Last updated: February 20. 2013 12:20AM - 259 Views

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This is the year you will resolve to ditch the diets, the all or nothing mentality and the no-pain, no-gain fitness goals. This is the year you will resolve to use common sense to eat less junk food, move more — and have fun doing it.

Here are tips to begin the year:

You work all week. No wonder you don't want to work out. Find a way to move more and have fun doing it. Take a Zumba class. Even if you never go back, it will redefine your definition of exercise.

Adopt an avatar. James Bond? Lara Croft? Put it in charge of slaying your food cravings. Or pretend you're the Terminator and someone is standing between you and your workout.

Buy a pedometer. (We love the Omron HJ-1 12 Pocket Pedometer). Slowly work your way up to 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day. Parents can make it a game with kids: The person with the most steps for the day gets out of dish duty or earns more console time.

Gardening and heavy-duty housework, like cleaning out the garage, do count.

Write a loooong list of all the fun, sexy, sassy reasons you want to achieve your fitness goals. (I want to rock a bikini! I want biceps worthy of the cover Men's Health.) Make copies of that list and stash them everywhere. Your wallet. Your car. Your kitchen. Review when weakness strikes.

Jump on the boutique gym bandwagon. Try a funky, fun fitness haven, where the low-impact, calorie-torching workout happens in a room full of cutting-edge elliptical machines. The classes fly by.

Eat all the raw, non-starchy vegetables you can stand.

Exercise while doing household chores. Put in a load of laundry before you press play on a fitness DVD, and pause partway through to make the washer-to-dryer transfer. Or plan dinner around a casserole that bakes while you work out in the living room.

— MCT Information Services

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