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5 Fat Blasters for the Holiday Season

5 Fat Blasters for the Holiday Season

November 29, 2010

Jane Farrell | BettyConfidential.com

Winter really is the most dangerous time of the year if you want to stay or get in shape. Beginning at the end of November, you’ve got an obstacle course of huge meals, high-fat treats and potentially dangerous parties to get through. And what with the cold and the snow, suddenly exercise doesn’t seem like such an appealing idea anymore. With that combination, is it really a surprise that many people add a roll (or two) of fat over the winter? Check out these tips so you can avoid that happening to you:

Look into the future.
If you’re spending the winter curled up on the couch, inhaling hot chocolate and buttered popcorn, it doesn’t take a psychic to see what your problem will be by the time March arrives. It’s going to be too warm to wear those bulky clothes that cover you up, and bathing-suit season is coming up fast. It’s much easier to exercise right now than to throw yourself into some unrealistically hard springtime fitness routine. Dr. Lavinia Rodriguez, author of Mind Over Fat Matters: Conquering Psychological Barriers To Weight Management, says that winter is a great time to head to the gym because many people tend to stop working out during the winter months. So you’ll have more kinds of machines, and more classes, to investigate.

Leave hibernating to the bears.
Even if it’s really cold, head outside for a while to breathe the air and get some unexpected exercise: walking down your street or across the local park will burn extra calories if you’re scrambling over piles of snow, or making your way through an unbroken area. And don’t forget one of the best winter exercises of all: shoveling. It’s almost as good as doing crunches. Experts have also estimated that cleaning off your snowy car burns about 100 calories.

Give yourself a gift.
A pedometer isn’t a complicated or expensive piece of equipment, but it can really help you track how much you’re walking all day, whether that’s part of an exercise routine or not. “Wearing a pedometer motivates you to take more steps daily,” Rodriguez says. “Set a goal and gradually increase that to 10,000 steps per day if possible.”

Be prepared.
If your first winter walk is a truly unpleasant experience because you got too cold or dehydrated, you’re not likely to do it again. Experts recommend that you dress in layers that can be peeled off if you get hot, and put back on if you start to feel chilled. Wear a hat and/or earmuffs, since most heat escapes through the head. And don’t forget sunscreen and water; the sun is often strongest in winter, and you have to guard against dehydration just as you would in the summer.

Go down a new road.
Think beyond walking or the stairmaster. Winter is a great time to learn or get reacquainted with some fabulous sports like ice skating and skiing. Instead of automatically going to the movies every weekend, you and your boyfriend might want to skate at the local rink for an hour or so. Or suggest that the two of you go on a skiing weekend. (If you’re scared about downhill skiing, look into learning cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. You’ll burn just as many calories, if not more.) “If you’re having fun,” Rodriguez says, “it’s like you’re not exercising.”

This article was originally published on BettyConfidential.com.

More From BettyConfidential.com:
It’s The Holiday Season … Pig Out! (Or Not)
FDA Issues Warning on Caffeinated Alcohol Drinks
Divorce Can Make a Kid Sick…When He’s A Grown-Up



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