The Season of
Indulgence Has Arrived
Council on Exercise
Key to Staying Healthy is Remaining Active
Tempting treats are on store shelves
everywhere and holiday party invitations are already pouring in - the holidays
are officially here. The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's
nonprofit fitness authority, offers tips on how to stay fit and avoid the
typical weight gain and stress associated with the busy holiday season.
1 - Take time for yourself. Although spending time with
friends and family is essential, it's also important to carve out some
relaxation time (at least five minutes) for yourself. Try practicing deep
breathing when you feel stressed out.
2 - Don't set unrealistic
exercise goals. Aim to exercise 30 minutes a day instead of an hour; it's
okay to divide it up into eight to 10 minute intervals throughout the day.
You'll be much more likely to achieve such a reasonable goal and avoid
3 - Enlist the support of a friend or family
member. Walking and talking with a friend can be a great way to socialize,
burn extra calories and reduce your stress level. Working out with a partner
has been consistently shown to help individuals stick with their workout.
4 - Create new, more active traditions. Instead of throwing a
dessert or cocktail party, try ice-skating or Nordic walking with ski poles as
an alternate holiday event. Play powder puff football or build a snowman.
5 - Don't try to stick to an overly restrictive diet this holiday
season. If you enjoy your favorite foods in small portions, you'll feel
more satisfied. Trying to stay away from certain foods may leave you feeling
deprived, which may cause you to eat more than you intended to.
Drink plenty of water. Although the cold weather may make you less
inclined to grab a glass of water, it is just as important in the winter as it
is during the summer. Water helps counter the dehydrating effects of travel or
drinking alcoholic beverages, and it may also help satiate your appetite since
thirst is often mistaken for hunger.
7 - Don't feel like you have
to eat everything at once. Try eating dinner early and then taking a walk
before sitting down for dessert.
8 - Avoid or limit liquid
calories. Many popular holiday beverages contain stimulants (e.g. alcohol
or caffeine) that will only cause you potentially more grief in the end by
adding to your feelings of stress and increase your blood sugar levels causing
you to eat more. Try having a glass of sparkling water after a glass of wine or
cup of eggnog.
9 - Don't aim for perfection, and enjoy the
imperfections. There is no such thing as the perfect party or the perfect
decorations or the perfect way to spend the holidays. Don't set yourself up for
disappointment by placing unrealistic demands on yourself.
Make your workouts a priority. Try to exercise first thing in the
morning before other demands sidetrack you. Individuals with an early-morning
exercise routine tend to be more consistent when pressed for time.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's
Authority on Fitness, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the
benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and
ineffective fitness products and instruction. As the nation's workout watchdog,
ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that
targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness
professionals and is the world's largest nonprofit fitness certifying
For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800)
825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at