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60 Ways to Stay Fit and Healthy During the
Holiday Season
Part 2 of 2
By: Jackie Wright

We continue here with the remainder of the 60 ways you can stay fit and healthy this Holiday Season.

31) Egg nog contains 160-290 kcal (250 ml) without the alcohol. Add a shot of alcohol and that is approximately an additional 60 calories (i.e. 210-350kcal). Try enjoying half a serving this year.

32) Give leftovers from holiday meals to the homeless and others in need. They need the calories for survival and it will make you feel good in the process.

33) Concentrate on what you can do rather than what you cannot do regarding exercise during the holidays. If you simply cannot find the time for your regular exercise program, then always take the time for a short brisk walk for 20-30 minutes, perform pushups, abdominal/core exercises, squats, lunges and tricep dips. Performing two-three sets of 8-12 repetitions of each of these exercises will take approximately 15-30 minutes and at the very least, you will maintain some muscular strength and conditioning.

34) If you are thinking about making major changes in your life, such as quitting a smoking habit, do it now. Waiting until the first of the year is often not a successful strategy, so set yourself up for present and future success.

35) Encourage others to take the plunge and begin an exercise program with you. There is substantial evidence that working out with a friend or spouse/significant other helps you to adhere to the program.

36) Rather than food and wine, purchase fitness equipment as gifts for friends and relatives - such as resistive tubing, dumbbells, exercise balls of all shapes and sizes, foam rollers, and balance equipment. This type of fitness equipment is reasonably priced, easy to ship, store and use. Try Perform Better or Power Systems online or Healthstyles Exercise Equipment with six locations in the Denver area.

37) Purchase workout gear as gifts for friends and relatives. Check out their sizes first, but there are excellent fabrics available now that wick away the moisture from the body, hold the heat in when needed, and allow for ventilation when necessary. Athletic shoes are probably best tried on prior to purchase, but if someone you love knows exactly what shoes they want, that is another wonderful gift.

38) Even if you can afford to hire someone to decorate your home this year, try doing it yourself. You will burn additional calories particularly if you are putting up lights on the exterior of your home.

39) Attend holiday music festivals and productions that may help to keep your spirits high throughout the season.

40) Build a snowman with your children. You will burn calories, have fun and give them one of the most valuable gifts of all - your time.

41) After a big holiday meal, send most of the leftovers home with your guests. Whatever you keep, create low-calorie healthy meals that you can freeze such as broth-based soups and then you will have delicious, low calorie meals for several weeks. Check to make certain whatever leftovers you use will keep in the freezer and for how long.

42) Purchase a solid nutrition reference book, such as Prevention Magazine's Nutrition Advisor by Mark Bricklin. Although there are many Web sites dedicated to nutritional advice and science, it is always a good idea to have a desk reference and resource so you can make wise nutritional choices.

43) For every cookie, piece of candy, pie or cake you have this holiday season, if you are able, commit to walking a mile. If you know every time you indulge you are going to have to walk a mile, you might think twice about how many times you indulge.

44) If you are healthy enough to do so, shoveling snow is a great calorie burner. Just remember to keep your core muscles engaged, take frequent breaks to avoid undue fatigue, stay hydrated and dress warmly.

45) Create a fitness studio in your own home. You do not have to have expensive equipment. Purchase a step with risers, which can be used for cardio/step workouts and substitute as a weight lifting bench. Resistive tubing, stability balls, dumbbells, barbells, exercise mats, foam rollers, mini balls, and medicine balls are all relatively inexpensive fitness tools that do not take up much space. Make certain you receive instruction on how to utilize these tools from a certified, qualified instructor/trainer before use.

46) Go sledding with your children or friends. Climbing up and down the hill between each ride will burn calories, and it is free and fun.

47) Ask your physician if it is time to have a physical examination. Begin the new year knowing what your physical condition is and what, if any, modifications you need to make to your lifestyle to stay healthy or to help you get on the road to good health.

48) Get that "head edge" when you exercise by visualizing yourself succeeding. Climb every hill with passion and focus, imagining what waits for you at the top of that hill or across the finish line. Your performance will probably improve and improved performance will help you to achieve your desired fitness outcomes.

49) If you are able, walk your dog in the snow. Dress warmly, wear proper snow/ice-ready boots and move your body.

50) During football half-time shows rather than making a snack or another cocktail, take a brisk walk instead. You will feel invigorated and, if your team is not playing well, it will relieve some stress as well.

51) If you are able, choose a different snowy path to walk whenever possible during the holidays. Rather than walking the same distance and direction every day, mix it up and try a different terrain. Just make sure you are well prepared for the cold weather and challenging footing. Walk with a friend for safety.

52) When driving to a spot to walk, park far away from the beginning and ending of your walk to get in a few additional steps before getting back in the car.

53) When talking to your relatives on special holidays on the cell or portable phone, walk around rather than sitting if possible. Every step you take burns calories and it is the accumulation of those calories through the day that can make a huge difference in total weight loss throughout the season.

54) This one is a challenge - but just try putting away the remote controls, just for the holiday season and see if you are able to live without that convenience throughout the year. Again, every step you take counts.

55) Ask for a pedometer as a gift or give one. There are many inexpensive models that count the steps you take daily. This makes you more aware of your activity throughout the day.

56) Create a journal of the steps you take each day during the remainder of the holiday season. Once you get on your feet and really become accountable for your activity level, that level will most probably increase. It is feasible, for just about everyone, to literally take steps to becoming healthy and fit.

57) Create reasons to move each day before the new year. Walk the stairs, park farther from front door of the grocery store and particularly the health club or gym, leave items upstairs that you need and avoid sending the children to retrieve it for you. Once the new year is here, you will have already created new activity habits for yourself.

58) When you are sitting at the computer ordering gifts on-line, get up and walk around for a few minutes, stretch and then return to your gift-purchasing task.

59) Meditate. Take a few moments to reflect on each day during the season and refuse to let the stresses and anxiety take over. The one aspect of our lives that we have control over is our behavior. So, choose to relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us, during the season and throughout the year.

60) Play this holiday season. Enjoy all of the movement-oriented activities that we have at our doorstep and enter the new year, revived, renewed and ready to "move" into 2009.

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