Keeping Fit During the Holidays

As soon as the holiday season approaches, many people forget they were ever trying to eat healthy or stay active because it’s just too tempting to eat all of the high-calorie foods, such as pumpkin pie and candied yams. However, all it takes is a little conscious effort to keep fit during the holidays.

According to an article written for U.S. News by Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., who is the chief science officer at the American Council on Exercise, there are eight secrets to staying fit during the holidays. 1. Keep moving. Stay active and don’t stay sitting for long period of times. 2. Have a plan and keep hydrated. Decide how much food you’re going to eat at the beginning of each day and drink water before meals to lower the amount of food you consume. 3. Exercise early and sleep. 4. Be creative and get rid of “all or nothing” mindsets. There are many ways to stay active during the holidays, so think of fun ways to prioritize your health, such as spending time on the slopes or simply taking a walk around your neighborhood. 5. Plan out your workouts. Keep a schedule and remember that even some exercise is better than none. 6. Remember it’s a single day. Enjoy the holidays and don’t overthink how much you’re eating because, in the long run, a single day isn’t going to heavily impact your eating habits for the entire year.

As teenagers, it might not seem like that big of a deal to eat whatever’s in front of us during the holiday season, but eating unhealthy now has an impact for the present and the future. For a lot of teens, what we eat doesn’t really seem to affect us, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that our metabolism is pretty high. Skyler Beard, a health teacher at Bingham and one of the assistant coaches for the Girls Basketball team, said when we keep the same eating habits as we get older, especially during the holidays, it can become even more unhealthy than it already is because we’re no longer as active as we used to be. That’s why it’s incredibly crucial to watch what we’re eating now during this food-oriented season. This doesn’t mean that you have to make your holiday favorites healthier, you simply have to watch how much you’re eating. “Eat until you’re satisfied, not until you’re full,” said Beard. It’s also important that you keep a plan for yourself. It’s okay to decide that on those major holidays coming up you’re going to eat what you want, but make sure you’re spending the time afterwards focused on getting your eating habits back on track.

What you eat is an important aspect to staying fit during the holidays, but so is getting enough physical exercise. Gym teacher and the Bingham Swim team head coach, Andee Bouwhuis, said that just being active can have a big impact. This includes running, biking, and going to the gym. Beard said an easy way to stay active throughout the season is by joining a sports team. With as busy as teens’ lives are, especially during the holidays, it might seem impossible to find time to fit in regular exercise too, but you just have to make it a priority and find time each day. “Consistency is key, so if  you can make it the same time every day, it’s a lot easier to hold to,” she said.

Staying fit during this busy and food-filled season is a lot easier said than done, but if you can set goals for yourself and keep track of your diet and exercise, it will make a huge impact. You’ll be creating these habits for the rest of your life.