TWU offers exercise tips for a healthy holiday season
DENTON — Experts at the Texas Woman’s University Institute for Women’s Health say there are ways to enjoy the holidays without disrupting your exercise routine.
“The holidays are a busy and stressful time for many people. Sticking to your exercise routine will give you a needed break from the ‘to do’ list and is an excellent way to relieve stress,” said Carolyn Rogan, coordinator for the Exercise and Sports Nutrition Clinic at the TWU Institute for Women’s Health.
Ms. Rogan says you should be flexible when your days get busy.
“If an office party will interfere with your usual trip to the gym after work, then get up early and work out before you go to work that day,” she said. “Or try a brisk walk during your lunch break on that particular day.”
She also advises that you mix up your routine to avoid boredom.
“If you normally walk or run four days a week, try a cardio class one day, swimming another day, and weight lifting one day. The variety may have you looking forward to your workouts,” she said.
Ms. Rogan says the holidays are an opportunity to increase your time management skills. Organizing your day and prioritizing your tasks will help you find the time to exercise. Make it a priority to fit in three exercise sessions each week.
She also has the following recommendations:
• Get double duty from your shopping by power walking. Wear your walking shoes when you go to the mall and put in a few laps before you make your first stop at a store. Keep your packages in a backpack so your arms are free to pump as you walk. The extra load from the backpack will help you burn more calories.
• Combine family time with fitness. Take a walk with the kids and/or dog. They need the exercise as much as you do. Rake the leaves together, make a pile, and everyone jumps in. Then rake them up again.
• Don’t fight the parking. Plan to park your car in the back of the parking lot when shopping. You won’t find a close spot up front anyway. This way you don’t waste time looking for a close parking space, and the extra walk across the lot will do you good.
• Try a workout routine at home. If you feel like it’s too cold or too dark to be outside, exercise at home. Put in an exercise DVD or tune into one of the fitness channel classes. Better yet, turn up the stereo and dance for a great workout.
• Give yourself a little slack during the holidays. After all, it's a time to have fun and be with family and friends. If you have a rigid attitude toward your diet and exercise, you may end up just giving up because you've set the standard too high.
• Get back in the game. If you do fall off the exercise wagon, there's no reason not to climb back aboard once your post-holiday routine is established. You'll find your stride again before you know it.
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page updated 3/3/2015 2:11 PM