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Published on November 20, 2013

5 Exercise Tips to Hold Off
Holiday Weight Gain

Winter runShorter daylight hours and busy schedules often cause us to skip exercise and put on some extra weight during the holidays. Maintaining a consistent exercise routine can help, allowing you to enjoy your holiday meals and still face the scale with pride. Try incorporating these easy fall exercise tips into your weekly routine to jump start a healthy new year!

Experience Nature

The colors of fall and crisp leaves underfoot can be a treat for the senses. Enjoy the season by walking, running, cycling, canoeing or kayaking outdoors.  Also, try raking leaves. It’s a great calorie burner!

Wear Layers

When exercising outside, body temperature, sweat and weather are bound to change; the best way to combat these changes is by layering your clothing. The first layer should wick sweat, special clothing often called “Dri-Fit.”  The second layer is for warmth, which you should plan on removing — try a jacket with a zipper rather than a pullover. The third layer should be weather-resistant, such as a windbreaker or rain jacket.

Exercise Early

Returning home from work in the dark may encourage sleep more than exercise, and it is often easier to avoid a workout when it’s the last thing on your schedule. Try exercising in the morning so it is done early, leaving nothing to dread the rest of your day.

Use Reflective Gear

A great way to enjoy the weather is to exercise outdoors, but it is important to stay safe in the dark, especially around vehicles. Reflective vests or tape that can be added to clothing will help alert drivers to you. When walking, carry a flash light, and when cycling, fasten a light to your helmet or bike.

Try Active TV Watching

Instead of choosing between your favorite show and exercise, combine them! Watch while walking or jogging in place or on the treadmill. You can also use commercial breaks to do lunges, sit-ups, push-ups or whatever else you are comfortable with in front of the TV.

As always, it is a good idea to consult your health care provider with any concerns or questions when starting a new exercise routine. Consistent exercise, healthful eating, and regular check-ups with your provider will help you feel your best over the holidays and into the New Year. To find a provider, we welcome you to contact us at (319) 369-4444. Have a happy, healthy holiday season from MercyCare Community Physicians!

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