Don’t lose your fitness routine to the holidays

All the Whos down in Whoville like to go to the gym, they run, they lift, they even do chins. But alas when the holiday season comes around, the Whos forget to work out when the Grinch comes to town. The Grinch when he visits brings fattening things to eat, causes stress and chaos and knocks the Whos off their feet. With the Grinch back in town the running and the weightlifting decline, the Whos get all frazzled and working out slips their minds.

….With all apologies to Doctor Seuss, it does seem during the holidays we put our health and fitness on hold. We tend to gain weight, get stressed out and all get a bit Grinchy. This holiday season, don’t let the Grinch steal your fitness. Make time for your workout routine so you can keep your spirits up and your weight down.

The holiday season is undoubtedly a time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, the average adult does a little too much celebrating during this time of year, which leads to extra baggage when the New Year rings in. Festivities that include indulging in extra helpings, snacking on seasonal treats, and little to no workout time all contribute to the increase in dieters in January.

Even though this time of year may bring additional stresses and challenges, there are ways to find balance and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Though, at times, it may seem impossible to bypass the season’s traditional foods, there are many ways to partake in the fun without increasing your pant size. The festivities don’t have to be eliminated or avoided. You can have a fabulous time while also maintaining your weight and your fitness regimen.

Here is a little Christmas craft idea. Get one of the ball-shaped ornaments and paint or write the word MODERATION on it. Then hang it on your rearview mirror and look at it every day. Let’s make it the word of the season. It’s the secret to achieving a fun but also healthy holiday time. With a moderate approach both to what you eat (or don’t eat) and how much exercise you do (or don’t do), you can avoid packing on weight AND also partake in all the fun of this time of year. So this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting January with extra pounds to lose.

Here are some tips to help you during those hectic holiday weeks:

— Have a game plan: Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday schedule and then determine how much time you will realistically have available to devote to working out.

— Stay out of the company break room: If you work in an office setting, be prepared for the deluge of guilty treats your co-workers and other business associates will graciously want to share. Stash your own healthy snacks in your desk so you won’t be tempted to overindulge when your grumbling stomach demands a 3 p.m. snack.

— Don’t put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year: If you can’t exercise as often during this time period as you normally do, adjust appropriately. Don’t use the excuse that since you don’t have time for your full workout you just won’t workout at all. Instead accept your limited availability and simply reduce the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. It’s much better to cut your fitness time in half than to completely eliminate it.

— Schedule your workouts: Mark them on the calendar and set aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other appointment or event you have marked on your calendar.

— Exercise at home: You’ll be more inclined to follow through on your exercise commitment if you don’t have to drive somewhere to do your workout. Plus, you won’t waste any time on driving, parking, the locker room or waiting to use equipment. There are awesome workout videos for home use that require little or no equipment.

— Shop smart: When running errands or shopping be sure to pack some healthy snacks to have on-hand. Then after you work up a big appetite, you won’t be tempted to grab something at the mall food court or the fast-food restaurant on the way home. Also, park as far away from the store as you can so you can get in some extra walking.

— Focus on socializing: Remember one of the great things about the holidays is spending time with friends and family. During get-togethers, spend the majority of time sharing conversation instead of sharing desserts.

With a little pre-holiday season forethought, you can make it through with your workout routine intact and in the same size clothing. MODERATION is the key.

Kathy Hansen has more 30 years of experience in the health and fitness field. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

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