How to Keep Fit During the Holidays

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  • How to Keep Fit During the Holidays

    Each year, the holiday season brings cross-country travel and gift-buying marathons that can cut

    into our usual workout routines. Add in decadent holiday dishes and rich traditional desserts, and

    its no wonder why so many people see their waistlines growing in the New Year. This winter,

    avoid unnecessary holiday weight gain by making time to give your body the exercise and

    nutrition it needs.

    Avoid Overeating during the Holidays

    On holidays like Thanksgiving, many of us make the mistake of fasting all day long in order to

    try as many festive dishes as possible. This tactic works against us: Its a form of short-term

    starvation that leads to overindulging.

    Plan for a day of heavy eating by starting with a proper breakfast. Later, in the hours before a

    large holiday meal, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables or healthy energy bars so youre less

    likely to overdo it at the dinner table. Make sure to stay hydrated, too. Feeling thirsty can trick us

    into thinking were hungry, which may lead to filling up on extra servings.

    Maintain Regular Exercise

    Dont let the frantic pace of the holiday season excuse missed sessions at the gym. Part of

    staying fit through the winter months is maintaining your regular workout plan. Try these tips to

    get your blood pumping, even when there are a dozen items on your to-do list:

    Hit the a.m. Gym Cycle: Getting to the gym bright and early not only means free rein

    with the elliptical machines, it also clears the rest of your day to focus on other items;

    from last-minute gift shopping to holiday food preparation.

    Create a Rewards System: When youre busy, it can be difficult to work up the

    motivation needed for the gym. Try devising a system to earn rewards when you follow

    through on regular exercise. For example, awarding a point for each set of reps completed

    at the gym, or number of laps around the track. After reaching a certain number of points,

    compensate yourself for a job well done by purchasing a new piece of workout

    equipment or filling your plate with an extra slice of pumpkin pie.

    Work Out on the Go: Worried about holiday travel cutting into your exercise routine?

    Try non-conventional means of staying active, like booking hotels with workout rooms,

    helping relatives clean the house before the annual Christmas party, or playing catch with

    cousins during family functions. You can also park as far from the mall entrance as

    possible during shopping trips, or skip the elevator in the parking garage in favor of the

    stairs. Remember that any activity is better than no activity.

    Get the Whole Family Involved

  • The family that works out together, stays together! Motivate others to remain active by

    suggesting a post-meal walk around the neighborhood, or encouraging relatives to join running

    or walking events in your area.

    At the beginning of each New Year, gyms across the country see an uptick in memberships as a

    result of waistlines widening from rich holiday foods and seasonal stress. Avoid winter weight

    gain by remembering to make time for your health and wellbeing.