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Shape healthy new year with 'Check into Semper Fit'

By Cpl. Daniel Thomas | | January 9, 2002

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Now that the holiday season has finally drawn to an end, many may find themselves depressed, full of stress and needing to get rid of a few pounds.

This may sound like a bad combination, but if one recognizes this problem, now may be the best time to do something about it. There is a new year ahead, a new calender and a chance for a new and improved you.

"The holidays bring about a lot of stress and eating," said Rebecca Haug, fitness coordinator, Marine Corps Community Services. "A lot of people get depressed because they're not able to take leave to see family members."

However, these problems can be overcome through exercising and by keeping a positive outlook, said Haug.

"The new year [is here], and it's a good starting point to analyze your life," explained Haug. "Having good health is a good thing to focus on."

According to Jen Snider, personal trainer, MCCS, exercising is a great way to feel good.

"It's a stress reliever, and it's just better for overall health," said Snider. "Exercising is at least a half-hour out of the day, or however long you decide to exercise [to] stop focusing on your problems and focus on self-improvement."

Snider added that exercising also releases endorphins, and makes people feel better about themselves which in turn makes people around them feel better as well.

To reap the most benefits from exercising, one must do it religiously, said Snider.

"Exercising is just like anything else  you have to have a plan," said Snider. "You have a time to eat and go to bed and everything   exercising needs to be the same way."

Snider suggested that someone struggling to stick to a workout routine should exercise with a friend for motivation or start with fitness classes instead of exercising alone.

Lance Cpl. Nuruddin Hashim, supply clerk, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, works out during his own time on a regular basis. He admits that the holiday season is a stressful time.

"But after you get a good workout, you're too tired to be stressed out," said Hashim.

Hashim, in agreement with Snider, said having a partner can help one's motivation.

"Because when you're not motivated the other person will be," said Hashim. "One person is not going to let the other out do them."

"I'm going to [an infantry] unit soon," said Hashim. "My new year's resolution is to be in better shape than the grunts when I get there. Even though I'm from an air unit, I still want to show them a good time."

Just as Hashim set a New Year's resolution, Haug has issued a New Year's challenge to those aboard the station who want to improve their health this year. The challenge is called "Check into Semper Fit."

"The 'Check into Semper Fit' program is a series of tasks we ask people to do, and they earn points for those tasks," said Haug.

Each task has its own point value. The tasks range from keeping a daily food log and workout log to attending at least 15 minutes of Semper Fit aerobics classes to attending different lectures relating to health and fitness.

In the end, Haug said the best way to keep a new year's fitness resolution and get over the holiday blues is to set simple realistic goals.

"Often people try to attempt too many tasks at once and then end up failing," said Haug. "That's why people should 'Check into Semper Fit,' because it offers simple accomplishable goals."

For more information on the "Check into Semper Fit" program or other fitness programs, contact Rebecca Haug or Jen Snider at 269-6769.

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