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12-Month fitness plan

Life change expert, healthy living coach, nutritionist and media personality Laura Lewis is the author of the newly released book 52 Ways to a Healthy You and is the host of the national television series, "Empty Nesters" on Veria TV, a ...

Get fit this year

New Year's resolutions are so '09. Take this year's resolutions by storm with a 12-month fitness plan. No contracts... and results are guaranteed!

Fitness Calendar

Why think of your fitness plan in terms of a week? Instead, follow this yearly fitness plan for year 'round health and energy.

Jumpstart January

Organized sports start the season with two-a-days for a reason: They work. Bicycle, jump rope, run on a treadmill or work out on the elliptical -- the key is to work out hard, once in the morning and once at night, five to six days per week. Go for interval training in which you perform intense cardio for one minute, rest for 30 seconds and then do it all over again. Advanced fitness gurus might want to do two minutes of cardio, rest for one, and repeat.

My Body
  1. The results are in – dark chocolate is good for you so you can indulge a bit in February, October and December, guilt free knowing that you are boosting your anti-oxidants and increasing your HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. How sweet it is!
  2. Double dose on vitamin D. It's been proven that those who do are leaner than those who don't.
  3. Try working out in the sun as the rays will magically inject you with this miracle vitamin, too!

Fight fat February

Love your heart this Valentine's month by decreasing your risk of heart disease. Cut cardio back to once a day, five to six days per week alternating between the treadmill, bike and elliptical. Interval training should continue by going "hard" for one to two minutes and then ease up for one minute. Follow this pattern for 20 minutes. Give your heart the added treat of organic, dark chocolate to help bump up your HDLs. (Come on -- it's Valentine's Day.)

March madness

For many people in the US, bikini season is right around the corner. This month, take your workout to the court. Fast starts, quick stops and high jumps are excellent ways to break out of the humdrum of your gym workout and give your muscles a brand-new perspective. This month, hoop it up and tighten up your thighs and butt.

April abs

Get your abs in tip-top shape by strengthening your entire core through Pilates. Rather than isolating the abdominal muscles, Pilates builds a balance of strength throughout your entire body. Pilates focuses on your abs, yes -- but it also prepares your entire body for baring all at the beach or pool.

Mix it up in May

In most regions of the US, people can take their workouts outdoors now. This month, the focus is on mixing it up. Every day of the week, try something new. Take an aggressive bike ride through the city, run the trails and enjoy the spring flowers, rollerblade through the neighborhood, power walk, play outdoor volleyball -- whatever you do, mix it up, have fun and get sunshine.

June, July, August

Triple-dip on your summer workouts by going outdoors. The increased temperature will help you burn toxins from your body, and the sun will provide a natural source of vitamin D. (People who have higher serum vitamin D levels are typically leaner than their not-so-D-rich counterparts.) Outdoor activities lend themselves to more socializing than gym workouts, too. It all helps make you healthier and more beautiful, inside and out.

Splash into September

Take this month to really challenge yourself in the water. Alternate between lap pool workouts and natural water workouts. (Always swim with a buddy in a supervised area.)

Keepin' hot in October

Just because the weather is cooling off doesn't mean your workouts should. This month, try a 30-day stretch of hot yoga -- a series of yoga poses conducted in a room heated to 95 to 100 F. Hot yoga promotes profuse sweating that will continue to rid your body of toxins as you come out of your summer workouts. You'll be amazed at your increased flexibility.

Stay steamin' in November

Sign up for a spin class to keep up your momentum. These high-energy, high-aerobic and highly intense workouts will keep you steaming every minute of these 90-minute classes.

Pipin' hot in December

This month finds you back where you started, except this December you are pipin' hot. Take your aerobic activity and your new bod to the bedroom. Tear off the gym clothes and enjoy 30 minutes of naked-tivity and burn 85 calories or more. That may not sound like much, but 42 sessions will burn 3,570 calories. That means you could lose around 12 pounds a year just by fooling around. Now that's a hot fitness plan.

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