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Long-Term Strategy vs. Short-Term Fix continued...

To help her clients remain motivated, Vives tries to break down their long-term goals into weekly goals.

"For example, if the long-term goal is weight loss, I help them create weekly goals regarding their weight and percentage of body fat. Or maybe we'll focus on preparing for a 5K race in the community."

Ultimately, the best advice about getting healthy is, "just do it … and keep doing it."

"Set well-defined and achievable goals, and then focus on participation rather than performance," said Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise. "People should make exercise like punching a clock -- they should focus on doing things on a regular basis. Don't worry about reaching your target heart rate. Just focus on doing so many minutes of exercise a day for 30 consecutive days. Develop the habit of being physically active, and then readjust your efforts."

And if you need more motivation, Kraus suggests the technique known as the deposit and refund method.

"Give a good friend $500," he says. "That's the deposit. Then have the friend refund the money at the rate of, say, $50 for every pound you lose, or $5 for every visit to the gym. That way you reward your own progress and make instant gratification work for you."

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