Jan 12, 2015 6:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

The holidays are over, and if you’re like many, you made a resolution to get in shape this year. If it’s been weeks, months or even years since you exercised, it may seem like a daunting task. But the key to making big changes is to take baby steps. “You can’t go from couch potato to marathoner overnight, but you can take steps today that set the groundwork for a healthier you tomorrow,” says Rick Henriksen, MD, a family doctor at University of Utah Health.

Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. Start small, breaking that into 10 15-minute sessions or five 30-minute chunks. After building a solid base, you can then add in short bursts of intense exercise. “Keep in mind that you don’t need a gym to achieve this goal. Activities such as brisk walking or walking up hills, dancing, biking and shoveling snow count,” Henriksen says. “Find an activity or sport that you enjoy, and stick with it.”

To hold yourself accountable, download this form, place it on your fridge, and track your progress. It also helps to get others involved. For example, grab a colleague and walk during your lunch break or go for an after-dinner walk with your spouse.

Regular physical activity will not only help you get into shape. It also reduces your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and stroke.

Talk with your doctor before starting any new activity. To
find a doctor, call 801-581-2897. 

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