Exercise Over the Holidays

The holidays are typically a busy time during which many people find it difficult to find the time to workout.  This article provides some advice on how to fit in some quick, modified workouts in order to stay active and guilt-free.  It is important to accept the fact that some days you will not be able to exercise for an extended period of time; however, something is better than nothing.  You may have to up the intensity of workouts and shorten the length in order to fit it into your busy schedule.  Another idea is to split up your routine throughout the day; perhaps performing short workouts in fifteen minute segments.  It may also help to wake up a little earlier in the mornings in order to get a workout done so that you have the rest of the day in order to finish shopping or wrapping gifts.


Combat Thanksgiving Weight Gain

As holiday season begins, we have high hopes for fun and family time, but also fear for our diets.  The initial binge of Thanksgiving dinner typically starts a downward spiral for our health routine over the holidays and ends with a New Year’s resolution to get back in shape.  This year try to switch up the routine by following a few simple suggestions in the link below.  Some suggestions include taking a brisk walk after dinner, helping to clean up after dinner, and eating every food you would like to try, but in small amounts, until you’re full.  Also, make a date with a friend in order to workout the following morning.  Having someone else planning to exercise with you will hold you accountable and the thought of working out in the morning may keep you from overeating too much.


Strength Matters

The article below includes tips for those people wishing to start a weight lifting regime in the gym.  Beyond cardio and dieting, weight lifting is essential in obtaining a healthy, fit physique.   Often times the body experiences a plateau when one attempts to lose weight and engages in only cardio as a means of weight loss.  Lifting is a great way to burn more calories and increase muscle tone.  It is important to start a lifting routine by using the proper amount of weight, correct form, and calculating the right amount of sets and reps in order to produce health/fitness/muscle gain results.  The link to the article provides tips and information on which machines to use in order to target certain muscle groups, as well as how to properly use those machines.


Reward Yourself

Once you have reached a fitness goal, it is important to reward yourself properly.  Unfortunately, rewarding yourself by eating a big slice of cheesecake after losing ten pounds is rather counter productive.  You do not want to get into the habit of making food a reinforcement for working out or eating healthy.  A habit like this is likely to ensure that unhealthy foods will still be a part of your lifestyle.  Instead, reward yourself in a healthier way by buying new clothing or doing something fun and exciting that you did not feel comfortable doing at a heavier weight, such as singing karaoke in front of a large group of people.  For some people, a new work out might even be rewarding, for example, going for a hike outside.  Rewarding yourself in ways that both avoid unhealthy foods and emphasize your new fit lifestyle are both rewarding, as well as reinforcing of your new lifestyle.


Maximize your Weekend Workouts

During the week, most people fit their daily workouts into a specific time slot, that works into a busy schedule.  On the weekends, this schedule is more flexible and allows for more time to spend in the gym.  It is a great idea to use this extra time in order to burn some extra calories, or explore new workout routines or classes that you don’t have time for during the week.  Since most people have more free time on the weekends, it is also a good idea to gather some friends in order to exercise or take a class together.  Another suggestion is to take your workout outside, maybe for a hike or a jog, where you don’t have to constantly check the clock for the time.  A long weekend workout is a great way to burn extra calories and give you that extra boost for a night out.


Make Dessert A Healthy Option

We all get the craving for something sweet every now and again, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely break our diet in order to satisfy this craving.  The article provided in the link includes 33 different ways to incorporate some healthier ideas into a sweet snack.  It is important to recognize and attend to the fact that sweet treats can in fact be healthy.  If we always associate a sweet tooth with unhealthy options, we are likely to always overindulge these cravings.  By simply starting to incorporate healthier foods, such as fruits, whole-grain, products, and Greek yogurt into sweet snacks, we are likely to create a habit of utilizing healthier options in order to satisfy our cravings.


Workouts to do with a Cold

The link provided gives the best and worst workout ideas for when you have a cold.  In general, light to moderate cardio workouts have the ability to relieve congestion and stress.  Exercises that are done in very public places, such as team sports or machine lifts, are best avoided when cold symptoms arise.  The transfer of germs is facilitated through sweat when working out and can easily cause others to catch a cold as well.  Extraneous exercises such as lifting and endurance running can increase stress and tension within the body, making symptoms worse.  Exercising with a cold may be beneficial and should not be avoided as long as workouts are kept light or moderate and do not over stress the body.