with Heather Hawk

Healthy Planet Fitness Writer

Holiday Survival

The holiday season has arrived! What you may not know is that the average weight gain from Thanksgiving to New Years is 7 to 12 pounds.  By January 1st, are your clothes starting to feel tight or even downright uncomfortable?  It is possible to avoid the holiday weight gain and continue feeling fit and strong as you ring in 2012.

Throughout November and December our regular schedules are turned upside down which in turn throws off our workout routine.  However, this does not give us the excuse to cut out exercise completely.  You may have limited free-time but remember that something is always better than nothing.  If you’re unable to work out 4 to 5 days a week at least make time for 2 to 3 days of exercise.  You may not have a full 45 to 60 minutes to exercise but we can all find 20 minutes here and there for our health.  You may have to rearrange the time of day that you train.  Perhaps your usual time is after work but you are busy with parties and holiday shopping. Try working out in the morning through the end of the year to help keep your body on track. Just 20 minutes of strength training will help to keep you feeling strong and looking lean. Keep in mind that the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you will burn throughout the day.  And 20 minutes of cardio will work to maintain your shape and burn those extra holiday calories.  Those 20 minutes you spend exercising will keep your body burning all day long and serve as a wonderful stress relief from the hectic holiday schedule.

Staying active is only one key component to avoiding holiday weight gain, nutrition is the second essential element. The occasional indulgence in holiday treats won’t have a dramatic effect on your waistline however moderation is key.  To avoid overindulging at the holiday gatherings, don’t starve yourself all day in an attempt to save up your calories.  This will only slow down your metabolism.  Instead, opt for several small meals throughout the day to keep your body burning.  Eat something nutritious prior to the holiday event to leave you less tempted.

One last motivational tip…people who remain physically active during the holidays not only avoid the dreaded weight gain but they feel more energized, avoid illness, and maintain a level appetite to avoid temptation.


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