5 Tips to Stay Healthy and Fit This Holiday

The holidays are almost here. As the temperatures drop, sweaters and boots make their way out of the closet and reappear for another season. These added layers—and a lack of bathing suits glaring at you from store windows—can decrease the motivation to stay fit. It can be even more difficult when you've become reacquainted with the couch's cozy corner.

The average holiday weight gain ranges from 2 to 5 pounds. If you're like many Americans, the two main factors you struggle with when it comes to fitness are motivation and time. Here are some tips to prevent the holiday bulge, so you can indulge and still feel healthy, happy and fit when the New Year's Eve ball drops.

Make Time to Get Moving Every Day

Even Michelle Obama makes the time. Track her workout schedule on Women's Health Magazine. Exercise in the morning (Obama starts at 5:30 a.m.) and you don't have to worry about it later. This will also help your metabolism get a jump start on the day. You can even squeeze in quick, short workouts. Here are a few ways you can get motivated:

  • Watch your new favorite TV shows at the gym from the cardio machines, or find exercises to do in front of the TV at home.
  • Find a work buddy (or two or three) to power walk with.
  • Get a pedometer. Step challenges in the home and office are on the rise.

Support a Cause and Join a 5K, 10K or 15K

Every year, more and more folks are getting involved in winter running and walking races. Try racing with a group of your friends, co-workers or family members. Working toward a goal on a daily or weekly basis is a great way to maintain consistent workouts. Plus, there is the added benefit of raising money for charity. Find a local Holiday Run and sign up today.

Bring a Lower-Calorie Dish to the Party

This is one case in which you want to be "that guy or girl" at a party. Everyone will secretly (and not-so secretly) thank you. This will also ensure you'll be able to enjoy a dish at the party. Find and create new holiday recipes and try them out on your family. There are tons of low-calorie versions of your holiday favorites. Try some of these recipes:

Get a Personal Trainer

Work out with a personal trainer—even if it's just once a week. Having an external motivator can do wonders for your fitness. Don't wait until after the holidays, either. Having a personal trainer now will help keep you on track physically, but mentally too. This way you can enjoy your holiday indulgences guilt-free.


Winter is a time for holiday parties brimming with high-sugar cocktails and salty finger foods; not to mention high stress and a lack of sleep. Keeping up with your life, workouts, and social events is hard enough. Don't add dehydration headaches, muscle fatigue, and dizziness into the mix.

With these tips, you can stay healthy this holiday and start the new year off on a high note.

Jennifer Fong is a full-time instructor at the Rasmussen College - Aurora, Il college campus. In her role, she teaches general education to college students seeking exercise science degrees , along with business degrees , technology, education, justice studies, and other allied health educational paths.

Founded in 1900, Rasmussen College is a premier provider of online educational experiences, dedicated to the growth and development of its students, employees, and the communities it serves. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Rasmussen College offers Bachelor's and Associate's degrees in fields with the greatest occupation opportunities. To learn more about Rasmussen College, please visit www.Rasmussen.edu

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