Staying Healthy During the Holidays

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Soon, the office holiday parties will begin. Here are some tips are how to stay fit from Glenneth Reed

By Glenneth Reed

Holiday Fitness - YogaIt’s almost here. You know what I mean. The holiday season. It starts with Halloween, and ends New Year’s Day. In between are food opportunities galore. Two full months’ worth of temptations, parties, travels and more.

If you are trying to stay healthy, lose weight or even maintain your weight, the holiday season can be quite stressful—precisely why it is best to plan, plan, plan before the temptations occur.

First, you need to decide: Are you trying to lose weight, maintain or are you OK with gaining weight during the holidays? If you are trying to lose weight, make it realistic. On average, losing one to two pounds per week can be a realistic goal. During the holiday season, a half-pound per week may be a more reasonable one. Maybe you are just trying to maintain. Or maybe you know there are several special occasions where you will indulge, and a two-pound weight gain during this time period is acceptable. The key is knowing what works for you and what you can be happy with at the end of the season. Decide this before the holidays start.

Now grab your calendar, and let’s start planning for each holiday.

Trick or Treat

One Halloween idea is to buy candy to give out that you don’t like so that you aren’t tempted to eat it. Personally, I give myself permission to eat whatever Halloween candy I want—on Halloween only. Not the day before, not the day after: just Halloween.

If you work in a large office (or even a small one), people typically bring leftover candy to work. Make a pact to keep the candy out of the office this year. You could gather up all the leftover candy and donate it to a rescue mission, shelter, church, etc.

Gobble, Gobble

Many cities offer road races on Thanksgiving morning. This is a great way to fit in some exercise before indulging in your Turkey Day feast. On Thanksgiving, enjoy your favorite foods and pass up those you can have at any time of the year. Myself, I will be indulging in my mom’s sin pie. She makes it once a year, and I am already planning for it.

Christmas/Holiday Spirits

Offices, organizations, families and friends, for example, throw small to elaborate parties during the holiday season. Make a list of all the events that you have to attend or want to attend. Try to find out about the food situation before attending if possible. Then plan your actions for the event.

Understand that alcohol has lots of “empty” calories and can add up over one, two, three or more parties. Choose your drinks wisely, and have a glass of water in between. Maybe you choose not to indulge in alcohol at office/work related get-togethers, but relax more with family and friends.

Countdown to Midnight

New Year’s Eve is another celebration during which oftentimes multiple drinks are consumed. Again, drink wisely and don’t drive. Make sure to get some food in your stomach before you start drinking. Look for a New Year’s Day 5K in your area to start your year off on a healthy note.


Seasonal Suggestions

Some general health tips for the holiday season:


  • Don’t forget to exercise. Exercise will help you lose weight or maintain during the holidays. Because you are probably extra busy during this time of year, consider working out in the morning to allow yourself the afternoon/evenings for events.
  • Make sure your meals and snacks on party days are as healthy as possible.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Incorporate strength training or high-intensity interval training into your routine. Often these workouts take less time and are more effective.
  •  Sign up for a series of classes at a local gym to try something new. Block that time off your calendar.
  • Grab every 10-, 15- or 20-minute workout that you can. It all adds up.


Implement the above tips between New Year’s Day 2014 and Halloween, and you won’t have to worry so much about the next holiday season.


How do you plan to stay healthy during the holidays? 



photo1Glenneth Reed a certified Holistic Health Coach, blogs at Let’s Talk and Walk. She is 43 and trying to get healthy through walking, cycling, making healthier decisions and having fun. During the day she is an AdWords Specialist for an Internet marketing company.

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