Newswise — MAYWOOD, Ill. – Just because Santa’s belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly doesn’t mean yours has to do the same this holiday season. Staying on track with your fitness program, even while traveling, will give you extra energy and start you out right for a healthful new year.
“Whether you’re at home for the holidays or traveling, it is important to stay on your path to fitness during the holidays. Maintaining your workout routine will help you resist overindulging at holiday meals and parties,” said Kara Smith, fitness trainer and special programs coordinator at the Loyola Center for Fitness.
Here are a few helpful tips:
1. Pack healthy snacks such as trail mix, apples and oranges. This will not only save you calories, but money as well.
2. When packing, include a small Thera-Band® or resistance tubing so you can perform your favorite strength-training exercises when not at the gym.
3. Consider purchasing a new fitness DVD for your trip. It’s always fun to try something new.
4. Get the whole family involved in a fitness activity. A pick-up football game, family walk or building a snowman are all great ways to get in some exercise while enjoying holiday fun.
5. If staying at a hotel, check to see if it has a fitness center. If so, bring exercise clothes and take advantage of it.
6. If traveling by car, plan for frequent stops to walk and stretch. During the breaks make circles with your shoulders and wrists to encourage blood flow in your arms.
7. Eating a sensible meal before going to a holiday party will help you resist temptation.
8. Limit yourself to one trip to the buffet table and don’t overload your plate.
9. Decide ahead of time what specific foods mean the most to you during the holidays. Enjoy a small portion of those and skip the other high-calorie and fat-filled items.
10. Sit down to eat your meal at a party. Taking the time to sit down will help you recognize when you are starting to feel full.
11. Alcoholic beverages add calories and affect our decision making about eating healthy. Limit alcoholic beverages over the holidays and separate drinks with glasses of water.
“You can still enjoy the holidays without wrecking your fitness plan. The holidays are about spending time together. So enjoy the conversation and company and limit the cookies,” said Smith.
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About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago, founded in 1870, is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic university. Enrollment is nearly 16,000 students, which includes more than 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China and now features an academic center in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Loyola’s 10 schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, communication, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Loyola is consistently ranked among the “top national universities” by U.S.News & World Report, and the University is among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations, such as the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about Loyola, please visit LUC.edu. You can also follow the University on Twitter (@LoyolaChicago) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/LoyolaChicago).