Joining a gym is fine, but suddenly going from being a couch potato to pressing weights for an hour a day is risky, according to Jannah Bierens, public health education specialist with the Durham County Department of Public Health.
A better approach is to ease into a workout routine, she
"Too many people want to jump in and go all out," Bierens
"But you can start just by walking more in your day."
Wearing a fitness band on the wrist that tracks the number of steps you take and calories burned can help.
They're available at sporting goods stores and online.
"The band challenges you to walk more," Bierens
Getting 20 to 30 minutes of exercise most days is ideal, but even a five-minute walk three days a day makes a difference, she
"You can stretch even at your desk," Bierens
And if you backslide, don't despair.
"Every day you wake up is a chance to try again," she
For healthier eating, Bierens
believes portion control is key.
"Stop thinking about going on extreme diets," she