6 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain and Stress
Posted on December 13 2016
Well, the holiday season is in full swing. For most of us, that means turkey-trotting our way to and from commitments, increased stress, end-of-year work deadlines, late nights, rushed weekends, stretching pennies, increased caloric intake, and weight gain to boot!
Our ho-ho-ho may quickly turn into ho-ho-hum.
In this season of giving, we spend a lot of time caring for others. It’s super important to remember to also take care of ourselves. After all, the holiday season is really more of a marathon, not a sprint. According to the Clichésite.com website, it’s critical to pace yourself for the long haul:
All kidding aside, here are 6 tips to avoid holiday weight gain and stress:
Carve out time for exercise. Note the words “carve out”. We understand this, in itself, is a chore. Sound impossible? Here are some easy tricks:
- Stop shopping online. Santa can trim his waist more by physically walking at the mall. Besides, getting out will do the body (and soul) good.
- Park away. Don’t waste time searching for a close parking spot when running errands. Instead, park as far as you are comfortable so you can incorporate those life-giving steps. Want to step up your caloric burn a bit more? Consider increasing your walking pace between stores AND even making extra trips to the car as you gather bags from your shopping.
- Invest some sweat equity into deep cleaning your house. Most of us engage in a cleaning fest before pulling out holiday decorations. Step up the effort by deep cleaning the floors, bathrooms, vacuuming cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling, and cleaning windows. According to Shape.com, here’s a snapshot of the calories you can burn by doing common household chores:
Move snow with a shovel. Snow blowers sure make life easy, but they won’t provide the cardio burn that shoveling can deliver (about 400 calories per hour!). Make sure you are using proper lifting technique to ensure shoveling safety.
Walk the dog. It’s easy to overlook Spot’s exercise needs this time of year. However, allow his longing face to lure you in to a quick walk. Even 20 minutes of fast-paced walking is good for the spirit and body. Keep this in mind when returning from work or after shoveling… You are already out there – grab the leash and go!
Turn your home into a gym. Turn everyday activities into motion.
- TV Room: improve core strength by doing squats, sit-ups, push-ups, and planks while watching your favorite evening shows.
Kitchen: While waiting for water to boil or a casserole to finish, take time to: lift water bottles (like dumbbells); perform squats over a kitchen chair; sneak in an extra kitchen sweep; or alternate touching your toes. Collectively, these activities can really help reduce stress and keep you in shape!
Create New Traditions. Too often, we allow food to dictate our traditions. Allow yourself to enjoy Grandma’s pie and Aunt Suzie’s special cookies – but also create some healthy traditions like building a snowman; ice skating with the family; or time at the gym playing basketball, racquetball, or pickleball.
We understand that this time of year is a challenge on many levels. In the midst of the chaos, please take time to care for yourself. These 6 tips may help you control the common holiday weight gain AND can help reduce stress as well.
Whatever your family traditions, we hope you are enjoying a healthy holiday season! Along the way, if you are experiencing pain or limited mobility, come in and let Fit Physical Therapy help you return to your game of life.
Yours for safe work and play,
Dr. Patti Hutt
Arvada/YMCA and Lakewood/Carmody
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