Gigabytes to Terabutts
Its early December, and while still basking in the glow of Thanksgiving turkey, taters, gravy, and pumpkin pies, I am staring straight up the mountain of Holiday cookies, goodies, parties, and prolonged bouts of watching movies and football games. What’s a person to do? If the food doesn’t weigh us down enough, there is the cold-weather end to outdoor activity and exercise, and the stress of holiday shopping. In the end, it likely adds up to a 3-5% weight gain and lethargy that by January 1 brings about the annual goal setting and re-institution of exercise and fitness programs that flood local gyms, fitness centers, weight loss programs, and health-related clinics. Is this our destiny?
No! I say, don’t let this be your fate. Now is the time to pre-plan your usual end-of-the-year strategy to use the remainder of December as a ramp into the new year, not a plunge into the abyss. How can this be, you must be asking yourself? Well, let’s look at some ways to use December to launch into the New Year in an ascending fashion rather than as a lost month of stress, gluttony, and lost opportunities:
- Starting today, increase your energy expenditure by 15 minutes of moderate activity over your current level of activity, increasing to an additional 15 minutes per day each week through December.
- Bundle up and grab a flashlight for walks outside in the morning and evening, or hit the gym for cycling, yoga, or high intensity interval training when the weather is poor.
- Take heart in the fact that daylight begins to increase after December 21.
- Load up on healthy snacks at the grocery: carrots, peppers, sugar snap peas, and raw nuts.
- Keep your water bottle at your side to stay hydrated.
- Make hummus dip for veggies and crackers rather than sour cream based dips.
- Limit the availability of drive-by snacks that are too tempting when readily available…save the cookies, fudge, candies for only special occasions and parties.
Keeping in mind that the Holidays need not be a time to just give up on your health is paramount. If you can at least maintain a healthy balance between food intake and exercise in whatever form during December, you will not only feel more in control of your health, but also be in a much better place to set realistic health and fitness goals come January 1! Also, those cookies will taste so much better if you don’t have to loosen your belt to have one!
Many of you have been challenged by lingering pain or mobility issues. If we can assist in getting you better prepared for tackling the physical challenges of an ongoing or new fitness program, let us know. Now is the time, and by adding us to your team we can assist you in navigating the perils of the Holidays and beyond!
Happy Holidays, and to your health and movement!