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Keeping Fit Through The Holidays

by Laura L. Draskovich, B.S., B.A., A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer

Maintaining your fitness goals through the holiday season does not have to be an impossible feat. You’ve been active and mindfully maintaining your workouts; now the thought of the holidays and cooler weather may have you singing the blues. Schedules have turned upside down with trips, parties, and visitors, and diets are derailed with sugary treats and comfort foods. You may say to yourself, “I’ll just pick it up after the New Year.” Sound familiar? It’s no wonder gyms are packed in January. However, keeping fit through the holidays can be doable with some forethought and planning. Consider the following:

Strategize

Here are some helpful ideas that I and others have used to be prepared for these times:

Stay hydrated. Keep a large water bottle handy when preparing meals. You will stay fuller and less likely to to pick as you go.

Keep a vegetable tray prepped. Having instant access to healthy, low calorie, filling foods to fill and fuel your day is key to keeping you on track.

Stagger your calories. This means, cut back your calories a few days prior to the expected event where you will be over indulging. By doing this, you actually can use the large meal to work to your fat burning advantage.

Rearrange your calories for the day. Simply put, you can eat smaller meals with fewer calories through the day when you know you just might overdo things later on.

Manage Stress

Try to alleviate stress in your daily life. It will reduce the likelihood of making unhealthy choices.

Slow down. See what is truly important. Appreciate the joys around you.

Keep a journal. Track your thoughts and ideas. Writing your feelings has deep therapeutic value. A journal is also an excellent planning tool.

Sleep. Depriving yourself of needed rest wreaks havoc on stress hormones such as cortisol, which contribute to fat storage. Try creating a relaxing  “wind down” routine that will prepare you mentally and physically for a good night’s sleep.

Sugar. Studies have shown a link between sugar consumption and depression. If you crave a sugar fix, reach for options like a piece of dark chocolate or a small handful of unsalted nuts.

Yoga/meditation. Schedule time  that will quiet your mind and relax tired muscles. There are a number of classes available in the area. Contact me to help you find a class that suits your needs.

Get Moving Through the Holidays

Or keep moving. Don’t write off November and December to

wait for the New Year. These are ways to ensure that you cruise

your way right on through the “Holiday Triangle:”

Incorporate activity daily. This includes yardwork and housework.

Make a new tradition – a healthy one. There are a number of activities that I have listed, but you may also consider registering for a 3K or a 5K road race, such as the Turkey Trot and Santa Run. Check your area for details.

Find a workout buddy. Having another person to motivate you when you need the extra push will keep you moving through the winter months when the days are shorter and weather is cooler.

Set Realistic Goals

Weight loss is more than likely not going to happen over the holidays. You can, however, maintain your fitness, and embrace the joys of the season. Here are a few resources that you can utilize to help:

Internet/YouTube. For workouts of all types, there are many to choose from.

Personal fitness tracker. These track your daily calorie burn and more.

Smartphone apps. These tools provide feedback based on your individual needs.

Personal Trainer. Consider hiring a trained professional who will design a program, and motivate and guide you through it, safely and effectively.

For more information, contact Laura at

(702) 600-8953, lauradraskovich@yahoo.com, or at the Mesquite Fitness Club, (702) 346-3111.

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