Just because Santa’s belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly doesn’t mean yours has to this holiday season. Staying on track with your fitness program, even while traveling, will give you extra energy and start you out right for a healthful new year. Whether you’re at home for the holidays or traveling, it is important to stay on your path to fitness during the holidays.
Here are a few helpful tips:
- Pack healthy snacks such as trail mix, apples and oranges. This will not only save you calories, but money as well.
- When packing, include a small Thera-Band® or resistance tubing so you can perform your favorite strength-training exercises when not at the gym.
- Consider purchasing a new fitness DVD for your trip. It’s always fun to try something new.
- Get the whole family involved in a fitness activity. A pick-up football game, family walk or building a snowman are all great ways to get in some exercise while enjoying holiday fun.
- If staying at a hotel, check to see if it has a fitness center. If so, bring exercise clothes and take advantage of it.
- If traveling by car, plan for frequent stops to walk and stretch. During the breaks make circles with your shoulders and wrists to encourage blood flow in your arms.
- Eating a sensible meal before going to a holiday party will help you resist temptation.
- Limit yourself to one trip to the buffet table and don’t overload your plate.
- Decide ahead of time what specific foods mean the most to you during the holidays. Enjoy a small portion of those and skip the other high-calorie and fat-filled items.
10. Sit down to eat your meal at a party. Taking the time to sit down will help you recognize when you are starting to feel full.
11. Alcoholic beverages add calories and affect our decision making about eating healthy. Limit alcoholic beverages over the holidays and separate drinks with glasses of water.
The holidays are really about time with those you love so skip the cookies and go for the conversation.
Dr. Heidi Renner is an integral part of the Loyola University Health System’s primary care team. She is double boarded in adult internal medicine and pediatrics and enjoys seeing patients of all ages from infants to geriatrics at the Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge. In addition, she is an assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in the departments of internal medicine and pediatrics. When not seeing patients she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids, traveling and hiking.