In the quest to live a fit and healthy life, the holidays can pose difficult challenges. While festivals, social gatherings, and family get togethers are a wonderful part of life, they can be diet and exercise saboteurs. Here are some tips to help you declare independence from flab on this holiday.
1. If you must drive to your event, park a mile away… that will accomplish two things… One, you won’t have to deal with traffic coming and going, and two, you will get in a 2 mile walk! Depending on your weight and pace, you could burn 100 calories and rev up your metabolism!
2. When recovering from an athletic event and resting your body, there is the old adage, “don’t stand when you can sit, and don’t sit when you can lay” I would like to suggest reversing that… “Don’t Lay when you can sit, and don’t sit when you can stand”… Just standing for a period of time, burns significantly more calories than sitting. Think this isn’t true? Curious, years ago, I experimented with this theory while at work… The only change I made to my fitness plan was to stand at work vs. sitting. In one month’s time, I dropped 3 pounds.
3. Picnic at the beach? Not a problem! Go for a swim! Swimming is a great full body exercise and it burns 400 calories per hour!
4. Gym closed? You can get a great workout doing simple body weight exercises and calisthenics. Body weight squats, lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, and yoga can give you an insanely intense workout without ever touching a barbell.
5. Too busy to fit in exercise? Quit lying to yourself. The last 4 Presidents of the good old US of A found time to workout, so can you.
So many people focus on exercise in their fitness regime and completely ignore diet. This is a huge mistake and a definite results buster. Here are a few tips for healthy eating on this food/picnic/barbecue oriented holiday.
1. If you are preparing food… all of those bites that you take while in the kitchen count! Keep the spoon out of your mouth. You may be surprised at how many mindless calories can be consumed this way.
2. Don’t let yourself get hungry before you go to an event where there will be food served. Try to eat healthy small meals throughout the day (lean protein, fiber, vegetables), which will help prevent binge eating and over-indulgence at your event.
3. If you must indulge in alcoholic beverages, don’t forget that these calories count! One microbrew can contain nearly 200 calories.
4. Barbecue? Bring your own lean protein source… Chicken Breast, Salmon, Halibut. Opt for one of these instead of their unhealthy counterparts… hot dogs and hamburgers… no, nobody needs to go there.
5. At the buffet table, choose whole foods in their natural state. Avoid heavily lubed foods such as potato and macaroni salad. Avoid heavily sugared foods such as baked beans, ketchup and barbecue sauce… Desserts? You know if you should be eating desserts or not. If you have an active lifestyle and are not prone to food addictions, have a little. If you should not be eating desserts… fresh strawberries, fresh cherries, fresh watermelon are all healthier options that are readily available at this time of year and will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Just a few tips and suggestions to help maintain your fitness through the holiday. If you are a fitness junkie or just contemplating beginning a healthier lifestyle, I congratulate you on taking a step toward declaring independence from flab!
As for me, I am out the door for my morning run…