Celebrate Christmas without packing on the pounds.
With Thanksgiving eating orgy over (in the US), and rounds two and three in the form of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations looming, I thought it was time for some research on how to either control or redirect the urges to over indulge or how to work off the consequences of our failing to limit ourselves.
Let’s deal with how to limit ourselves and try to reduce the impact of holiday eating. Many of us will spend a lot of time in front of the television watching sports or holiday specials. When we do, try doing it without the snacks that usually accompany this. The combination of high calorie snacks and low levels of activity are deadly for weight control. Maybe you also snack when in company or with your companion, if so, either plan before time to limit the snacks or take your own healthy substitutes to the gathering.
We have discussed the benefits of exercise in previous articles and I want to again stress how important exercise can be for both limiting one’s over indulgence and counter balancing the effects of our failing to limit ourselves. So staying active this holiday season is both imperative and relatively easy.
There are several opportunities to expend calories without leaving our own homes. For instance, just look at simply keeping the house or apartment clean and neat. Significant amounts of calories are expended by simple things like vacuuming and dusting, scrubbing and mopping the floors, finally cleaning up and organizing the garage or basement, or doing some yard work and getting the mold and dirt off of the outdoor furniture. Once the house and yard are presentable, invite your friends and family over for some outdoor games or, if you have one, organize some fun around those active computer gold, bowling, tennis, etc. games inside if the weather is inclement.
Most fitness facilities have a feature which allows a one time trial visit to the facility. Go to one near your home if you don’t already belong and try something out. If you are already a member somewhere, try something entirely new, perhaps a class or a different set of workout routines. Maybe splurge and get a session with a personal trainer and have him or her show you something that will break your routine. If that doesn’t interest you, try going to the ice rink, rent a horse for an hour of horseback riding, or use your imagination and try something you either haven’t done in a long time, or something you’ve always wanted to try or never got around to.
Especially at this time of year there are plenty of opportunities to just get out and walk around and see what the neighbors have done for holiday decorating. IF it’s not too cold or inclement, take on one of the hiking trails, local parks, or the beach as a walking challenge. Even if it’s snowing where you live, try sledding, or anything else you haven’t done for too long.
With any of the above suggestions, having the company of a family member or friend both doubles the pleasure and doubles the chances that you will do actually burn off some of the calories and stress associated with the holiday season. As always, only undertake what you can physically do and have the approval of your medical care giver.