Healthy Matters: Staying in shape during the holidays

Healthy Matters: Staying in shape during the holidays

by Randy Behr
Stripes Okinawa

Ok, holidays are approaching very soon and many of us are probably panicking because all of the holiday parties that we have been invited to and in some cases must attend, to include the in-laws.

Here are several practical guidelines and strategies to navigate through the holidays and maintain a healthy lifestyle for you and your family!

These suggestions will certainly allow one to get a head start before the New Year resolutions role in.

  1. Be aware of holiday engagements, meaning put them on your calendar.  Don’t let them surprise or sneak up on you.  Be prepared and have a plan otherwise keeping your goals will be difficult.
  2. Don’t go to a holiday event on an empty stomach and starved!  This is a recipe, no pun intended for failure as you will eat whatever you can get your hands on to include 3 desert helpings along with other not so great choices.   Research has clearly shown the body ‘craves’ sugar when it is hungry.
  3. If you eat an average sized meal prior to attending you will not be tempted as easily to make poor choices in terms of food choices.  You will be more inclined to ‘snack’ on better choices or even if you decide to “splurge” it will not be as bad as if you were starved.
  4. Get any type of workout earlier in the day for a variety of reasons; first, you will not feel guilty and have remorse while you are at the event. Otherwise, most of us will probably allow it to effect the rest of the day.  Second, the workout will increase your metabolism for the remainder of the day.  Also, depending upon what type of activity one did possibly much longer, which is burning calories at rest.  Lastly, you will show up to the event having already burned calories allowing for more total calorie expenditure.
  5. If possible, attend events/parties in the afternoon rather than the evenings.  This will allow one to burn more calories off during the day, vice going home and going straight to bed!
  6. After eating go for a walk around the house or block with your spouse or family members or even the back yard throwing the baseball or baseball with the children if the weather permits.
  7. Adjust meals accordingly. If the event is early in the day don’t eat as heavily in the evening after the event.  Conversely, if you eat in the evening don’t gluttonize yourself early in the day.
  8. Drink 1-2 glasses of water prior to eating as this will give your stomach the impression it is full.

I hope you enjoyed these easily implemented tips and remember to plan and make reasonable choices!  Lastly, don’t be so hard on yourself during the holidays as they are times to enjoy good food and family.

Randy has 25 years of leadership, programming and directing experience in the sports, training, youth, recreation, coaching, education, fitness, health and wellness industry in vast positions with organizations such as; NJCAA, NCAA, USA Track and Field, Arena Football League II, Olympic Training Center, California Football Association, YMCA and the Department of Defense-FMWR as a “Subject Matter Expert.”   Randy prides himself on keeping up to date on ‘cutting edge’ and relevant pertinent information.

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