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Experts reveal health secrets for busy people

By Madison Park
CNN
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(CNN) -- The mirror doesn't lie. Those buttery cookies and slices of ham from the holidays are showing up in the wrong places on your body.

From top left to bottom right: Cheryl Forberg, Cathe Friedrich, Patrick Murphy and Robert Dothard.

Make specific goals and put the list in a place where you will be reminded of them, said Dr. Melina Jampolis.

To help you start the new year right, CNN.com asked a few well-known nutritionists and personal trainers for tips on keeping those resolutions to eat right and get healthy.

The most common excuse for not exercising is that people don't have enough time.

Keeping in mind people's hectic schedules, the experts suggested ways to fit in exercises during work, grocery shopping and family time. Even a 10-minute workout can help people inch closer to better fitness, trainers said.

NUTRITION

Dr. Melina Jampolis, a San Francisco, California, physician nutrition specialist, is the diet and fitness expert for CNNhealth.com. She focuses exclusively on nutrition for weight loss and disease prevention and treatment.

1. Go for very specific goals.

Make an actual list. Don't be vague. Instead if "looking better," write down specifics, such as being able to run around with kids at the park or not wearing a baggy T-shirt to the beach. It's an internal motivator.

"When I see their motivation wavering, I say, 'Remember why you're doing this? Isn't it super important to keep up with kids in the playground next spring?' " Jampolis said.

Put that list where you are constantly reminded, such as inside a wallet or the office desk, she said. iReport.com: Tell us about your healthy New Year's resolutions

2. Volunteer.

Good karma could be good fitness. Volunteer activities such as coaching a youth soccer game, walking shelter dogs or cleaning up a beach encourages movement and exercise, Jampolis said. When it comes to burning calories, think outside the gym.

"Look for active volunteer opportunities with any form of movement," she said.

Cheryl Forberg is a behind-the-scenes nutritionist for NBC's show, "The Biggest Loser." She is a registered dietitian and chef. She has a weekly blog and is the author of the book "Positively Ageless."

1. Make over your kitchen.

Get rid of foods that have lower nutritional values, such as white sugar, bread and pasta. If junk food isn't in your kitchen, you can't be tempted, Forberg said.

"There are so many temptations from the morning, stopping for coffee or someone has doughnuts in break room, or you go out for lunch and there are not many healthy choices," she said. "You're bombarded all day long making compromises for your eating habits. At home, count on everything that's there providing optimal nutrition for body."

2. Healthy snacking helps.

Having a snack sustains healthy blood sugar levels and energy. This way you don't feel famished and end up overeating. She recommends a piece of fruit with a protein or healthy fat -- perhaps a few nuts with an apple, a cheese stick or a carton of yogurt for a snack.

"Combining protein and carbohydrates keeps you full longer and sustains blood sugar longer and keeps your energy levels," she said.

The 100-calorie snack packs are not high-quality calories, she said. "It's processed food, and it's not healthy ingredients."

FITNESS

Cathe Friedrich is a certified group fitness instructor who launched a video empire of step aerobics in the 1980s.

1. Sneak in a workout at the grocery store.

Carry a basket instead of pushing a shopping cart around the store. Switch the arms and bend them to hold the basket at a 90-degree angle to isolate the biceps.

"Pop out a few curls with it if you don't care what people think," Friedrich said.

Lifting heavy items such as 40-pound dog food bags can also be a form of weight training. When you're lifting heavy things, engage your core, bend your knees, stand up and exhale, she said.

2. Do easy workouts in the office.

"If you're officebound, get a stability ball," Friedrich said. "It puts you in good alignment, and you're getting work done."

The ball forces the body to balance and activates the lower back.

If you have a private office, squeeze in a few lunges, squats crunches or push-ups.

Patrick Murphy is a personal trainer who has worked with celebrities including Eva Longoria, Mario Lopez and Judd Apatow. He trains stunt coordinators and actors for action films.

1. Schedule your workout at the same time

"We're creatures of habits," he said. "One way to reach a fitness goal to becoming healthy is to create a body clock for exercise. If you exercise at 7 a.m. two to three times a week, your brain will trigger it -- telling you it's time to go and you'll crave exercise."

If your workout time fluctuates all the time, you won't acquire that body clock, he said. By the eighth or ninth time of working out on a schedule, it develops into a habit. "Consistency over time will get you there," Murphy said.

2. Visualize what your body is going to be.

In the same way that athletes visualize achieving their goal, use this mechanism to reach personal fitness goals. Visualize what you want your body to look like.

Murphy said it's like meditation, to be done before going to bed or after getting up. Visualize your ideal body and try to shape your habits and behaviors.

"Whenever you want to have that muffin or that junk food, visualize what you don't want your body to be," he said. "It keeps you away."

Robert "Trainer Bob" Dothard is a personal trainer, martial arts expert and motivational speaker. He owns a Fitness Together franchise in Atlanta, Georgia, and has worked with CNN's Fit Nation programs.

1. Make a daily 10-minute workout commitment.

"People have a million and one excuses, and many are legitimate," he said. "Ten minutes is a great start. It's a creation of habit, that's going to move you in the right way."

Although a 10-minute workout will not make you fit or lose much weight, it's a step toward change.

2. Get a workout with your kids.

When Dothard weight trains in his basement gym, he brings his youngest son and a few balls. This way, Dothard can keep an eye on his son while exercising.

"He throws [balls] around the room while I work on weight training," Dothard said. "He wanders around the room, and I get 30 minutes of exercise in."

Busy moms can use this strategy to squeeze in a workout, he said.

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