Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top 5 Fitness and Weight Loss Tips For Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Expert Author John M. Martinez, M.D.
Granted, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's is the busiest time of year for many people. But even during the crush of holiday shopping, family get-togethers and Christmas parties, it is important to remember the importance of continuing a regular exercise program. Don't gain back the weight that you've worked hard all year long to lose. Don't give back the fitness and muscle mass you've spent the last twelve months building!

Use the five fitness and weight loss tips below to stop that holiday weight gain!

1. Step up the intensity!
Did you know its possible to maintain your current fitness and strength with only a single strength training workout each week? That fact is an important tip during the busy holiday Christmas and season when work, family and other commitments combined with less daylight and colder weather to negatively impact most exercise workouts and fitness routines
In order to keep your strength and fitness levels, schedule at least one good weekly strength training workout to keep in shape and stop that unwanted (and unnecessary) loss in fitness and conditioning.

2. Can't find the time to workout? Split up the workouts...
In most cases, your body and muscles don't care if you just did 50 sit ups in a row or if you did 10 sit ups at 5 different times during the day. The total amount of work by those muscles is still...get out your calculators...50 sit ups! The same is true for cardio and aerobic exercise. Going for three 10 minute power walks before work, at your lunch break and after work still adds up to 30 minutes of exercise for the day. Count all the running around with holiday shopping and there is still enough opportunity to keep a base level of fitness or exercise during the holiday season.

3 . Remember to add some strength training!
For strength training, focus on exercises such as squats, lunges, deadlifts push-ups or pullups - all exercises that involve major muscle groups like the glutes, quads or deltoids and pecs. You don't need any special equipment except of maybe a set of dumbells or stretch cords for added resistance.
Concentrate on high repetition throughout the day if you can't meet your "get a real workout in" goal. Again its OK to break up the exercises through out the day - but stay consistent!
Remember - it ALL adds up! Switch the exercises around each day for variety and to avoid an injury. One possible program is below:

The "Get Your Holiday Workout In" Program
Day #1
Push-ups: 50-100 total
Body weight Squats, or Step Lunges: 100-200 total
Rows - with dumbbells or stretch cords: 50-100 total
Day #2
Deadlifts or Hip Extensions: 50-100 total
Chair Dips: 50 -100 total
Curls with dumbbells or stretch cords: 50-100 total
Pull ups are another great quick exercise alternative!

4. The "Shopping" Workout
Christmas shopping at the mall can be a full-contact sport as well as stressful and aggravating. But learn how to use these shopping trips to your advantage. Try parking the car further away from the mall entrance - you'll get a longer walk in, and you may even find a parking spot quicker than circling the lot looking for the "primo" parking spot. Try taking the stairs instead of the escalators or elevator. You'll find you have a lot more room on the stairs, avoiding the crowds and burning some holiday calories to boot!

5. Spend time outside!
Sad to say, but after 5 years in San Diego, my blood is officially "Southern California" thin - so much for growing up in New England and 5 years in Colorado. Still, our weather our here is great for being outside. Try to break free for a lunch-time walk or head to the beach for a ocean-front run. There will be less people out there and you'll have the satisfaction of staying one step/stride/lunge ahead of the holiday weight gain.

Most importantly, take the time to sit back and enjoy your family, friends and loved ones during the holiday season!
Dr. John Martinez is a primary care sports medicine physician and medical director of Coastal Sports & Wellness Medical Center, a sports injury clinic in San Diego, CA.

Visit us at http://coastalsportsmedicine.com
Find more articles like this at [http://coastalbootcamps.com]
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