The Art of Health: Don’t let holidays kill off workouts

Published: December 10, 2013, 12:30 pm

By Ginger Klein Special to The Gazette -

Making room for holiday festivities can interrupt regularly scheduled fitness routines. And there’s a fine line between being so rigid that you don’t enjoy the season and falling off the proverbial wagon of honoring your exercise routine.

How do you walk the line? Here are a few tips:

- First, have a plan. Look at the week and pinpoint the times and days that are the fullest or present the most challenging schedule and use the other days as opportunities to prepare. Put together a meal that can be refrigerated for your busy nights and pack a healthy lunch. Try to work out on different days if holiday obligations affect your normal exercise days.

- Next, change your thinking on fitness. Exercise is an effective way to clear your mind and, during the hectic holiday period, you can treat yourself to exercise rather than it being an obligation. Allowing yourself the freedom to reduce the rigor of the routine (simply a notch) might enable the workout to feel like a treat. After all, a less rigorous routine for a period is better than no routine. And once you get going, you might uncover the drive to do more than you anticipated.

- Lastly, keep an eye on your eating so as not to demoralize your good intentions. Drink water and eat a healthy snack before a holiday party so you’re not hungry when you arrive and so you don’t overindulge in items that are full of empty calories. Put veggies on your plate first; allow yourself treats but have smaller portions.

Thoughtful planning, healthy thinking and intentional party eating will help you greet the end of the year having enjoyed the festivities of the season and having stayed seated on your wagon.

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Klein is a first-degree black belt in taekwondo and practices at the U.S. Taekwondo Center. For more information, call 488-4321.