Motivation Monday: Exercising during the holidays

8:23 AM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - After a weekend of full tummies and delicious treats, one must not forget to keep up on your exercises.

Managing your weight and sticking to an exercise program can easily slip down your priority wish list during the holiday season. Purchasing gifts, trimming the tree, sampling sweets and finding the perfect fuzzy sweater often trumps the treadmill and calorie counting.

By taking control of your holiday eating and fitting in a little extra movement when you can, you are more likely to keep those extra pounds away.

There are some things you can keep in mind during the party season to keep those pounds at bay.

1. Get Moving: Food isn't always the enemy - lack of activity is. Remember calories in vs. calories out. Hop on the treadmill during your favorite holiday TV shows! Park farther away at the mall and take the stairs with your packages. And better yet, get your workout done in the morning instead of being derailed by evening holiday hoopla.

2. Five a Day Plan: Really stick to consuming your 5 fruits and vegetables each day - keeping nourished with healthy food helps avoid those excess sugar highs and energy lows that can make you tired and depressed.

3. Try the One-a-day program: Limit yourself to one indulgence per day. Don't deprive yourself for 3 days of all sugar so you can pig out at the company holiday party. Be moderate in your thought process -1 cookie, 1 candy, 1 eggnog, etc.

4. Control the risk for temptation: Avoid constantly putting yourself in tempting situations. For example, walking thru the break room at work 10 times a day when you know it's filled with treats and candies. Don't place treats on your kitchen counter to stare you in the face. Know yourself and your weaknesses.

5. Never go to a party hungry: One of the worst things you can do is starve yourself before a holiday party. The hungrier you are, the less capable you are of staying in control. And, avoid the "grazing" mentality at the parties. Take a plate and fill it only once with appetizers. Grazing can result in a major caloric disaster.

6. Exercise in Bursts: Increase your time management skills over the holiday season. Your normal routine is often sabotaged during this time of year. Workouts don't need to be long to be effective. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you integrate bursts of intense activity with lighter activity, it's easier to burn calories, improve aerobic capacity and banish boredom. Break up your exercise throughout the day to reach 30 minutes per day.

7. Escape the Couch: Step away from the living room, and invite family and friends to get active. Choose gifts that encourage venturing outdoors, such as sleds or snowshoes. Get out and power walk to check out the neighborhood holiday lights. If you have a video gaming system like the Wii-Fit or the Kinect for the Xbox, get a family competition going with a game of bowling or tennis.

8. Be careful of liquid calories: Holidays are notorious for tempting us with drinks we wouldn't normally consume. Alcohol offers no nutrients, just empty calories! Eggnog coffee drinks with whip cream, hot toddies, spiced rum; these drinks can have as many calories as a personal pan pizza! Opt instead for sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice of your choice.

9. Just say no: Many times we eat foods just to please the hostess or cook. Politely say "No thank you. Everything looks delicious but I think I've reached my limit!"

10. Focus on the people not the food: Go to a party to socialize not only eat. Use your energy making conversation rather than focusing on food. Conversation is calorie free!

Enjoy your holidays but remember you'll feel better entering the New Year without those extra 10 pounds!!!

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)