar- and fat-saturated Bacchanalia known as the holidays. What can a mere, out-of-shape mortal do? Two local experts say getting started is easier than you think.

From John Moretti, owner of Moretti Fitness and fitness manager at Palms Spa:

Do something - anything - physical. "Start walking, get in the pool, take a breathing class. Whatever you can do to increase your heart rate will help metabolize what you consume better."

Start small. "Begin with 20 to 30 minutes a day. You just have to get the ball moving; then, the body will take care of itself."

Keep a journal. "Write down what you're eating, drinking and doing. People who are getting healthy create awareness and awareness creates change."

Get help. "Not everybody can afford a personal trainer. If you can do things with friends or in groups, do it. Goals become a lot more achievable when they're shared."

Make it last. "Anybody can get into shape in 60 to 90 days on a program. The question is, what are you going to do on the 91st day? Real fitness comes from within. It's a lifestyle."

From chiropractor Stephanie Youngblood, who incorporates nutrition into her practice:

Support comes from


Eat breakfast. "Research shows that eating breakfast leads to more energy and activity during the day."

Drink water. "Drink about half your body weight in ounces. For example, a 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces of water per day. This is especially important in the desert."

Get close to nature. "Stay away from processed, pre-prepared foods. Avoid artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, monosodium glutamate, hydrogenated fats. Eat fruits and vegetables and organic whenever possible."

Supplement. "In particular, take quality omega 3s. These are called essential fatty acids because it is essential you get them in your diet. They impact all areas of health, improve mood and reduce the risk to cardiovascular disease."

Eat five small meals a day. "Don't skip meals. This keeps your blood sugar regulated and helps to avoid overeating."

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