Prevent holiday weight gain with healthy living tips from UAB – Alabama NewsCenter

The holiday season is a time with family, friends and fun, but it is also a time filled with lots of food and sweets.

Exercise and dieting can be hard to maintain during this time of year; but Payton Joyner, assistant director of Fitness and Well-being, and Katie Ellison, M.S., from the University of Alabama at Birminghams FitWell team with University Recreation, have some tips to help you stay healthy this holiday season.

Exercise

Finding the time to exercise can be tricky during this time of year especially if you are traveling. If you are away from home and do not have access to your local gym, Joyner suggests finding ways to get outside.

If you are out of town, search for local hiking trails or parks with access to fitness equipment; it can be a great way to get some exercise while also sightseeing, Joyner said. If youre around children, offer to take them to the park, and work on your push-ups and pull-ups on the playground.

Spending time outside could also help reduce some of the stress that can come with the holidays, even if you are just relaxing. A recent UAB study suggests that spending 20 minutes in an urban park makes people happier regardless of whether they are engaged in exercise during the visit.

If weather is preventing you from enjoying the outdoors, Joyner suggests turning to the internet to find workouts.

You can find a large variety of free flexibility, yoga and meditation videos online. Or, if that is not really your style of workout, hit up a circuit-style, bodyweight workout that focuses on higher reps and shorter breaks to keep your heart rate up, Joyner said.

Joyner suggests an eight-step workout to help you stay active if you are stuck indoors:

Complete as many repetitions of each exercise as you can within 20 to 30 seconds, Joyner said. Take 20 to 60 seconds to rest between exercises, or you can immediately move into the next exercise to make things harder. Complete this circuit two to fivetimes.

Joyner recommends including a warm-up of your choice to get your body ready before you begin and a cool-down to help your body ease back to resting.

Healthy eating

The holidays are filled with lots of treats, and for some it can be an overwhelming task to stay on a diet. Ellison has some suggestions to help you prepare for the holiday food.

Another way to be mindful during holiday meals is to substitute regular recipe ingredients and make dishes more nutritious. To do this, Ellison recommends:

The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, and with a few smart choices you can enjoy all of the traditions and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

This story originally appeared on the University of Alabama at Birminghams UAB News website.

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Prevent holiday weight gain with healthy living tips from UAB - Alabama NewsCenter

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