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Exercise and Celebrate Without Guilt

Por Leslie Rodríguez, RD, LD* -
Exercise and Celebrate Without Guilt

Have you ever wondered how much exercise is needed to burn off the calories from dessert?

One slice of pumpkin pie has 320 calories. A woman who weighs 130 pounds would have to swim for 50 minutes or walk for 1 hour to burn off the calories from this dessert. One cup of eggnog has 342 calories. To burn off these calories you would have to do an hour's worth of yard work or rake leaves for 100 minutes. One 6-ounce glass of white wine has 120 calories, and to burn them off you would have to go out shopping for 48 minutes. A cup of turkey stuffing has 350 calories, and you would have to spend 75 minutes lifting weights or 40 minutes shoveling snow to burn off these calories.

During the holiday season, it's easy to give in to all the festive foods surrounding you, leaving your healthy lifestyle behind. Very often we tell ourselves that we will pick it up again in the new year. However, if you've made the effort to keep fit all year long, don't let your efforts go to waste at this time. Even better, take advantage of this time of year to set new, more realistic goals, and find the best way to gain benefits from an exercise program. That way you can save your New Year's resolution for something else!

A new goal during the holiday season could be to work out more at home. At this time of year, we're very busy with holiday preparations and family visits, and we might not have enough time to go to the gym. Make sure to set aside a little time to do exercise. Make a workout appointment with yourself and consider it to be of high priority. Then, just throw on your workout clothes. Don't work out in pajamas or slippers. You're more likely to put more effort into the workout if you're dressed properly. Also, make sure to tell your family that your workout time is important and that they shouldn't interrupt you.

Some ideas for working out at home include: videos (choose your favorite--yoga, Pilates or aerobics), sit-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, dancing and various strength-building exercises. If you are away from home, you can exercise at your relatives' home or in your hotel room. Finally, keep a journal of your achievements. This will help motivate you and is a good way to keep track of the goals you've reached, and if you're ready, to set new ones. 
 
In fact, your fitness goals during the holiday season can also include your family. On Christmas or New Year's Eve, for example, try to plan physical activity that's enjoyable for everyone such as taking a walk or competing in a race. This is an incentive for everyone to exercise regularly throughout the year to be in shape for the holiday athletic events. You can even entice your family with prizes for the first five winners. This could become a fun family tradition!

The holiday season can be a hectic time of year, full of stress for everyone because of all the shopping, parties, trips and guests--all of which can get in the way of your daily routine.  However, don't allow this to make you give up on your exercise routine. The best thing to do is to have everything planned out so that when something happens, you know how to handle it whether it be exercising at home, or just simply sneaking out to go for a quick walk when you have the time. Remember, it is OK to skip your exercise routine every once in awhile. Just be sure to concentrate on the goals that will help you maintain your current physical condition. Don't give up!

*Specialist in sports nutrition and physical activity at MyDiet™

 

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