Surefire Strategies to Stay Fit From Thanksgiving to New Years

Surefire Strategies to Stay Fit From Thanksgiving to New Years

Between pies and more pies, it can be pretty tough to stay active during the holiday season. A cornucopia of family obligations, work parties, and last-minute shopping means that hitting the gym often gets delayed or crossed off the schedule altogether. Not this year! There are 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, so be determined to make the most of them. Here are some smart strategies, tips, tricks, and motivational techniques to make fitness part of the celebration all holiday season long:

1. Get out there
Snuggling under the blankets with a mug of hot chocolate is fine and dandy, but it probably won’t help you out in the fitness department. Instead of baking cookies or playing board games, pass the time with an active pursuit like snowboarding, hiking, or even building snowmen (if it snows, of course)..

2. Make it official
Sign up for a race, competition, or fitness-y vacation like a hiking or bike trip in January or February so you have a good reason (and plenty of motivation) to stay in shape over the holidays.

3. Find a workout buddy
Rolling out of bed for a 6am gym sesh is much harder to skip when you’re one half of a dynamic workout duo. Enlist a fitness-minded friend or family member (especially if you’re traveling) to be your holiday exercise buddy. Encourage each other to lace up the sneakers for pre-dinner workouts and post-shopping trip runs.

4. Treat yourself
No, not to that extra slice of pumpkin pie. If it’s within your budget, indulge in new workout clothing or fitness equipment before Thanksgiving to boost motivation throughout the holiday season.

5. Include everyone
Working out can often be a solitary activity, which may explain why many people skip the gym when friends and family are in town. Make it a group activity by inviting visitors to join you at the gym or a favorite exercise class.

6. Find a promotion
Many gyms and exercise studios offer deals and specials during the holidays. Do some snooping and sign up if you find a sweet deal. If you’ve recently joined a gym, take advantage of a free consultation with a personal trainer (most fitness facilities offer this perk) to learn some new moves.

7. Act like a kid
Childhood winter favorites like sledding, snowball fights, and ice-skating get the heart pumping. Head outside for a sneaky (and super fun) workout.

8. Be a mall rat
With a mile-long to-do list before the big holiday get-together, there’s just no time for exercise, right? Wrong-o: Simply lace up your sneakers and powerwalk between errands. (This is especially doable at a mall or shopping center.)

9. Do some DIYardwork
Whether it’s raking leaves or shoveling snow, yard work is an unexpected way to get the heart rate up and work out major muscle groups.

10. Watch TV
Yep, sometimes hanging out in front of the tube can be good for you. If the weather outside is truly frightful, pop in a workout DVD (or for a cheaper version, pull up a YouTube fitness video) and get sweaty. Or, use TV time to work on mobility and recovery by foam rolling, icing, or stretching out with straps.

11. Work towards a goal
Set a specific, tangible goal to accomplish during the holiday season. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is the perfect amount of time to really nail that push-up form, learn to do Crow pose, or master an 8-minute mile.

Whats the secret ingredient to your winter work out routine?

Adapted from Greatist
5 Reasons Why Summer Is Good For Your Heart

5 Reasons Why Summer Is Good For Your Heart

The lazy, hazy days of summer are good for your heart — but not because we tend to be lazier or hazier. Quite the opposite. Seasonal changes bring changes to our lifestyles, and summer just happens to be the season where we live a bit healthier. Here are 5 reasons why summer is especially good for aging hearts.

The Vitamin D we get from the sun improves our cholesterol.

A study from Brazil found last year that our “bad” cholesterol levels, known as LDL, trend about 8 percent higher in the winter than the summer and our “good” cholesterol, called HDL, tends to increase by about 5 percent. Seasonal cholesterol changes vary in parts of the United States and Europe where there are more dramatic seasonal weather changes (read: Californians may be on to something here.)

Here’s why: Continue reading

7 Simple Ways to Get In More Exercise

exerciseYou probably already know that physical activity is key to good health, but are you actually integrating movement into your daily routine?

Today you’re going to learn seven simple ways to get in more exercise – none of which involve a fancy gym, a trainer breathing down your neck, or heavy-duty weights.

One of the biggest pitfalls related to exercise is feeling like you need to commit to an intense two-hour routine. When you fail to do this, you do nothing instead of moving your body for even five minutes.

Continue reading