Step off the stuffing! How to stay healthy during (and after) the holidays

November 30, 2015 | by Carol Teteak, M.S.
Categories: Healthy Driven Life
Although we are in the thick of all the holiday fare and festivities, the question is: How do we keep our midsections from getting that way? The bottom line is to move more and make health your destination this season! Try these health and fitness tips to help keep those holiday pounds from piling up:

Step up to the challenge. Park a little further, take the dog for an extra walk or take the stairs this season because according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) healthy adults should have a goal of taking at least 10,000 steps a day to maintain a healthy level of physical activity (12,000 minimum for children).

Just starting out? Try to add 1,000 steps to your current activity each week until you reach your goal. If weight loss or improved fitness is a goal, then more steps are required, along with a regular exercise routine and healthy eating habits!

Track your progress. Fitness trackers, including wearables such as smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS devices, are expected to be the top fitness trend of 2016, according to ACSM. Cost and user input vary across the board, but even the free, downloadable apps are perfect for keeping daily steps, running mileage or food intake on point throughout the busy holidays! Check out Map My Run and My Fitness Pal for starters.

Get the gift of health. The holidays are a great time to treat yourself or ask for the gift of fitness to help keep you healthy through the season and beyond! Whether it’s joining a gym, hiring a personal trainer or buying a piece of fitness equipment or DVD, all can support your health goals.

Do a healthy pre-party prep. No need to skip the annual work or family holiday party —work out, then eat a healthy snack before the gathering to help curb your appetite. Drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink so as not to overdo it on the empty calories.

Grab a workout buddy. Set a schedule and stick to it so you hold each other accountable.

Set attainable goals, have less stress. You have enough on your mind this time of year so setting extreme or unrealistic fitness and weight loss goals may end up being more stressful than useful. Your focus should be on maintaining, not gaining during the holiday season!

Drive your health forward at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness Centers.

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