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Around The Home: Hit the restart button
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If you aren’t doing well with 2013 fitness goals, don’t worry.

Just hit the "restart" button and get back on track.

Sometimes it’s easy to begin a physical activity program, but a challenge to maintain it.

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offers these ideas that may help you keep active when it seems like everything else competes for your attention and time:

If it’s hard to do a 30-to-60 minute workout all at once, break the time up into 10- to-15 minute segments throughout the day. This may actually be healthier for you since sitting for long periods of time has been shown to shorten people’s lives.

Start to use a pedometer again. Often people get a pedometer and wear it for a while with great enthusiasm and then just stop using it. If that happened to you, get that pedometer out again and wear it daily. See how many steps you’re currently walking and try to add 200-300 steps per week until you are up to 10,000 steps a day.

Cut back on screen time from the TV, computer or your phone. Then use that time to walk, work out at the gym, play in the park with your kids or walk your dog for a longer period of time.

When shopping, park as far away from the stores as possible, then window shop the entire shopping center or street before going into any of the stores. Stay out of the food court and use the stairs when possible, instead of elevators or escalators. If you go into a big-box store, make a point to walk every aisle while you are there.

When you’re watching TV or using the phone, march in place, ride an exercise bike or lift weights. You can even sit in your chair and move your legs and arms to the music during commercials.

If possible, walk or bike with your children to their school.

Walk up and down your driveway several times a day. Measure your driveway and find out how many times you’ll have to walk it to equal one mile. You can walk in your driveway or yard any time, even on your busiest days.

Clean your house or your car or do yard work while listening to energetic music. You’ll move faster and have a good time.

If your child belongs to a team, briskly walk the perimeter of the field during practices and games. Recruit other parents and grandparents.

As spring gets closer, take a brisk walk through a nursery or garden center. Be careful. You might catch "garden fever" while you’re there.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. Contact: 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on

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