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Happy and Healthy

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Just when we get back into our fitness routine and find some sort of regularity in our family schedule after the hazy, lazy days of summer, we’re greeted with the holiday season and all it brings—good and bad. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays. But it is an exhausting time of year. Sometimes we even give up our fitness routine—our “me” time, the precious hour we devote to ourselves every day. We replace it with decorating, cooking, prepping for holiday parties, shopping, wrapping gifts—you get the drift. On top of that, we sleep less and graze on delicious holiday delectables. So, by the end of December, we’ve put on the dreaded extra pounds. 

Here are a few ways to avoid the usual bloat, lack of sleep and exhaustion:

Plan ahead. Sounds simple, right? But most often, we bounce from one holiday commitment to another like a ball in a pinball machine, instead of organizing things ahead of time—like right now.

Intensify your workouts. October is the month to hit the gym more frequently, strength train a little harder, and go for more challenging cardio routines. Get ahead of the game before the holidays derail your fitness regimen.

Dump the junk food and sweets. The holidays bring such wonderful treats that are once-a-year delights, so save those extra calories for next month. And remember to ditch the Halloween candy—don’t keep it around to tempt you. Donate it to a nursing home, or just throw it out.

Get some sleep. This is critical, especially during the holidays. Too little sleep can cause weight gain, as many of us overeat trying to keep energy levels up.

Take time to enjoy. Being with family and friends—even if you gain a few pounds—is so much more important than shying away from holiday festivities. While the men watch football, plan a group walk after a big dinner. You can catch up on family news—and burn some calories, too. 

Next month, I’ll let you in on a few more secrets to keeping fit and happy during the holidays.  

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