How to Have a Healthy Holiday Season

The holiday’s come and our fitness takes a hit. It happens every year: studies have shown that most adults gain weight over the holiday season and you’re likely amongst those counted. With a little mindfulness and three easy-to-follow hacks, this season will be different. 

For most, the holidays are a time to indulge. Glutinous food is abound and it’s hard to show restraint.  Did you know that the average holiday meal ranges from 3500 to 4500 calories! That’s almost three to four times the calories needed for one day! In fact, 3500 calories is equal to one pound of fat! One of the most effective ways to balance your fitness goals and ensure you stay on track when it comes to eating is snacking healthily before you head to one of likely many events scheduled over the season. The method is simple but highly effective, and one that can be used throughout the year. Focus on healthy fats and lean sources of protein, as these will help to slow digestion and the absorption of alcohol.

With holiday celebrations also come larger than normal amounts of alcohol. It’s important to remain balanced, so rather than depriving yourself altogether, be smart with your alcohol intake.  This is a question I get all the time: Which alcohol is the healthiest??  The best way to go is to mix with water (sparkling or flat). Not only does it dilute the alcohol content to keep you going at a steadier pace, but it helps to level out the dehydration caused by your drink. Club soda is definitely better than carbonated fake juices—even better, try coconut water a wonderful hydrating mixer to keep you going through the night.  Loaded with health benefits, this hydrating drink is additive-free, and will replenish your electrolyte levels to help you wake up happier the next morning.

Staying active will give you energy, reduce stress, tension and, of course, help subsidize some of the extra calories you may be eating. Travel allows for plenty of cardio options!  When you’re not in your regular routine you can add high-intensity interval training, which burns the maximum calories in the minimum amount of time, can be a blessing over the holidays. Set an exercise bike, treadmill or step machine for the interval program option, where periods of working out at high speed are interspersed with slower recovery intervals. If you don't have access to such machines, try sprints,  skipping, and burpees to name a few, alternating bursts of quick activity with a slower pace.  Lastly remember balance and moderation are key building blocks of a healthy lifestyle during the holidays and throughout the year.  

Devon Collins
Strength & Conditioning Specialist


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