Living Well – How to stay fit and motivated over the holidays

Columnist Wayne Little gives tips on how to avoid holiday minefields.

The holiday season is upon us and I get very stressed out during this time of year. Lucky for me, exercise is a great stress reliever. Staying fit and motivated is very difficult though. With family to visit you probably haven’t seen since last holiday season, all the tempting food that you know is not good for you, and I’ll admit sometimes the weather doesn’t co-operate like it does for us in the summer.

First, I’d like to give a little tip, Relax!! Have a good time! Yes, it is the holidays, enjoy yourself, visit the family, and go ahead, eat just one more piece of homemade fruitcake – my wife makes the best Christmas fruitcake ever!

Drink alcohol in moderation, try to drink a glass of water in between each rum and eggnog.

One way to keep from gaining too much weight is just to nibble throughout the day, instead of having one or even two gigantic portions at dinner time. Skipping the gravy dressings and high calorie condiments helps, they are loaded with saturated fat (the bad one). For heaven’s sakes don’t skip the dessert though, just say “no thank you” when offered seconds.

If your family members are anything like mine, a good workout to them is walking 10 metres from the back door to have a smoke instead is standing right at the door. So trying to get them join in on one of your workouts is out of the question. Try to get them to go for a walk, skating down at the rink, or if we have snow, maybe go tobogganing, you can burn a lot of calories running up the hill all while having a good laugh.

Another great tip is one I use while we are on vacation, simply wake up an hour or so earlier than everyone else to get your little run, or your usual exercise routine done. Think about what you are about eat for dinner while working out, that might push you a little harder to get your metabolism going.

And if what I’ve written doesn’t work for you, forget about it and have a great time, that’s why we invented New Year’s resolutions!!