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Pace yourself for better health in 2008

Consumer Reports News: December 28, 2007 03:38 PM

Around this time each year, I see a rush of patients with medical conditions and injuries related to New Year’s resolutions gone awry. Recently enrolled health club members come in with back pain and slipped discs, and crash dieters complain of dizziness and headaches. Simply put, pushing too fast or too hard often causes more harm than good. Just because you’ve made a decision to get healthy and fit, doesn’t mean that you have to try to reach your target by the end of January. To paraphrase a celebrity NFL quarterback, unless you are under the age of 23 or are a professional football player, it probably isn’t going to happen.

As someone who’s tried most diets from Atkins and Cabbage Soup to the Zone, and has been drawn to nearly every exercise craze du jour, I understand the craving to get quick results. But after recurring sprains and rebound weight gain, I’ve had to revise my approach. Contrary to the adage, “no pain, no gain,” good fitness programs start by finding enjoyable exercise that doesn’t hurt, and permanent weight loss begins with a nutritional plan designed for the long run. So, set your goals, make them reasonable, and pace yourself for a healthy 2008!—Dr. Orly Avitzur, Medical Adviser, Consumer Reports


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