House Call: Holiday Fitness – Beat the Weight Gain!
The holiday season is usually filled with many festive gatherings that often involve plenty of tempting foods and beverages — especially the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
To help avoid the weight gain many individuals experience over the holiday season, it’s important to pair dietary moderation with a fitness plan. If traveling out of town for the holidays, prepare yourself to be active by packing exercise clothing.
More: PDF: Holiday Health Tips
Be realistic with your plan, and try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into each day. When it comes to exercise, every little bit counts. Because holiday schedules tend to get hectic, it is often helpful to break up your work-outs into increments throughout the day. For instance, you can plan to walk briskly for ten to fifteen minutes after each meal.
The cold weather that often arrives with the holiday season may make some people hesitant to exercise outdoors. There are many exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home, which require a minimal amount of space.
The best way to jump-start your heart rate is to involve the largest muscles in your body—your quadriceps, in the upper thigh area. Squats and lunges are great exercises to work the quadriceps muscles and increase your heart rate.
Maintaining a fitness routine is not just important during the holiday season; it’s imperative in gaining overall well-being. Cone Health understands the importance of proper diet and exercise, and is dedicated to educating the community about healthy lifestyle choices.
Sarah Perko, RN, is the Cone Health Wellness Nurse at the Spears Family YMCA. Cone Health and the Spears Family YMCA launched this partnership in June 2012, designed to improve the health of “Y” members. Sarah provides a variety of services, including health assessments, counseling, blood pressure monitoring, laboratory screening events, glucose and cholesterol checks, and wellness programs, such as the new ‘Why Not Get Fit’ program beginning this season. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from East Carolina University in 1997. She earned a Master of Healthcare Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002, and was awarded an Administrative Fellowship at New Hanover Regional Hospital in Wilmington.