You Say You Got A Resolution

The holidays are gone for another year. But we're still making lists. This time around instead of gifts, we're jotting down resolutions. Now, we've heard some people talking about training for the 2012 Pittsburgh Marathon. Others say they want to pedal from Pittsburgh to the nation's capital along the Great Allegheny Passage  from the Steel City to Washington, D.C. But most of us just want to shed a few of those 7 to 10 pounds that most Americans put on during the holiday season. Which means, we're going to tell you to take a hike to Market Square to help you get 2012 started on the right — and healthy — track.

Normally, when we point you in the direction of the Square, it's to sample the great eats at any one of the 17 dining establishments that circle the Square. Don't worry, we'll get around to that. But since most of us are packing a few extra pounds, this walk to the Square will be a start trimming the fat from our waistlines and diets. And the first stop is the PNC Y. Technically, the new, LEED-certified YMCA is on Fifth Avenue, across the street from the new PNC Bank branch office. But, with its bird's eye views of the Square, we're claiming the Y as part of our turf. Inside, you can get physical in the Y's more than 44,000 square feet spread over three floors stocked with state-of-the-art weight training equipment, aerobics facilities, swimming pool, group exercise and other workout gear and programs. More than a gym, your local Y is a community.  Hey employers... if you want to encourage healthy staff behaviors the YMCA has employer-based programs available.  And can you think of a better way to run your way to fitness than on a treadmill that overlooks the Square?

If you're looking to pump some iron—but not the local brew—Gold's Gym on the corner of Forbes and Stanwix blends old school workouts with new era programs for an overall approach to fitness. Perched on the second floor of the Kossman building, Gold's offers cardio-powered programs to build strength and stamina as well as exercise plans that combine tai chi, yoga and pilates to increase flexibility and inner calmness.

Workouts and training programs are just fine. But we all need a daily dose of vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients to keep healthy. To stock up on vitamins from A to Z, along with high-energy snacks to fuel your most intense workouts, drop in at the GNC store just across the street from Dunkin Donuts. Yes, there are some strange bedfellows on the Square!

As we said, we still want you to eat in the Square. After all, all those eateries — old, new and still to come — are among the reasons why the Square is one of the most exciting destinations in all of Pittsburgh these days. But for the next few months, keep moderation in mind. Sure, every once in a while you can indulge in a beefy Double Mattola at Winghart's or the pasta al quattro formaggi—that's Italian for pasta with four cheeses—at La Cucina Flegrea. Just remember that there are a multitude of less calorie-intense menu options at just about every dining spot in the Square. Whether it's the ocean-fresh salmon salad at Bella Sera or an Asian-flavored bowl of Thai curry soup at the recently opened Noodles & Company, there are plenty of healthy and hearty eating options in the Square. And no matter what you eat in the Square, you can always resolve to walk it off with a few laps around the terrazzo plaza!

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