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BIGGEST LOSER: Contestants share their fitness tips
 
FLORENCE, S.C. – Along with working on your nutrition, working out and getting active are also big factors in living healthier.
Incorporating some form of fitness into your routine -- whether it be lifting weights, cardio, yoga or a combination of several activities -- can improve your weight, strength, endurance and overall physical well-being.
 
Fitness is a big focus for the Florence’s Biggest Loser competition, and each contestant receives a temporary membership to the McLeod Health & Fitness Center as well as a weekly group training session with one of the center’s certified personal trainers to help create healthy fitness habits.

We asked the contestants to share what they have learned about fitness through their time in the competition.

>> Bill Gilmer: “One of the more important things I've learn about fitness during my time with this program is the role that exercise variety plays in maximizing benefits and minimizing exercising obstacles to working out, such as, boredom, plateaus and even injury. The trainers have been great about showing us how to diversify our fitness portfolio to keep exercise interesting and to make it a ‘fun habit!’ Doing aerobic exercises in the pool also have been a great way to get in cardio. You don't always have to be on the treadmill – that would be like, well, being on a treadmill!”

>> Kim Pate: “I find having someone to keep you on track and working out in groups has been the best thing to keep me going.”

>> Rick Melton: “I have enjoyed the learning the different exercises you can use with the hand weights, kettlebells and the medicine ball. I have purchased all three so I can do the exercises at home without having to go to the gym. In this week's training session, we learned how we can use the hand weights as part of our walking routine. I'm currently doing a combination of walking/running five days a week, but I am now going to incorporate the weights with my walking a couple of times a week with these new techniques.”

>> Valda Brown-Graham: “The most important thing I’ve learned about fitness is that it works. If you want to stay healthy, especially for those in their 60s like me, you have to be willing to get up and move around as much as you can. I’ve gotten to the point now where I really enjoy going to the gym and working out. It makes me feel good, it makes me feel healthy, and when I don’t do it, I can tell that my body does not feel as good as it could.”

>> Randy Catoe: “The biggest thing I’ve learned about fitness has been that I don’t have to work out every day. For me, two to three times a week is sufficient.”

>> Ravyn Miles-Dean: “One thing I have learned throughout this competition is you don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to work out or eat perfectly all the time. If you fall off track, it’s OK! Just pick yourself right back up and start again!”

>> Brian Kress: “I enjoy the variety of exercises we do in our training sessions. We mix it up between machines, kettle bells and medicine ball work.”

>> Courtney Sullivan: “Tory, our trainer for the Weekend Warriors (we meet on Sunday afternoons), has taught us to change things up in our workouts like going outside instead of being inside and to try a new workout even if you think you can't do it. Like flipping over tires even if you are 50 years old!”

>> Kevin Dwyer: “The one thing that I can say about fitness is that it is a marathon, not a sprint. … You have to keep at it every day, not just here and there.”
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