The holidays are a great time to get together with family and friends, enjoy a lot of food, and for many… watch football. The downside of all this holiday fun is that we tend to move less and eat more. The good news is there are definitely some things you can do to help lessen the blow from this potentially fat gaining time.
1) Try NOT to arrive at your holiday gathering hungry. Having a sensible meal or snack an hour or two before hand will help you maintain better control when it comes to making quantity and quality choices for the big meal. You'll still be able to enjoy the food, but in moderation.
2) Log your food on the days leading up to the holiday and the days following. If you are logging in the days before and after, you should have a better understanding of what your portion size should be.
3) Use a devise to track your calories expended, such as a Bodybugg. That will help you to know how much exercise to perform to counter-balance the calories you consumed.
4) Burn some calories! Ideally, the best place to do this would be at the gym. (All 24-Hour Fitness locations are open to the public for Thanksgiving weekend. So, check them out!) But below is a workout you can do if you’re home and watching TV (maybe that football game)!
Make sure to consult with your doctor if there is any medical reason preventing you from performing any physical exercises.
First, do some cardio until the commercial break. It can be walking on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, using a stair climber, rower, eliptical, jump rope, etc..
Try to be at about 40 to 60% of your target heart rate while doing the cardio portion of the workout. Imagine the hardest exercise you've done and how you felt during that time- perform at about half of that intensity while doing your cardio exercise.
For the commercial breaks:
Perform exercises to work on strength endurance. Do as many as you can until the commercial break is over. When the next commercial break occurs, then try the next exercise. Keep track of the repetitions by writing them down. Perform a different exercise for every commercial break in order to achieve a circuit style workout.
Some example exercises include:
1. Push ups - If you're unable to do a standard push up, try having your hands on a countertop, back of a sofa, or something to elevate your upper body to take away some of the overall resistance.
2. Prisoner squats - This is a squat using only your body weight. Place your hands either behind your head or on your sides. Make sure to draw-in your stomach during the exercise so your body is supported effectively. Your feet should be shoulder-length apart and facing straight, like being on skis. Be sure not to let your knees go beyond your toes while performing the squat. This can add too much strain on your knees.
3. Prone cobras - You can do this on the floor, or try an advanced version with a stability ball. Be face down with your arms extended over your head. Bring your arms back above your hips while raising your head and chest. Be sure to tuck in your chin while raising up.
4. Crunches - This can be done on either the floor or stability ball. Make sure to draw-in your stomach during the exercise. Keep your hands crossed over your chest, and raise your shoulder blades up.
5. Step Ups - Using either a step or plyo box, step up with one leg, and balance with the other. Alternate legs throughout the exercise.
6. Planks - Face down, hold your body up by your elbows and toes. Draw-in your stomach and see how long you’re able to hold on.
This workout can be done throughout the Thanksgiving weekend, or anytime the TV is on.
Just remember: the idea is to eat less and move more. Try and think of other ways in your daily routine that you can incorporate moving more. Have Fun!