Well, it's that time of year again. Statistically speaking from now till January, three quarters of the population will gain four to 10 pounds. I'm not going to judge anyone about weight gain or get on my high horse and tell people what they should and shouldn't be doing to their bodies.
However, because I value health, and because I want to see people live as long, healthy and happy as possible, I thought I'd give a few ideas to anyone who wants to take them and share them around.
This is not about weight gain or loss, it is about health. Mental, physical and, yes, spiritual. Done right, the holiday season can be a complete reset, even if you gain a few pounds.
First thing is always acceptance. If you are a normal, health conscientious person, you are still going to eat more than usual in this season. Grandma doesn't send over baking in June, and momma doesn't pile the turkey on your plate in February. However, they do during this season. Turkey for thanksgiving, chocolates everywhere because Halloween (I believe chocolate may actually be evil), and then when Christmas hits FORGET ABOUT IT. Egg Nog, baking, meals, workplace functions, friends, family -- food is everywhere. Unless you are a rock, you will gain some weight.
So, you have accepted the weight gain. If you want to stay healthy it's time to plan and keep track of your successes and your missteps.
If you accept that you are going to eat more, then you need to move a little more. Walking does the trick. If you are active-minded, then some sporting events or high intensity intervals will be sure to help. You can spend some of that time away from the office getting into some new classes. What ever you do, keep track of it, and honestly take note if you are spending to much time on the couch in a food coma. Getting outside, visiting with friends while taking in nature, or just moving to get the blood and digestion going is good for the mind.
This is where acceptance turns to action. You need to be prepared to be active, and honest with yourself when you aren't. Our best chance for success comes from a little company called Apple. They have an app for us. In fact, they have a few. The invention of apps and the fact that they are now on our phones or wrist watches makes this super easy. Your phone, watch, or iPad can keep you honest and hopefully be enough of a voice in your head to stay active.
Here's a list of apps I've used and recommend, feel free to live feedback and comment on your favorites in the comments:
The running apps make sense to most people. Easy to track and really keeps people honest. I included the seven-minute workout for those of you who hate to exercise, but really want to get some intensity. Go for a walk, stay active, be healthy and then check out the seven-minute workout and get your heart rate up for 420 seconds.
I also included the coach's eye app. I work with pro athletes and just love this app. It's the coolest thing in the world. You can film athletes, and then play back the data and even do a very simple biomechanical analysis. When I went through university we did a final project using a system at school that cost $20,000. Now, with an app and my iPhone I can do the same thing. It's simply amazing. Overkill, but amazing.
But the point of the article is this.
The season to gain weight is on us. It's not the weight gain that is the problem. It's the inactivity and then not balancing out after the season ends. We have a duty to our bodies, and also our families and friends to be as healthy as we can. We live in a world where there is an app to help, but no phone or gadget can do the work for us. You still have to move in order to be healthy, and you still have to say no to overeating all the time in order to have a optimally healthy body.
Enjoy all the season has to bring, including extra time to go for long walks with friends and family. It's not about avoiding all the great food, it's about balance. It's not about obsessively documenting every calorie or step taken, it's about getting a little help from technology to remind us to move instead of nap... or at least nap after a little movement.
Moderation, fun and human interaction. Go use activity to make a few memories and just enjoy your holiday season.
Just be reasonable, that's my advice.
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