Studies show that the holiday season adds 1 to 2 pounds to the ordinary American’s weight. It’s no surprise since people eat more and exercise less during the holidays. It’s tempting to get lost eating a delicious Christmas feast.
The Pennsylvania winter and piles of snow outside make exercise seem like a drag, too. The holiday season gives you the chance to treat yourself, but it’s not an excuse to overindulge. Fight holiday weight gain with these four tips.
Go Cross-Country Skiing
Downhill skiing might be exciting, but it doesn’t give you a workout like cross-country skiing. Cross-country skiing is considered to be the best cardio exercise because it requires you to make your way uphill without a lift. There are lightweight skis like the Blizzard Black Pearl that make skiing up slopes easier, without compromising downhill performance.
Cross-country skiing engages a large portion of your muscle mass because you use your arms, legs, and core when you’re walking up the slope. It’s also easy on your joints and chances of accidents are low. Plus, it improves your balance — giving you better control over your body as you age. If you want to try out cross-country skiing, multiple state parks in Pennsylvania offer groomed trails for skiers.
Run in the Cold
The winter isn’t forgiving to runners. You don’t really want to run towards the icy wind, especially when you’re on a slippery road. As unpleasant as it might be to expose yourself in the cold, doing so has its benefits. It gives you better control over your immune system. Adjusting the body to cold temperature also helps people with diabetes to absorb insulin better. Some people have even found that training in extreme weather allows them to regulate their body temperature on command.
Work Out Indoors
If you’re not ready to train in the freezing temperatures like Wim Hof, you can still stay fit by exercising indoors. Jumping rope is an excellent substitute for running. It lowers your calories, tones your leg muscles, and improves your heart health. Pair this with push-ups and lunges to exercise your whole body — all within the comfort of your home.
Stick to a Festive, but Healthy Diet
If you’re hosting the festive feast for your guests, give them fresh fruits as an appetizer. Seasonal Pennsylvanian produce like pears and cranberries are all available during winter. For your main course, avoid fried food. Try serving roasted turkey and sweet potatoes. Grilled asparagus is also great as finger food. For dessert, you can never go wrong with Butternut Squash Pie. Your visitors will thank you for giving them a hearty but easily digestible meal.
Your fitness during the holiday season dictates your figure in the coming year. There are plenty of activities, such as running and cross-country skiing, that can help you win against holiday weight gain. Don’t forget to serve up healthy alternatives to your festive meal favorites and you’re sure to have a swimsuit-ready body for the summer. Sure, treating yourself from time to time is great, but the best gift you can give yourself is your health.