HOLIDAY ROUNDS WITHOUT GAINING THE POUNDS!

Healthy Holiday Eating

Food is everywhere during the holiday season, making it tough to stick to your healthful eating and exercise habits. However, with a little attention, you can make it through the holidays without losing track of your healthy lifestyle.

Is it true that the average person gains 5 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day?
People often do gain weight during the holidays, but how much weight? In 2000, a study of 195 adults showed an average holiday weight gain of between .75 pounds (lb) and 1 lb. However, 14% of those studied gained 5 lb or more. In this study, those who were overweight or obese gained more holiday pounds than those who were normal weight. According to the study, while most people gain less than 1 lb during the holidays, the holiday weight gain is one reason that your weight creeps up from year to year.

Woman Standing on Scale

What can I do to prevent gaining weight over the holidays?
Are you dreading the holiday season because you think you will gain back all of the weight you have lost in the last 6 months? The best advice is to change your mind-set. Do not expect to lose weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Instead, focus on not gaining weight. For success, keep a regular exercise pattern and healthy diet during this time. After all, the fine food of the holiday is one of the pleasures of the season.

Allow yourself to splurge on foods that make your holiday season meaningful. Enjoy your favorites in small amounts. Try to cut back in other ways, and keep your exercise schedule on track.

What can I do to stay active when I am traveling and cannot get to my gym?
Exercising during the hectic and sometimes stressful holiday season can help you maintain your weight and sanity. If you are a true “gym rat,” most gyms will allow you to visit as a guest, although sometimes at a hefty fee! Walking, running, or stair-climbing are easy when you are traveling—you can do these activities almost anywhere. For resistance training, check your sporting goods store or online for rubber resistance bands (They are only about $10 and work really well.  I also posted several tips for quick work outs you can do anywhere – look for them!). They slip easily into a travel bag and are lightweight—use them to strengthen and tone almost any body part.

Danskin Toning Band (2) (570x428)

You may need to adjust your expectations for holiday exercising. Try to stay flexible. Know that you might miss out on some workouts. Sneak in exercise whenever you can by taking a walk after a large meal, for example. Make sure to get back to your regular exercise routine when you return home.

How can I stay on track and not overeat at holiday functions?
You can keep your calorie intake under control in many ways. Try these tips and see which ones work best for you:

  • Survey the entire table before you take any food. Decide what foods are worth eating and which you can ignore, and then stick to that decision. Why waste calories on foods that do not bring you pleasure?
  • Eat a snack before you leave home. If you arrive at a party starving, you are more likely to eat too much.
  • Eat your calories instead of drinking them. Stick to lower calorie or calorie-free drinks (diet sodas, water, lite beer, or a wine spritzer), instead of punches, eggnog, and mixed drinks that can have up to 500 calories/cup.
  • Sip a large glass of water between every alcoholic drink, nonalcoholic punch, or eggnog. This will help keep you hydrated, and you will drink fewer calories by the end of the night.

Woman Drinking Glass of Water

  • When you are hosting, make sure the menu includes lower-calorie foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. When you are a guest, bring along a lower-calorie dish to share.
grinch kabobs

GRINCH KABOBS

GRINCH KABOBS:

Layer mini marshmallow, strawberry, banana slice, and a grape on a small stick and you get Grinch Kabobs!

  • Try not to hang out near the food. Find a comfortable spot across the room, and focus on people instead of eating.
  • Watch your portion sizes. Do not cover your plate completely with food. When it comes to holiday sweets and alcoholic beverages, less is better.
  • Drop out of the “clean plate club.” Leave a few bites behind every time you eat, especially if you are eating something you do not really care for.
  • Enjoy your favorite holiday treats, but take a small portion, eat slowly, and savor the taste and texture of the wonderful foods of the season.
  • Visit these Web sites for free reduced-calorie and reduced-fat recipes:

YOGA WORKOUT: LIKE GOING TO CHURCH

MY YOGA WORKOUTS WERE STARTING TO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS IN CHURCH!  SOMEWHAT MEDITATIVE BUT STANDING, KNEELING, SITTING, GETTING ON MY BELLY.  Maybe that is all part of the workout but it just didn’t seem to flow for me.  This prompted me to create my own workout that flows from Mountain Pose all the way down to the Child’s Pose.  The whole routine takes about 45-60 minutes depending upon how many reps you choose to do (I usually do 7-10) or how long you stay in your static stretches (I usually stay static for 7-10 breaths).

Start with the Sun Salutation:

Reverse to Mountain pose.  You can do more than once as a nice warm-up.

Next:

Tree Pose 7-10 breaths then straight into next exercise each 7-10 reps. Repeat on other leg.

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose

Repeat on other side.  Do more than once if desired.

For Rising Lunge, rise from one bent knee and raise arms. Lower back down and lower arms.  Repeat on other leg.

Chair with twist

Chair with twist

Alternate stretching to each side 7-10 times.

Crow Pose

Crow Pose

Can do more than once!

Half Push-Up

Half Push-Up

On hands and knees with hands slightly in front of your shoulders, bend and lower your elbows to almost touch the floor.  Then rise back up. 7-10 reps.

Begin in full push-up position, palms aligned with shoulders.  Place left knee on floor near shoulder and left heal by right hip.  Lower down to forearms.  7-10 reps.  Repeat on other leg.

Tuck and Extend

Tuck and Extend

Bring knee to chest and extend for 7-10 reps.  Repeat on other leg.

Seated Twist

Seated Twist

Repeat stretch on other side. Can do more than once!

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose

Do several times.

Leg Pull Front

Leg Pull Front

7-10 reps and repeat on other leg.

Child's Pose

Child’s Pose

If you are not familiar with any of these poses and need explanation it is easy to “google” it (or send me a note!) – I probably don’t know or do all the poses perfectly, but at least I’m trying and it works for me.  I’ve seen some of the exercises done with light weights (1-3#) in hand as your strength improves but the beauty of this type of workout is that you need no special equipment.  You just use your body and its own resistance!  Plus, I don’t really count.  I just do what feels right and push a little bit to build strength.

WORK OUT AND ENJOY! No more sit, stand, kneel, stand!

BLAST 500+ CALORIES DOING YOGA

I LOVE THIS WORKOUT AND DO IT FOR ABOUT AN HOUR EACH DAY – POSES ARE “DOABLE” This calorie-zapping yoga routine will melt away pounds while sculpting every major muscle in your body. Remember cutting out or burning 500 calories a day leads to 1 pound of weight loss each week!!  It is also nice that this workout can really be done anywhere so if you’re traveling for work or vacationing and stuck inside, throw a towel on the carpet and work it!

Adapted from Alyssa Shaffer; Photographs by Dorit Thies

Lose Weight with Yoga

How much can yoga really do for you? A lot. This is a  total-body routine that is a mind and body booster. The workout is built around the classic sun salutation series, with challenging core and upper- and lower-body variations added for a fat-blasting twist. Do the entire sequence four to five times through (keep at it for an hour) and you’ll burn off the calorie equivalent of a banana split while sculpting your arms, chest, abs, butt, and legs and improving your flexibility.

YOGA 500-1

How it works: Start and finish each circuit with a sun salutation, a four-move series done forward and in reverse that is the foundation of the workout. Every time you do this main series, you’ll add a challenging variation to keep your heart rate elevated while toning your whole body. Each sun salutation, plus all of our variations, should take about 15 minutes.

Sun Salutation (Main Series)

1.

YOGA 500MOUNTAIN

Mountain Pose Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides. Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.

2.

YOGA 500 standingforward

Standing Forward Bend From mountain pose, exhale, sweeping your arms sideways as you swan dive forward, bending at hips, until fingertips or palms reach the ground on either side of your feet; keep fingers in line with toes. (If your hamstrings or back are tight, bend your knees.) Think about drawing the crown of your head down and the backs of your legs toward the sky.

3.

YOGA 500 forwardflatback

Forward Bend, Flat Back From standing forward bend, keep feet together and place fingertips on ground near outer edges of your feet, in line with your toes. Inhale as you lift your torso halfway up, keeping your back flat. Look forward, reaching your tailbone away from the top of your head. If you feel tight in your hamstrings or lower back or can’t reach the ground, bend your knees and place your hands on your shins.

4.

YOGA 500- DOWNWARD DOG

Downward Dog From forward bend with flat back, bend knees, place palms flat on ground shoulder-width apart, and jump both feet back, landing softly in downward dog. Spread your fingers and make sure your feet are hip-width apart and parallel. Reach your tailbone up and away from hands and your heels toward the ground.

5. Reverse this series back to the start Bring your legs toward your hands and straighten legs, returning to forward bend with flat back. Drop your head and return to standing forward bend, then to mountain pose, sweeping arms out to the sides and overhead to complete the main series.

Build Your Workout Each time you complete the sunsalutation, add on a new challenge series until you’ve incorporated all the moves. Each full sequence will take about 15 minutes; do 4 to 5 times.

Add On: Half Push-Up Series

Part 1.

YOGA 500 tabletoptohalf

Tabletop to Half Push-Up From downward dog, get on all fours, aligning your knees on the ground under hips and your hands directly below shoulders (not shown). Keeping abs pulled in and head aligned with your spine, bend elbows about 45 degrees in a half push-up, arms close to sides. Straighten arms; repeat push-up 4 to 6 times.

Part 2.

YOGA 500 extendedchilds

Extended Child’s Pose From half push-up, straighten arms and bring your tailbone back toward heels, resting the backs of your thighs on your calves. Hold for a few breaths, feeling the stretch through your back and shoulders. Return from child’s pose to tabletop, then back to downward dog; do the remainder of the main series in reverse.

Add On: Lunge Jump

Do the half push-up series, returning to downward dog. Step left leg forward between hands, bending left knee 90 degrees while keeping right leg straight. Hold for a few breaths, then switch legs, jumping left leg back and right leg forward. Repeat 4 to 6 times. Return to downward dog and reverse the main series back to the start.

Add On: Warrior Series

YOGA 500 warrior

Warrior 1 with High Lunge Do the main series, adding on both half push-up and lunge jump, ending in downward dog. From here, step left foot forward between hands, bending left knee 90 degrees with toes facing forward; keep right leg straight and lift upper body. Raise arms overhead next to ears; hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

Straighten left leg while lowering arms; keep palms in and right heel lifted. Repeat 4 to 6 times. Return to warrior 1, then to downward dog; repeat on opposite side, ending in downward dog. Reverse the main series back to start.

Add On: Chair with Twist

Chair Pose

YOGA 500 chairpose

Do the main series plus each of the previous add-ons one time through, ending in mountain pose with arms raised. From here, bend your knees, pushing your butt back.

Bring palms together in front of chest and bend forward, pressing right upper arm against outside of left thigh as you twist your upper body to the left. Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, then come back to center and twist to the right. Continue alternating sides, 4 to 6 times in each direction, then return to a standing position.

YEAH!! YOU DID IT!!

MY YOGA POSES: WET DOG, OLD CROW AND THE PLUNGE!!

I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND BEGINNER POSES BEFORE MOVING ONWARD AND UPWARD – I’M PRETTY FIT AND SOME OF THESE INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED POSES I’M FINDING TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE!  I’M CALLING MY YOGA POSES WET DOG, THE OLD CROW AND THE PLUNGE!!  BUT THESE CAN BE MASTERED – WORK AT IT GRADUALLY!

Downward Dog: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 1

  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.

Downward Dog: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 2

  • Start in beginner position.
  • Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then lift one leg toward the ceiling and hold for 3 full breaths; keep hips level.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

Downward Dog: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 3

  • Start in beginner position. Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
  • Walk your feet together and lift one leg toward the ceiling.
  • Press your palms and other heel into the mat. Once stable, slowly lift your opposite hand and hold for 3 full breaths.
  • Lower; switch sides and repeat.

The Crow: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 4

Get into downward dog position (palms pressed into mat, feet hip-width apart) and walk feet forward until knees touch your arms.

Bend your elbows, lift heels off floor, and rest knees against the outside of your upper arms. Keep toes on floor, abs engaged and legs pressed against arms. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

The Crow: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 5

  • From beginner position, squeeze your inner thighs to lift heels off floor.
  • With fingers spread wide, slowly move body forward until your weight is balanced over your hands.
  • Draw abs inward (as if pulling belly button to spine) to lift your hips up higher, keeping your face forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

The Crow: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 6

  • Start in the beginner position and slowly move into the intermediate pose.
  • As your upper body tilts forward, begin lifting your right leg toward the ceiling.
  • Squeeze your glutes, spread out your toes, and hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

The Lunge: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 1

  • Start in downward dog position. Step your right leg forward to the inside of your right hand.
  • Drop your left knee to the floor and lift your chest up. Keeping your right knee in line with your ankle and your back straight, place hands on your knee. Hold for 10 breaths.

The Lunge: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 7

  • From beginner pose, press into the ball of your back foot and lift into a standing lunge.
  • Straighten back leg, place heel down on floor, and turn foot out a few inches. Lift arms toward ceiling (Warrior I). Spread your fingers, turn palms in, and open up chest. Hold for 10 breaths.
  • Switch legs; repeat.

The Lunge: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 8

  • From lunge position, hinge your upper body forward from the hips and slowly lift your back leg while straightening your front leg.
  • Stop when your back is flat and your entire body is parallel to the floor (Warrior III). Balance here for 10 breaths.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

ARE YOU FEELING THE LOVE?

PILATES, YOGA AND TAI CHI WORKOUT

PILATES, YOGA AND TAI CHI WORKOUT

PYT WORKOUT

This combo of yoga, Pilates, and tai chi exercises will get you strong, sculpted, and totally revitalized — plus give you an invigorating energy boost!

Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi Elements

Sometimes the quietest exercises can be the most invigorating. That’s the case with this energy-boosting routine, which brings together elements of yoga, pilates, and tai chi.

Yoga is about stability, Pilates focuses on mobility and stability, and tai chi is all about mobility.  Moving from one discipline to the next circulates the energy throughout your body, so you’re refreshed by the end.  You’ll also feel pretty darn strong — these moves are a killer way to sculpt your arms, abs, legs, and butt, using just your body weight for resistance.

Do each circuit three times through, breathing deeply and evenly throughout the workout.

Circuit 1

1. Camel

PYT WORKOUT 1

Strengthens: Shoulders; stretches Front of Body

  • Kneel on floor with feet behind you, legs slightly apart.
  • Stretch your hips and thighs forward while reaching back, placing your hands on your lower back (easier) or heels (more challenging).
  • Gaze up toward ceiling while pushing your hips forward and arching spine; hold for 7 to 10 breaths.

2. Thigh Stretch

PYT WORKOUT 2

Strengthens: Glutes, Core; stretches quads

  • Release from Camel and return to start.
  • Inhale, then exhale while leaning back from hips, this time without bending spine, so your body forms a straight line from ears to knees.
  • Place hands on hips (easier) or extend arms in front at shoulder height (more challenging).
  • Come back to start, then repeat. Do 7 to 10 reps.

3. Rising Lunge

PYT WORKOUT 3

Strengthens: Legs, Glutes, Hips; stretches Back

  • From thigh stretch, bring left foot in front of you, left knee bent 90 degrees.
  • Lift right knee off the floor, straightening leg behind you.
  • Sweep arms out as you rise; then lower arms as you sink back down.
  • Do 4 reps; switch sides and repeat.

Circuit 2

1. Tree Pose

PYT WORKOUT 4

Strengthens: quads, glutes, Hamstrings; Improves Balance

  • Stand with feet together, palms together in front of chest.
  • Place sole of right foot on left inner thigh, as high as you are able; turn right knee out to side.
  • Keep hands in front (easier) or extend arms overhead, keeping palms together (more challenging).
  • Bend left knee slightly to work quads.
  • Hold for 7 to 10 breaths.
  • Go directly to Single leg Circle.

2. Single Leg Circle

PYT WORKOUT 5

Strengthens: Glutes, hamstrings, Inner Thighs; Improves Balance

  • Remaining on left leg from tree pose, straighten right leg and bring it out in front of you, toes pointed toward floor.
  • Drawing abs in, make 1 large circle clockwise with your right foot, keeping hips still; exhale 1 full breath to draw the circle.
  • Keep hands on hips (easier) or arms extended overhead (more challenging).
  • Reverse direction, drawing a counterclockwise circle.
  • Do 7 to 10 reps per direction.
  • Go directly to Rooster Stands on One Leg.

3. Rooster Stands on One Leg

PYT WORKOUT 6

Strengthens: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Shoulders; Stretches Back

  • Remaining on left leg, bring right leg in front of body, knee bent 90 degrees and thigh parallel to floor.
  • Slowly bend left knee in a half squat, keeping weight over heel.
  • As you squat down, bring arms down in front, then out to sides and back above head as you straighten leg.
  • To make it easier, don’t squat down as deeply and keep your right foot closer to floor.
  • Do 7 to 10 reps.
  • Repeat the entire series, starting from Tree Pose, on opposite leg.

Circuit 3

1. Warrior 1

PYT WORKOUT 7

Strengthens: Legs, glutes, Core; stretches Back

  • Stand with feet 3 to 4 feet apart.
  • Turn left foot out 90 degrees, pointing to left side, and pivot right foot toward left.
  • Bend left knee 90 degrees, knee aligned with ankle; turn hips to face over left thigh.
  • Place hands on hips (easier) or raise both arms overhead, palms facing each other (more challenging).
  • Hold for 7 to 10 breaths. Go directly to Tuck and Extend.

2. Tuck and Extend

PYT WORKOUT 8

Strengthens: Arms, chest, Glutes; Stretches Hips

  • From Warrior 1, sweep arms down to touch floor on either side of left foot.
  • Step both feet back behind you.
  • Inhale, then exhale as you lift right foot off the floor and sweep knee under body (not shown).
  • Straighten right leg behind you, lifting it as high as you can, then bring knee back toward nose.
  • To make it easier, bring right knee to floor before straightening leg.
  • Do 7 to 10 reps; go directly to Slow Kick.

3. Slow Kick

PYT WORKOUT 9

Strengthens: Glutes, Chest, Shoulders; Stretches hamstrings

  • Lower right foot and walk hands back, rolling up to standing position.
  • Lift right leg, knee bent 90 degrees; bend elbows 45 degrees, palms down (not shown).
  • Slowly kick forward with right foot, leading with the heel; at the same time, slowly push palms forward.
  • Lower and repeat.
  • Do 7 to 10 reps.
  • To make it easier, keep standing leg slightly bent and hands on hips.
  • Repeat entire series on opposite leg.

ENJOY FEELING FIT AND STRONG!