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Peak Physical Therapy
Helping you every step of the way


The holiday season is here again. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, your calendar is probably already filling up with social gatherings at work, with friends, family, church or other community groups…the list goes on and on.

Even though you are busy, the holiday season is not the time to forget your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Here are a few tips from Peak Physical Therapy to help ensure you have a healthy holiday season.

  • Eat in moderation. The average person generally gains about a pound during the holiday season—from the end of November through New Year’s Day. Although this may seem like no big deal, this “holiday weight” is difficult to shed and is probably a major contributor to middle age weight gain.  Although there is a lot of temptation to indulge during this period, try to avoid overeating and choose healthier food options. One trick at buffet-style meals is to fill up on salads and veggies first, leaving less room for fattening meats and high-carbohydrate side dishes. Try eating on small salad or dessert sized plates so you will be apt to eat less. Also, have miniature servings of desserts rather than the usual oversized servings.
  • Stick to your regular exercise schedule, aiming to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, three times a week. According to Dr. Steven Fleck, an Olympic sports physiologist, “Continuing an exercise program, even if it is a moderate one, is a lot easier than having to start all over.” So instead of breaking your routine, look for other ways to incorporate exercise into your holiday plans and chores. For example, while you are doing your holiday shopping, do not look for a parking space near the mall entrance; instead use this as an opportunity to add a brisk walk to your day. You could also take the stairs or climb the escalator to add more of a workout. If your holiday plans include travel, check to see if your gym has a location in the town you will be in or book a hotel with a gym or pool.
  • Don’t forget to warm up. It may seem like by skipping the warm up and stretching you’ll save time by jumping straight into your workout. However, this could put you at risk for injuries like pulled muscles. Studies have shown that the amount of time you take to warm up and cool down is directly related to your risk of injury.  Consider consulting Peak Physical Therapy for suggestions on how to avoid injury by doing a proper warm up and cool down.
  • Take time to relax and de-stress. Everyone knows how stressful the holidays can be, but few realize how this stress can affect their health. In December and January, 33% more people die from heart attacks than during the rest of the year.  This is probably due to the stress and overindulgence that accompanies the holidays. To de-stress, you could try doing some yoga stretches. These will not only help reduce any physical or mental tension you have, but also help build strength and flexibility. Other stress relief techniques include deep breathing, meditation, or even simply taking a walk outside to clear your mind.

Although it may seem like following through with your exercise routine and other healthy habits can be put off until after New Year’s, now is actually the time you need them the most. Exercising regularly will not only help keep off those holiday pounds,  but will also increase your energy levels and stimulate your body’s production of endorphins,  filling you with holiday good cheer.

So save yourself an unnecessary New Year’s resolution and keep yourself healthy this holiday season! If you need help or other hints, talk to us about our "Right Weigh" program. 

The staff at Peak Physical Therapy thank you for all your support in the past year and wish all of you a safe and Healthy New Year!


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