‘Tis the Season

It is so cliche to say it, but……”Where did the last year go?”  Seriously!  If you told me that it was April, I would believe you without much question.   As I told you in my prior posts, I LOVE the fall and winter.  I love to run outside in the cold and I love the break that this time of year provides both mentally and physically.  Though, all that love tends to be tempered by the challenges this time of the year brings.  Most of us can agree that it can be a struggle to maintain a consistent routine during the holidays, especially when it comes to exercise and nutrition.

How can you resist the candy and homemade treats?  The pie?  The cheesecake?  The carmel popcorn?  It is not hard to believe that the average person gains 7-8 pounds over the holiday season.  That works out to each person eating almost 30,000 calories more than they are burning over 6 weeks!  YIKES!  None of us set out to gain this holiday weight, but sadly few of us do anything to prevent it.  Let’s commit to make this year different.

Here are St. George Fitness Tips for starting the New Year roughly the same size you started November 🙂

1. Don’t skip the workouts.  We are all over-scheduled this time of the year, that’s inevitable.  So while your over-scheduling yourself, make sure to prioritize your workout.  Get it done each morning.  Even 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise will make a difference at the end of the day.   Add a few extra minutes if you know you have a party that day, or tempting treats that will be arriving at your door.

2.  Eat well in between.  It would be silly to think that you can (or should) resist all the holiday cheer because you are worried about gaining weight.  Most of the time you spend eating over the holidays is not at a party, so eat well in between the festivities.  Make it a point to eat from home (or bring a lunch) whenever possible.  Try some new seasonal recipes with a few twists to make them a bit healthier.  When you do go out to a party or splurge for that extra piece of pie, you won’t break the bank.  Eat well the majority of the time and you will stay in balance.

3.  Moderation in all things……..Even fudge!  Enjoy the sweet treats and comfort food you love during the holidays, just do so in moderation.  Fill your plate with a little of everything.  A few bites can curb the craving and also give you the opportunity to try plenty of other goodies without overindulging.

4.  Drink up.  Well sort of.  Water can be your best friend when trying to avoid overeating.  Drink plenty of water each day and especially while you are enjoying holiday meals.  Keep a glass of water, tea, or other low calorie drink in your hand while you mingle with friends at parties.  Busy hands tend to stay away from the second trip in the buffet line.

5.  Create healthy options.  If you are hosting a party or asked to bring a plate, offer something healthy.  Fresh fruit and nut trays with yogurt dips are festive and healthy.  When preparing treats for neighbors and co-workers, think outside of the box.  Make homemade salsas and jams.  Give fresh fruit like oranges, apples or pears.  None of us really need another Christmas Tree sugar cookie, so be creative.  You’d be grateful to receive such healthy options, your friends and family will be too.

It is so important to enjoy this time of year and it’s indulgences, but not to your own detriment.  Wouldn’t it be nice to begin 2011 WITHOUT a resolution to lose the 10 pounds you gained in December.  Give it a try.  Your body and self-esteem will thank you in the New Year.

Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season.

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