Getting healthy in the New Year

By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
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Photos by Michael Kirby/News Messenger 31LNM Getting Healthy in the New Year By Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter The New Year is fast approaching, and for many Lincoln residents, it means a time for making New Year’s resolutions. The phrase “New Year’s resolution” may bring to mind thoughts of exercise, dieting and weight loss. That would be true for Natalie Barker, 18, who was working out Tuesday afternoon at Gold’s Gym in Lincoln. She said her resolution for this year is to “try to stay in shape and be a little healthier.” So far, Barker has regularly exercised six days a week for the past two months. “It’s been hard but it’s worth it,” she said. “Eating right and working out makes my day go smoother and I’m a little more relaxed.” Charles Kellar was also at the gym Tuesday, using the treadmill. “I’m over 80 and I’ve worked out all of my life, not necessarily at the gym,” Kellar said, who works out three days a week and has been a Gold’s Gym member for four years. “I’m trying to stay healthy as much as I can. I eat a pretty healthy diet and try to stay active mentally as well as physically.” When it comes to getting in shape, Gold’s Gym owner Joe Wenson has some tips for getting started. “The first thing is you need to get up and start moving in some degree,” Wenson said. “If that means getting out and walking around the block, start with 15 minutes and try to work up to 30 to 45 minutes.” He suggested grabbing a friend or neighbor to walk with, and to consistently walk at least three times a week, eventually increasing the pace to a brisk walk. “You’ve got to get up, active, consistent with nutrition and make time for yourself to be healthy,” Wenson said. “What people don’t understand is you’ve got to make time for yourself.” This is something that Cindy Eggimann, who exercises daily, can relate to. “You have to make it in your schedule. It’s like going to work or to the grocery store,” said Eggimann, who was also working out Tuesday at Gold’s Gym. She said “it’s important to make the time to exercise,” just like other daily activities that are required. Eating right is another important step in staying healthy in the New Year and beyond. Jake Hanson, co-owner of Absolute Nutrition in Lincoln, said eating healthily is about making good choices. Hanson has a degree in health science with a minor in nutrition from California State University at Sacramento, and owns Absolute Nutrition with his brother, Eric Hanson. He suggested staying away from refined and processed foods and reducing sugar intake. Refined and processed foods can be avoided by staying away from fast food, white sugar and white flour. When it comes to protein, Hanson said to eat lean proteins, like chicken, fish and turkey, and to eat red meat in moderation. He also said to consume mono-unsaturated, or “good fats,” from nuts, seeds and avocados, as opposed to saturated fats from butters, margarines and red meat. Diets should also include as many fruits and vegetables as possible, and the guideline for this is to eat four of five of each a day, according to Hanson. One way to eat the recommended amount of fruit is to use fresh fruit in smoothies. To figure out how many calories should be consumed, Hanson said size, weight and activity levels need to be taken into consideration. He suggested or to help figure out how many calories you should consume. Hanson said a diet should not be too extreme because this makes the likelihood to fail higher. “Make it more of a lifestyle change than considering it a diet,” Hanson said. “Make it fun as opposed to something you’re forced into.” Wenson suggested eating five to six small meals a day, which he said speeds up metabolism. For breakfast, he suggested whole-wheat toast and yogurt or oatmeal with nonfat milk. Good snack choices include almonds, apples, oranges or a handful of baby carrots. “You’ve got to get up, create a plan and be consistent,” Wenson said.