Eating and the holiday season are perfect companions; gluttonous eating and button-popping shirts — not to mention loosened belts. With food as a centerpiece for most holiday celebrations, smart, healthy choices might not be at the top of the list, but they should be. Unfortunately, healthy eating isn't something to put on hold and restart when convenient.
Eat Too Much Turkey? Time to Work it Off
Eating too much turkey and other food during the holidays is a common problem for healthy people. And unhealthy food is everywhere! It might feel overwhelming to cook, and a lot easier to order take-out from the nearest fast-food restaurant. However, even fast-food restaurants have "healthier" choices. Knowing about healthy choices helps you make healthy decisions about available food options (like snack cookies that help curb appetite by providing essential nutrients and protein).
Of course, holiday overeating is the perfect excuse to get extra workouts into the schedule that help get the metabolism rate centered for optimal digestion and protein absorption. Eating healthy foods before and after workouts can increase metabolism, which burns more calories — metabolic reactions of catabolism and anabolism increase during and after workouts.
Simple Workouts to Help Stay Fit
The truth is expensive exercise equipment looks cool when advertised but doesn't guarantee a good workout. Basic exercises everyone knows, or can quickly learn, are more than enough for simple workout routines. The point is to get those muscles working so they burn the extra calories more efficiently, especially during the holidays when many of us forget our diets.
- Take a walk. Even a short slow-paced walk helps get digestion going so that metabolic functions work efficiently. However, add about thirty minutes of walking fast into the walk, which burns extra calories. In addition, brisk walking boosts your cardiovascular system.
- Sit Ups. This basic exercise works the abdominal muscles. There are several variations of sit-ups that develop specific muscle groups within the body's core. Sit-ups build core body strength and are needed for endurance and going into the catabolic state. In addition, they burn more calories than other exercises because several muscle groups get worked out simultaneously.
- Squats. As an exercise, squats are similar to sit-ups in that they work multiple core body muscles at once, heightening the calorie burn rate. But squats do more than burn calories. They keep the musculoskeletal system working so that other body functions and systems work as they should. Several types of squats work specific muscle groups, all of which get the metabolism going.
- Jumping Jacks. Whereas sit-ups and squats help increase core body strength, jumping jacks get the heart and lungs involved. Jumping jacks mix resistance work with aerobic exercise. The heart and lungs need training like other muscles, making jumping jacks an ideal calorie-burning activity.