Staying Fit During the Holiday Season


| LAST UPDATE 12/17/2021

By Lia Thomson
fitness skinny holiday season
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From Christmas dinner to New Year's Eve parties, the upcoming holiday season is sure to be filled with sweet treats and loads of yummy food. But, with all the temptations, it may be hard for some of us to keep our healthy routines in check. Here's some tips on how to indulge in your grandma's famous ham recipe or your aunt's chocolate pudding, while still staying fit.

holiday cookies weight gain
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First things first, get your body moving! Eat your potatoes but don't be a couch potato. After a delicious meal, head on outside with your family for a walk, a hike, or even a light jog. If it's too snowy or cold, then do some of our favorite workouts at home. With our busy schedules, it may be hard to find the time. So, it could be beneficial to plan out when you can take a moment to care for your body. Lance Dalleck, professor of exercise and sport science at Western Colorado University in Gunnison explained, “In addition to staying active, try to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time, such as when watching football games or eating. Remember: Too much sitting is hazardous to your health."

A second tip to maintaining that figure is to watch your portions. Who wants to skip out on the amazing food? You can still enjoy it, just make sure you're being mindful about your choices. "Even if you decide to eat higher-calorie options, you will probably eat smaller portions and make other adjustments to stay within your daily caloric goals," said Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, chief medical adviser for the American Council on Exercise.

It's also crucial to stay hydrated, "A large glass of water before a meal (and especially before considering seconds) can help lessen the amount of food you consume. Drink six to eight glasses of water per day, and be sure to have two big glasses of water before the big, calorie-rich meals.”

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walking running healthy christmas
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But most importantly, don't forget to not stress too much about it. If anything, stressing can do more harm than good. “Stress is pervasive, and it increases exponentially during the holiday season. Stress leads to poor sleep, more sedentary behavior, and — you guessed it — a craving for those comfort foods," said Erin Nitschke, professor of exercise science at Laramie County Community College. One meal won't ruin your progress, just remember to jump back into your routine the following day. Happy holidays!