12/14/12

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12 Days of Fitness: Happy and Healthy Holiday Habits

With just 12 days remaining until Christmas Day, you may be feeling a bit weary. If that extra latte and sugary treat are calling your name these days, don’t panic just yet. We recently had the opportunity to chat with Eli Sadeh, personal trainer at Garden of the Gods Club’s Sports Club, about how to cultivate habits that allow you to indulge this season without going overboard. Eli has more than 30 years of experience in personal training and sports-specific training, and he hopes to motivate individuals to embrace a lifestyle of fitness, nutrition, and health. We hope that these tips help you enjoy the rest of the holiday season with renewed energy and vigor.

Stay happy and healthy this season by balancing indulgence with healthy habits.

Stay happy this season by balancing seasonal indulgence with healthy habits.

1. Focus on maintaining (not losing!) weight during the holidays. Trying to lose weight during the holiday season can be like trying to push a boulder up a hill. For that reason, Eli suggests waiting until after the holiday season to begin a weight-loss program. “During the holidays, I counsel my clients to focus on maintaining their weight,” Eli said. “It’s important to regulate the amount of calories you take in versus how many you burn. With extra opportunities to snack in between meals, parties, and receptions, this can be a challenge,” he continued. “I recommend picking select days on which you know you’re probably going to overeat at a holiday gathering, and make it a priority to sneak in a little extra movement on those days.” It’s much easier to consume calories than it is to burn them. In fact, you must burn 3500 calories to lose just one pound of fat. So, aim to maintain your weight during the holidays, and it will be much easier to bounce back in the New Year.

2. Follow the 80/20 rule for eating. It would be silly to advise you to avoid all of the delicious treats that abound during this season. For that reason, Eli recommends eating strategically during the holidays by eating healthfully 80 percent of the time and indulging during the remaining 20 percent. “The bulk of your diet should consist of fruits, veggies, lean protein, and monounsaturated fats like those found in olive oil or avocados,” Eli explained. “If these staples are the foundation of your diet, indulging in a few holiday treats isn’t going to set you back,” he continued. “At parties, eat some fruits and veggies first, and then go back to grab desserts. It’s all about balance.”

3. Kick-start your metabolism. Revving up your metabolism during the holiday season will help your body better deal with extra calories when you do choose to indulge.  “To get your metabolism going, I recommend eating a pro-biotic yogurt such as Activia or a Greek yogurt with live, active cultures,” Eli said. “These active cultures help boost your metabolism and aid digestion,” he continued. “Also, aim to eat an adequate amount of protein, and minimize the amount of sugars in your diet that aren’t from fruit.”

4. Incorporate stress-busting movement. Most of us know that working out is a great way to relieve stress, but it can be difficult to fit workouts in during the holidays. To get the most for your time, Eli advises fitting in extra movement where you can, as well as combining strength training and cardio. “If you’re really pressed for time one day, try to fit in two 10-minute walks,” Eli said. “If you are meeting family or friends for dinner downtown, invite them on a brief stroll after dinner. Break up your movement throughout the day.” Whether you enjoy the group atmosphere of a fitness class or prefer to workout solo, fit in movement where you can.

We hope that you thoroughly enjoy the rest of the holiday season! Try adopting one or two of these habits to help you stay happy and healthy this season. Our Sports Club also offers a variety of group fitness classes, personal training, yoga, and Pilates to help you stay fit and healthy. To learn more, we invite you to contact Membership Director Tracey Kalata at 719.520.4980 or tkalata@ggclub.com.

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