5 Ways to Start the Holiday Season Healthy


-By Caila Ball-Dionne

Shorter days. Food-filled gatherings. Packed social schedules. So much turkey! These and many more fun factors work against weight loss and weight maintenance over the holidays.

Before saying, “bah humbug” to the whole season, though, get in one last 2014 fitness push with these five ways to stay healthy over the holidays.

1. Schedule a Morning Class

As the days get shorter, pre- and post-work darkness are massive fitness motivation killers. Avoid the darkness slump by signing up for a morning fitness class the night before. The cancellation window has closed by the time the alarm sounds, which takes the snooze button out of the equation. Your reward for early rising? A 45-minute spin class burns around 600 calories!

Holiday food negated: 4 slices of roasted turkey, a cup of bread stuffing and a biscuit

2. Sign up for a Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell Run

Guarantee to fit jogging into your busy schedule by signing up for a 5K race. Chances are there is a Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell Run nearby just waiting for your registration. Running and cardio training will incinerate those eggnog calories, and the 5K race itself will burn 300-400 calories.

Holiday food negated: 3 slices of baked ham

3. Walk More

Bundle up and start walking! Commit to walking anywhere you need to go within a one-mile radius (or more!) until New Year’s. There is no better time to start this healthy habit, which will burn up to 150 calories for every 20 minute brisk walking session! 

Holiday food negated: 1 square of cornbread

4. Be a Social Butterfly

Yes, that couch looks awfully tempting after a long day, but resist the urge to sit at this season’s social gatherings. Instead, burn 130 calories every hour that you spend standing and mingling at the holiday party. As an added bonus, you won’t find yourself mindlessly snacking from the plate of appetizers on the coffee table!

Holiday food negated: a 6 oz. pour of wine

5. Resolve to Start Early

Why wait until January to start your New Year’s resolutions? Sure the year isn’t quite new yet, but don’t let that little technicality get in the way of starting your resolutions now! Set your fitness goals by December 1st, and get in a full month of healthy living in before the January rush on fitness studios.

Holiday food negated: that’s up to you!

How are you going to stay in shape this season? Sign up for a class now!

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  • I definitely agree with number 3. Walking, even if it's just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, definitely makes a huge difference. I live in NYC and am use to walking a lot, but where I grew up is very car-orientated and suburban. I feel so much better physically now that I can walk around instead of driving everywhere. Humans are meant to be active!

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