Healthy Holiday Tip


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Who has time to exercise during the holidays?

Most of us don’t have time but some will make time knowing that exercise can relieve holiday stress and burn off some excess holiday calories.

There is evidence of more reasons to maintain daily exercise during this time of festive gorging, according to research reported in The Power of a Daily Bout of Exercise, by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, November 27, 2013 (Reference 1).

In short, over-fed young men who kept to a daily exercise regimen of 45 minutes on a treadmill were more metabolically healthy, with better blood sugar control as an example, than a similar group of young men who also overate but did not exercise.  It was only a week-long study with fit young men but it does provide motivating evidence that the benefits of exercise go beyond just burning calories.Exercise usda

How to keep yourself moving?  At the very least, put on a pedometer and walk as you shop. Park farther from your destination and take stairs instead of elevators. Squeeze in a lunchtime power walk.  Set a goal of at least 10,000 steps which is roughly equal to 30 minutes of moderate exercise, an amount linked to weight loss, reduced blood pressure, and other positive health changes (Reference 2).

If you’re visiting relatives, ask them to take you as a guest to their fitness club or find a local gym or “Y” that allows you to purchase a pass to work out. If you are hosting guests, incorporate a walk, hike, snowshoe tour or other outing into the planned events.  The Walking Site (Reference 3) has information and suggestions on this simple, effective exercise most people of all ages can benefit from.

Don’t forget to dress appropriately if you are exercising outside and stay hydrated. thCA3A71XH Unless your work-out exceeds an hour, plain water is sufficient hydration. If you need a snack, plan a healthful one.


1. The Power of a Daily Bout of Exercise, by Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, November 27, 2013

2. Kaiser Permanente’s10000 Steps® program to “walk your way to better health.”

3.  The Walking Site

© 2013 Lorelle Del Matto

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.


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