The holiday season brings with it desserts, fun drinks, new recipes to try, and yes, the pounds that go with that extra food!  There are things you can do during the holidays that will help keep those pounds gained to a minimum, and leave you feeling satisfied and proud that you stayed on track!  Originally posted by Lehigh Valley Health Network, this article is a must-read to stave off the ‘holiday ten’!

It is crucial not to let your fitness routine slide during the holidays.  Granted, no amount of exercise will compensate for overeating—and it doesn’t take much.  Just 175 extra calories a day (about half a pie slice) can add one pound in three weeks.  Fortunately, with enough exercise, you can enjoy a slice of that tasty torte.

“Most people only exercise once or twice a week in the winter,” says family medicine physician Suzanne Widmer, D.O., of Lehigh Valley Health Network.  “If you bump it up with more aerobic exercise to boost your heart rate, you probably can take in a few extra calories.”

To maintain your weight, she advises exercising for 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.  To lose weight, go for 30-60 minutes most days.  If you’re eating extra, exercise even longer and harder.  Health network exercise physiologist Erin Bloodworth recommends scheduling regular fitness time into your day.  Some creative ways to do this during the holidays:

Squeeze it into another activity—Hop on the treadmill while the turkey roasts, power-walk at the mall before shopping, lift weights while watching football.

Incorporate it into family time—Take the gang out skating or sledding.  Walk, don’t drive, to admire neighborhood holiday lights.

Break it up—Exercising in 10- or 15-minute segments throughout the day works just as well as one longer workout.

Make chores more strenuous—Carry shopping bags instead of using a cart.  Put on music and dance while you clean.

These tips to keep off the weight during the holidays are easy additions to anyone’s day and can be fun and rewarding!  What tips do you have to maintain your figure this season?

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