11 ways to STAY IN SHAPE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

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Annika Tomlin  • College Times

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t’s that time of the year again where the family comes in and the pounds stack on. This time of year calls for every kind of sweets, treats and good eats. It’s no wonder why there is such a struggle to keep fit during winter break. Students from all around try there best to not get the freshman fifteen during school, but when the holidays are here, there is no holding back. What if this year you didn’t have to worry about gaining those extra pounds during winter break? Here are 11 tips for you to keep your figure during this holiday season.

#11 • stick to a routine

Nothing shakes up your day-to-day routine like the holidays. Don’t let them change. Keep your workday morning routine. It helps with energy and with your eating schedule. Continue eating at the same times throughout the day so your digestive system isn’t thrown out of whack trying to keep up with all the new food that is coming in.

#10 • keep hydrated

Holidays are known as the perfect time to let loose and pig out. Don’t forget you need to stay hydrated to keep all that alcohol and food moving through your body. Water is the perfect reset button to keep you going all throughout the holidays. You should be drinking more water than anything else to keep you awake and healthy.

#9 • eat before you head out for dinner

Most holiday dinners involve figure-ruining food. Why put yourself through all of that when you can have a healthy meal at home and be full enough when you get there. Not everyone is going to know that you are on a diet or watching your figure. You are in control of your own food intake. Skip the junk and greasy food. It’s really that simple. If your friends or family want to know why you aren’t eating much, say you’re dieting or tell a white lie that you’re not hungry. You could also bring a protein bar to tide you over until you get home.

#8 • prioritize sleep

Sleep starts to become a foreign concept when family and friends in town take up all of your free time. Take time for yourself, even if it is just getting a full night’s worth of sleep. Nothing is more frustrating than being sluggish when you have to up and moving with the rest of the family or friends. Sleep is best when it comes to staying fit because it is the main time that you are digesting all of your food. That’s why it is perfectly OK and encouraged to take that power nap after a big meal. Sleep is also a great way to relieve stress.

#7 • MANAGE STRESS

Managed stress equals no stress eating. Having visitors from out of town can be stressful. Find ways that help you destress in those tough situations. It could be 10 minutes of meditation. Or it could be reading your favorite book for the hundredth time. One of the best ways to relieve stress is to workout. It is like the “Legally Blonde” quote by Elle Woods goes, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Get some more exercise so you are less stressed during the holidays.

#6 • plan fitness during vacation

If you’re traveling, be sure fitness is on your to-do list. This goes back to keeping a routine. If you work out three times a week and you’ll be on vacation for two weeks, you better make sure there is a gym near where you are staying. If you are staying in a hotel, see if they have a fitness facility. A treadmill and a few weights can go a long way. If you are staying at someone’s house you have two options: see if they have a home gym or equipment that you can use, or see if your local gym membership extends out of state to a gym that is close to the house. All else fails, you can always go for a walk/jog/run around the area where you are staying. If you plan ahead to work out during vacation, you are more inclined to do it when you are there..

#5 • TAKE THE STEPS

This seems like a really simple way to stay fit—and it is. If you’re in a multifloor building, take the stairs. If you live on the 14th floor of your apartment complex, plan to leave earlier than normal and take the strairs. If you have the time, track how long it takes you to use the stairs and plan your day around that.

#4 • PARK IN THE BACK

Holidays equals holiday shopping, and everywhere is going to be crowded. To get exercise, park in the back of the lot. It’ll give you the extra energy boost you need to shop. Plus, with all of your shopping bags in tow on the way back to the car, you get some weightlifting in your day. 

#3 • GET A WORKOUT BUDDY

People have more free time during the holidays to get out and do stuff, so get out and do stuff. Grab a friend or a family member and take a walk or lift weights at the gym. A workout buddy can help you push yourself and it’ll relieve stress.

#2 • TV WORKOUTS

A lot of the time during the holidays you are sitting at home watching TV. You can so easily fit in a workout during the commercials watching a holiday special. During car commercials get up and jog in place. Try this: 20 to 30 crunches during clothing commercials; 30 jumping jacks during food spots; 20 squats for a movie trailer; and 20 lunges for a jewelry ad. Take a water break during the other commercials.

#1 • Facetime/Skype

All of the foods that are served during the holidays have a healthier option. There is a substitution for pretty much every key ingredient to a main dish. You can replace oil in a recipe with plain yogurt to help cut a lot of that fat and help boost the amount of protein. You can swap out a banana in place of butter. Try and cut out as much sugar or find a replacement for it as best you can. A second on lips means years on the hips. Keep that in mind while you go after that cookie that your mom strategically left out for you. It is not worth it in the long run. Consider doing a vegetarian or even a vegan option for some of your side dishes. The side dishes are what you devour the most anyways so they should be the healthiest option on your plate. CT

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