I’m not the fitness grinch

Here we are, Christmas time once again. It’s that time a year we engage in a social marathon of Christmas parties, dinners, functions and family gatherings. They say the average person will gain approximately 5 lbs over the four week Christmas season. If this concerns you read on, I created a short Christmas fitness survival list for you.

1) Deep breaths and relax – With inconsistent sleep hours, hydration, and increased or unusual food intake your weight will fluctuate. Understand that it’s almost physiologically impossible to gain pounds of fat in just a few days; much of the fluctuation that occurs is simply a change in intercellular volume, something that will take care of itself once normal habits return.

2) Don’t be on the naughty list – New Year’s is coming, the clean state, start fresh, oodles of motivation time. Don’t wait until New Year’s to start exercising, start now. Even with unstable nutritional habits regular exercise on a consistent basis, now and through Christmas, will minimize holiday weight gain. Set your body up for immediate change in the New Year, and psychologically ensure you don’t become a dreaded statistic for an abandoned resolution.

3) Frequency is always important – If you’ve been eating five to six times per day up until now, try to maintain that, and if you haven’t try to start. What most of us have a hard time realizing is that our stomach is an amazing calorie burner, every time you put something in it uses a lot of energy to break it down. By eating small meals frequently you can burn additional calories and minimize the impact of the holiday additives.

4) Drink, drink, drink – Sorry I mean water. If I could only ensure everyone learned one thing about how to look and feel better it would be consume more water. We require much more than eight glasses per day in to offset the physiological demands of a drastically changing climate, increased amounts of stress, altered sleep habits and of course the possibility of holiday spirits. Increased water intake is a keystone catalyst of controlling how you look and feel a good target for each day is half your bodyweight in ounces.

5) Speaking of spirits – I’m sorry but it’s the truth, there are few things worse for you metabolically than alcohol. As little as one ounce will drastically reduce metabolic function for up to 72 hours, the more alcohol consume the longer your metabolism is disrupted and the more suppressed its function. Be a socialite but try to pick your functions and minimize consumption, I hate being the bearer of bad news but you will thank me later.

These few tips should help you avoid the holiday weight gain woes but in all seriousness please don’t worry about fitness and weight gain too much at all through the holiday season. This is a time for friends, family, celebration and reinforcing the relationships that matter most. Take this time to enjoy what really matters. Have a Merry Christmas and know that when celebrations settle and normal habits return, the scale will begin to drop and you’ll only be left with the memories of the happy moments shared with others. If for some reason that’s not the case than at least you know a good trainer to help you out, happy holidays from our family to yours.

Cabel McElderry is the director of One-to-1 Fitness in Red Deer. He can be reached at 403-341-4041. Also check out www.personaltrainingreddeer.com for more information.

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