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Easy Ways to Stay Fit Over The Holidays

FRONT-holidayweightgainBy Helen M. Ryan

The Holidays are busy times. Shopping for gifts, attending parties, and traveling to visit family can take priority over your own needs. With chestnuts roasting on an open fire and the smell of baked goods in the air, it’s easy to overlook the simple fact that skimping on exercise now will extract a hefty toll in the new year.

Check Resistance Off Your List

Everywhere we look we are bombarded with articles on avoiding holiday weight gain and how to indulge sensibly. It’s all relevant, practical and helpful information. But will you really follow the advice given? Probably not. Why? Because of your own mental resistance. Mental resistance is the number one obstacle in your way this season—not that plate of cookies. It’s simply easier not to work out. It’s simply easier to indulge. It’s simply easier to say, “I’ll wait until January.“ But why let your resistance win? In the end, you are the one that pays the ultimate price. Every year, a few pounds creep on. And every year, those same pounds are not lost.

The Ultimate Gift

While you may not be able to stop all the Holiday eating, you can still stick to your workouts. It may seem daunting and pointless to try to exercise now, but it’s really not. In addition to building muscle, burning fat and keeping your heart and joints healthy, exercise provides a very valuable benefit: Keeping you sane. And sanity, in and of itself, is the most priceless gift this time of year.

15 Minutes Can Save You

If you don’t have time to hit the gym, exercise at home, in your hotel room, or at your parents’ house. Use express workouts to get the most out of your limited time. 15 minutes is very doable and you will feel and look better for it. Think you don’t have time? Do it in front of the television. Or when you first get out of bed. Really. It’s very easy to fit in.

Squeeze in bits of exercise here and there, eat mostly well-balanced (70% healthy and 30% indulging will do nicely over the Holidays), and face this New Year with fewer resolutions.

Helen M. Ryan is a certified fitness pro, a freelance writer, and the author of “21 Days to Change Your Body (and Your Life),” available in paperback, on audio and Kindle. Visit her at