Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Sticking with your Routine through the Holidays

GettyImages-864508820 (1)The holidays are a busy time for everyone. Multiple family gatherings, end of the year projects, tons of shopping, yet somehow you have to find time to exercise. Consistency is key with almost everything in life if you want to continue to have motivation towards something important to you. Often times individuals find themselves taking one or two days off from something and those couple of days turn into a week or a month. Exercise is especially something that can be difficult to get back on track after a short break, so continuing your normal routine is vital.

Tips for Fitting it In:
  • Schedule it - add a time to your calendar and treat it like an appointment
  • Pack your bag the night before and set it by the door - take active steps to be prepared
  • Wake up and exercise - the day of an event, or function, start your day with exercise
  • Short bouts - if time doesn't allow, 10 minute bouts are better than none!

This time of year also brings about a lot of stress. Exercise is proven to reduce stress in various ways such as swimming, biking, running, lifting, yoga, and many more. Exercise has benefits in reducing feelings of anxiety, fatigue, anger, frustration, and even depression. Along with stress, this time of year also brings about depression and sadness for many. Continuing with a routine not only helps you stay on track even after the holidays, but can also be beneficial to help you get through them. Exercise helps provide structure during the day. If it is something individuals are used to, it is important to continue that during a long break from work. The Food Diary mentions that having a consistent routine helps individuals stay on track with proper meals, getting proper sleep and provides a “framework” for the day to keep you prioritized and on schedule.

Aside from the mental benefits, there are physical benefits to sticking with a routine with exercise. It does not take that many days off to lose everything you had been working for throughout the year. Endurance declines quickly when taking too many days off from exercise. Studies have shown that when a regular exercise routine is disrupted and an individual stops working out, the de-training process begins within a couple of weeks. In addition, it is a time of year where weight gain can quickly occur. Continuing with the same workout routine can help prevent this from occurring and allow you to better maintain your weight. If the exact same routine cannot be managed due to access to proper equipment, shorter maintenance workouts should still be followed so that exercise is not stopped all together.

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Topics: holidays fitness routine workout motivation staying active during the holidays

SMART and Healthy Eating During the Holidays

ThinkstockPhotos-125557141.jpgThe holidays are right around the corner, and the first thing that comes to mind is all that food! You don’t want to look like a Santa at the start of the New Year! Well, don’t feel guilty about consuming the goodies; just get smart! If you have an understanding of what it takes to properly fuel your body, specifically as you age, the healthy eating process doesn’t seem so daunting. Older adults have different needs, and there are some key nutrients that are really important to maintain.

Let’s get back to the word SMART. Here’s a simple way to eat healthy using this acronym for healthy eating during the holidays.

Servings

When you put food on your plate, divide that plate into four serving sections:

  • The first section is whole grains (wheat bread, brown rice, fortified whole-grain cereals).
  • The second section is protein (lean meats, eggs, fish, beans, cheese, tofu, peanut butter).
  • The third section is vegetables (fresh, frozen, dried, low-sugar canned).
  • The fourth section is fruits (fresh, frozen, dried, low-sugar canned).

This is true for every plate at every meal. Eliminate processed foods as much as possible. If you must open a package or can, be sure to check the ingredients. Examples of things to look for are words such as “whole” for grains and “low sugar” for canned fruits. Remember to also control salt intake and instead flavor your food with herbs and spices. Think of the holiday lights and create a colorful plate! The more color found in veggies and fruits, the more nutrients to fuel the body!

Maintain Important Nutrition 

Here is a list of the key nutrients (and examples of foods that provide them) an older adult needs:

  • Calcium and Vitamin D (leafy greens, cheese, milk, yogurt, seafood)
  • Vitamin B12 (lean meats, eggs ,fish)
  • Fiber (beans, cereals, fruits and vegetables)
  • Potassium (bananas, prune juice, mangos, pears)

The majority of these nutrients are found in the above foods. Supplements are also important to ensure that we obtain them, but the word is supplement, meaning “in addition to”; therefore, take supplements in addition to getting these nutrients through food.

Allow Some Fun Food

It’s fine to eat a slice of cake or have a cookie, but be mindful of how many. Remember to lower your intake of saturated fat and sugary treats that can lead to heart disease and unwanted pounds (and here are some healthful baking substitution tips). When you think of your plate, consider that 90% is the food that will provide your nutrients and 10% can be that “occasional” brownie or piece of pumpkin pie.

Reach for Water

Drink plenty of fluids! No, the holiday punch doesn’t count, so limit your alcohol intake. Drink water and realize that you can also obtain your fluids from juice, low-fat milk, and even soups.

Take the Time to Exercise

Physical activity is also important in maintaining a good digestive system, and the good fuel from food will be used to restore muscle and burn fat for weight loss.  Get your body moving after those holiday meals.

Be SMART this holiday season! Happy holiday eating!

Need help getting your eating habits on track?  Use NIFS Dietitian, Angie Mitchell to get your habit in line with personal nutrition coaching.  Click below for more information.

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Topics: exercise nutrition weight loss water fiber protein healthy eating holidays