The holiday season is officially upon us, and along with those joyous and fun times, extra amounts of food and weight are sure to follow. At homes like mine, it is almost unthinkable to turn down that second or third plate of delicious home-cooked food. So while you look forward to that savory serving of rice, that glistening plate of ham and those freshly baked biscuits, here are some tips to make sure you have tons of fun and not tons of extra pounds.
- Keep Active. If this means following your usual exercise routine or coming up with an entirely new one, do it. It’s really tempting to kick back with a plate of food and the NFL on television, but it is more helpful in the long run to keep your body up and running. Exercising frequently gives you that added boost to get through those stressful days of chores and finish that decorating in no time.
- Cardio, cardio, cardio. One of the most important aspects of exercising is keeping your heart rate up and your blood flowing. So working on cardio during the holidays is a definite must. Whether it’s five or ten minutes a day, every second helps keep those lurking pounds away. Jogging around the block, doing three minutes of jumping jacks and even boxing are all effective and fun ways to stay fit.
- Get Others Involved. Staying healthy does not have to be a lonely activity, especially if there are plenty of family members around. Playing a game of football in the backyard or at a park before that big meal can be just as rewarding as watching the game. Make snow shoveling a contest that not only cleans sidewalks but also works up quite a sweat. Even walking around the neighborhood enjoying the decorations encourages fitness.
- Self-control. Probably the most important and difficult tip to follow is not only knowing what you shouldn’t eat but also actually not eating it. Never eat a big meal on an empty stomach since you’re more likely to overindulge then. Avoid large quantities of alcohol and eggnog since plenty of empty calories come from both. Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day; that way you will be in more control at the dinner table.
Having fun and eating with family can still be enjoyable while watching what you eat and how you enjoy the holidays. So instead of picking up that drumstick, grab a piece of fruit and a football and celebrate the season healthfully!
– Anthony Garcia, Staff Writer