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Take steps to make it easier to exercise year-round.

If “get fit” is one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2014, you’re not alone. Losing weight and getting fit always rank near the top of the list of most popular resolutions for Americans. And for many people, getting fit means exercising more.

Getting and staying motivated to exercise, however, can be a challenge. Here are some things you can do to find and keep the motivation you need to exercise throughout the New Year.

Have Realistic Expectations

Don’t set a goal of having a toned body too quickly, or losing a lot of weight fast. Setting goals too high makes you more likely to stop exercising if you don’t see the immediate results you hoped for.

Choose the Right Environment

If exercising outside your home, look for a gym or club that's:

Exercise with Other People

Exercising with a friend or with a group of people makes it easier to stick with an exercise regimen. You can take large classes at a club or work with a trainer in smaller groups. You can get even more social support by posting your activities and progress on social media websites.

Consider a Personal Trainer

If you find it hard to motivate yourself, a personal trainer may be the answer. A trainer can:

  • Tailor exercise to fit your needs
  • Offer encouragement and praise as you strive for your goals
  • Serve as a good role model for someone just beginning to exercise regularly

At North Hills Hospital, we know the value of exercise for promoting good health. Whatever health concern you might have, we have the doctors, nurses, and staff who can help. If you need a physician referral, call us at 1-855-5NHILLS.

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Follow these tips as you prepare for a 5K run.

Did you know that North Hills Hospital is the official medical provider for the No Limits Run 5K and Half Marathon at the Texas Motor Speedway on October 27? For novice runners thinking about running the 5K, now is the time to get serious about your running routine and start a training plan. Don't be intimidated! You can do this. It just means a little focus on your part. Think of how great it will feel to accomplish a 5K!

Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Ease into your routine gradually. Get your body used to walking and light jogging at the start. Any sudden, strenuous running routine could put you at risk for serious injury.

2. Don't underestimate the power of walking. Training for a 5K does not mean that you should run throughout your entire training. Walking will prepare you well, too, and give your body a break while building endurance and strength.

3. Make a schedule and stick to it. The Couch to 5K Running Plan and the Cowtown Marathon website both share some great routine ideas, be sure to check them out!

4. Wear the right shoes. Running is hard on your body and the right shoes will act as shock absorbers while supporting your feet properly. Shoes can also wear out over time; shoes that were great a year ago won't help you during your training now. Make the investment in new shoes that fit right and work well for running.

5. Train with a friend. Running with a partner will keep you motivated and help you keep a pace while you train. Plus, a little conversation and company will help distract you and make training much more enjoyable!

Be sure to register for the the No Limits 5K Run now! Click here for more information.

Before beginning any new exercise routine, we recommend that you talk to your physician. For a physician referral, please call 1-855-5NHILLS.

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We know. It's hard to get motivated to set aside time for the gym or a daily walk. Do you need some great reasons why you should renew your commitment to exercise? How about these: the days are longer so there is more time to work out, your health is worth it, and it is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! Did that convince you? If so, here are some easy ways you can get fitness back into your life.

1. Be realistic.
Sometimes the hardest part about getting fit is simply starting a routine. It is important that you are realistic about your physical activity. Don't try and start something you won't stick with. Remember, any physical activity is better than none at all. Try adding a 15-minute walk to your lunch break or to your evening after work. If you maintain this and start feeling the benefits, then you will consider adding more.

2. Do a little more.
If you already go for a walk once or twice a week, try upping it to three or four times a week. Or try a new route that is a little longer. Again, keep your fitness routine realistic, but try to increase the length or regularity of your routine when possible.

3. Make it fun.
We so often dread our exercise routines. So, we recommend that you do anything you can to make it fun. Workout with a friend, put together a playlist of your favorite songs, try a Zumba class or workout in a scenic park. Get creative!

4. Change it up.
Don't just work out the same way every time. You are bound to get bored and then be less inclined to stick with it. Try yoga one week and strength training another. Try a spin class for a while and then try biking with a friend along a local waterfront on a regular basis. Variety will keep you motivated!

5. Make it a priority.
No matter how you slice it, you need to make time for fitness. With family commitments and busy careers, this isn't an easy task. It is up to you to find the time and make your health a priority. If you can make time for a chat on the phone or a game of Words with Friends, then you can carve out 20 minutes of your day for fitness. Try it! You have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

North Hills Hospital is committed to helping our patients maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight. Are you looking for more information about weight loss and bariatric surgery? Please visit us online or call 1-855-5NHILLS for a physician referral.