Thursday, January 03, 2013

Blast Into Fitness with a Free Exercise Class at BPL

If you've already cheated on your New Year's resolution to get fit, don't give up. The Birmingham Public Library has something to keep you motivated.

On Tuesday, January 8, a free exercise class will be held at 6:15 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium of the Linn-Henley Research Library, 2100 Park Place. (It's the building that faces Linn Park.)

Russell Lee, a certified group exercise instructor, a skilled YMCA instructor, and a BPL Library Assistant 3, will lead the class. Be sure to bring bottled water and a towel. Also, check with your doctor before starting any fitness program.

Throughout January, we'll be posting fitness and exercise tips from Russell and other sources. So, don't lose hope with your battle of the bulge in 2013. There's always tomorrow to start anew. The class is part of the city's Let's Move Birmingham health initiative.

Here are some of Russell's tips on how to embrace healthy snacks:

  • Go for crunchy snacks such as apples, carrots, celery sticks, green pepper sticks, sliced zucchini, radishes, broccoli spears, and cauliflower.
  • Beat back the mid-day munchies with unsalted sunflower seeds, whole-grain breads, cherry or grape tomatoes, low-fat or fat-free cheese, plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt, or bagels. (NOTE: A bagel is good grab after a workout. Be sure not to overindulge with heavy condiments, though. They carry calories.)
  • Go nutty. Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts. Walnuts are another good option. However, be careful when eating other nuts such as peanuts or cashews. They can pack on the pounds.
  • Quench your thirst with water, fat-free milk, unsweetened juices, or low-sodium tomato or mixed vegetable juice.
  • Stay hydrated when working out. Try to drink eight glasses of water a day. Can't drink eight glasses? Spread out your water consumption throughout the day so you won’t feel overwhelmed in trying to meet that quota.
  • Avoid vending and soda machines. Instead, create a “Basket of Knowledge’’ for your desk or department. Fill it with fresh fruits, vegetables, and bottled water. Ask co-workers to help keep you on track with your healthy eating goal.

Submitted by Chanda Temple
Director of Public Relations for the Birmingham Public Library

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