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Surviving the Holidays the Healthy Way

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  • Robin Wert

Ah, the holiday season: parties, pies and pounds.

Little wonder the average American can pack on a few pounds during the holidays.

“This is a tricky time of year between busy schedules, stress and poor eating habits,” said Robin Wert, certified personal trainer and coordinator of athletic equipment operations at Franklin & Marshall College.

She offers these tips to help the College community get through the holidays and stay in shape.

  • Eat regular meals every day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a couple of snacks. Don’t skip meals to save room for later. Your body needs to receive calories at regular intervals. Plus, if you eat regular meals, you are less likely to overeat at parties.
  • Take along healthy snacks and a bottle of water when shopping to avoid the mall food court.
  • When at parties, consider filling that plate with lower-fat foods such as whole grain rolls, wild rice, shrimp, lobster and other seafood, plain or lightly dressed vegetables, salad greens and fresh fruit.
  • Enjoy those favorite holiday treats in moderation. It will not hurt you to have a small portion of a favorite dessert, especially if you are eating a balanced meal otherwise.
  • Many people forget to add in the calories from drinks. Some holiday favorites can be high in calories, like eggnog (So tasty, yet a cup can have as much as 350 calories). Moderation is key here, too.
  • Make time for exercise. Some people find it helpful to make an appointment to exercise. You are more likely to stick with it if you post it in Meeting Maker.
  • You can still maintain your overall health even if you cut back your exercise routine. Accept your limited availability and reduce the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. Go back to your normal schedule after the holidays.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the office or the mall.
    For campus wellness activities, other ideas and sample exercise routines you can do at home, check out the F&M Wellness Web site.