Start holiday weight-loss efforts now

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As we look over our shoulder from this past week, it's hard to believe that summer is on its way out -- and there are probably very few of you wishing to start thinking about any holiday, unless it includes a trip to Maui.

I'm never one to rush the seasons, however. As a friend of mine often says, "tomorrow comes early," and in addition to sedentary NFL Sundays, more time indoors and less space to move, a perfect storm scenario is brewing for the dreaded threats of undesirable weight gain.

I try to impress upon my clients that the time to begin any weight loss, increased activity or body toning is now!

Naturally, this decision begins with changes in behavior that are the first steps in any successful fitness program. In order for this to happen, I've listed several of the key traps and solutions to avoid living with "holiday regret" as you resolve your promise to make this year's belt buckle still fit in the same hole it did during the summer.

Trap: Waiting until Jan. 1 to begin your resolution.

Solution: It takes multiple repetitions and weeks of correct and consistent behaviors to ingrain any new discipline. What is the sense of waiting for something you can begin now? Imagine going into any of the holidays with a super-revved metabolism because of the work you did this autumn.

Trap: Lousy weather.

Solution: We can always find any weather-based excuse as our reason not to work out -- too hot, too cold, too rainy, too wet, don't want to buy a gym membership (Have you checked lately? They're dirt cheap.) or too tired. It takes minimal space, props and time to get a great work-out. Look at the weather as an opportunity to get that indoor workout completed. Are you a walker? Go to the mall with an empty wallet and just keep moving -- you will have all the space you could imagine.

Trap: Television.

Solution: I enjoy a day of football and the new winter television lineup just as much as anybody. Throw on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, and vow that during every commercial break you will perform a series of exercise movements until the show resumes. Usually, the total commercial time in one hour of a scheduled program amounts to 20 minutes. Use that time to your advantage.

Trap: Parking as near as possible to entrance and exit.

Solution: Buy yourself an inexpensive and discreet pedometer. A pedometer measures the total number of steps taken in a day. Two thousand steps per day is approximately one mile. Sedentary people walk only 1,000-3,000 steps per day. You should make it your goal to achieve 10,000 steps per day, gradually increasing your average weekly mileage by 500 steps per day until you are walking 10,000 (5 miles) steps per day. This begins by creating reasons why you should walk a further distance rather than a shorter one.

Every year it seems that the time between the end of summer and the holiday season happens in the blink of an eye. Start preparing yourself now, with a head start on resolutions that start much later than they need to.

Bill Victor is the owner of Victor Fitness System Professional Fitness Trainers, Flashpoint Athletic Speed & Agility Specialists, and Performance Nutrition Consultants. He can be reached at victorfitsystems@gmail.com and online at http://theflashpoint.org and http://VictorFitnessSystems.com.