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Staying healthy and fit through the new year

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Buffalo: Staying healthy and fit through the new year
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It's the time of year when gyms are packed with people hoping to get fit, but the crowd tends to thin out before the waistlines do. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us how you can keep your health kick going long enough to see results.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- With all of the equipment and programs available, there's much more to working out in 2013 than just free weights and treadmills. But experts say it's important to have a plan before you get started.

"A lot of people haven't worked out in a couple years, but emotionally, they're so ready to get something done and they just want to see results. It's very important that you do not overexert yourself and that you do not expect too much too soon. Take baby steps," said Gerald Bella, general manager at Best Fitness in Buffalo.

Many facilities like Best Fitness help their customers set fitness goals and help them determine how they'll reach them. They also offer personal training and online resources to help track progress.

Bella said, "At any gym, you have to have guidance, you have to make sure people are doing everything right so they're not hurting their muscles, they're not overexerting themselves."

He says many people stop exercising because other priorities get in the way, but it's worth making the time commitment now.

Bella said, "It's going to benefit you so much longer down the road, when you're 55 and 60, hopefully you'll still be coming to the gym, and you're going to put up a couple extra years on your life."

Bella says proper nutrition is a major factor in losing weight and being healthy - and it's a daily priority at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

"We have an at your service menu which is a restaurant-style patient menu that patients do get to choose what they want to eat... as long as its within their dietary guidelines. I think it's really helped them get better much quicker and take some ideas home with them," said Kathy McAlpine, food service manager at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

The cafeteria is constantly working to offer healthy options people want to eat, and is currently incorporating more fish into its menu.

McAlpine says when you're trying to manage your weight, it's all about portion size,"You can have a variety of foods, but limit your portions."

She recommends eating five small meals a day.

"That keeps your metabolism at about the same all day so you won't get your cravings," said McAlpine.

And she says a great way to control your calories is to track them.

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