Stay Healthy Through the Holidays

How to Fit Fitness into Your Busy Holiday Schedule

While the holidays are often thought of as a magical time of year, this season can also be stressful for those who gripe about money, family issues and putting on extra pounds. In fact, a survey by Consumer Reports found that 34% of Americans say gaining weight is what they dread most about the holidays.

Luckily, this worry can be easily avoided by simply working off the extra calories. However, carving out time to go to the gym or on a run is an entirely different issue. While most peoples’ schedules are jam-packed with corporate gatherings, holiday parties and family obligations this time of year, it’s important to find ways to fit fitness into your daily routine.

Follow these six workout tips to stay fit and beat the holiday bulge.

    1. Turn your commute into a workout.
      Whether you’re going to work or taking the kids to school, your morning commute is the perfect time to be physically active. You can walk or ride a bike to work or school and burn extra calories. Just make sure to plan extra time in the morning to get to your final destination.

 

    1. Plan active activities with your family.
      Instead of sitting around and indulging in chips and sweets while watching reruns of the Christmas Story, get the family out on a walk around town to look at store window decorations and holiday lights, or perhaps go for a fun ice skating outing.

 

    1. Track your weight and activity.
      The holiday bulge can creep up when you aren’t watching, and that’s why it’s important to monitor your calories, weight and activity to ensure you don’t slip up. Fitdigits’s iCardio App keeps your cardio in check by tracking calories burned during any cardio activity like walking, running or riding a bike. As a Fitdigits MVP member for less than $5 per month, you can set specific fitness goals, receive advanced heart-rate charts and training graphs, and much more. The data syncs with MyFitnessPal’s food journal and Fitbit’s step activity tracker for a complete overview of your all-day activity and nutrition, which will motivate you to make better food and fitness decisions.

 

    1. 10 minutes is all you need.
      A study published by the New York Times found that three 10-minute cardio intervals were just as effective as one 30-minute sweat session. Go for a 10-minute jog before work, complete 10 minutes of lunges and squats at lunch, and end the night with 10 minutes of push-ups and sit-ups. Splitting up your fitness sessions during the day ensures you keep burning calories throughout the day and works with any busy schedule.

 

    1. Challenge your buddies.
      Find a fitness buddy to help you stay on track. Working out with a friend or family member holds you accountable, whether it’s meeting up at the gym or at the outdoor track. During the holidays it’s easy to lose your fitness focus. Stay connected with your buddy through a friendly fitness competition. For instance, commit to a Calorie-Burn Challenge to see who can burn more calories through the end of the year. Track and share results using Fitdigits’s heart-rate monitor and keep each other motivated!

 

    1. Bring fitness with you.
      One of the biggest deterrents to working out when traveling during the holidays is not having access to a gym. Anticipate this obstacle and bring your fitness gear with you. Lightweight resistance bands, a jump rope and a laptop are all you need to get your sweat on whether you’re staying in a hotel room or your grandmother’s basement. You can access free fitness videos online at sites like fitness.com or BodyRock.TV and set your phone timer to ensure you get in a full 30 or 60-minute cardio session.

 

Written by Andrea Woroch

6 Times a Day Leave Your Desk

Twas 6 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

6th Day- 6 Times a Day Leave Your Desk

Computers are awesome. We have an all on one calculator, typewriter, art studio and more in a 7-pound shell. We have compiled centuries of thoughts, feelings, epiphanies, darkness, love, hate, innovation and introspection, all within the neat confines of a 17-inch screen. We have the information of the world at our fingertips, allowing for more and more jobs to be tied to a computer screen then ever before.

This is a great thing for the mind. Not so much for the body.

The ubiquity of computer-driven professions has led to a boost in those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. We are chained to our desks, unable to pull ourselves away. Well you need to break the chain.

Break the Chain

Numerous studies have championed the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, with the implication that daily activity is just as important as exercise.

Something as simple as walking around the block a few times a day can do wonders for your short and long term health. With that in mind, make a point to get up from your desk at least 6 times a day, everyday. If you tend to get lost in your workday, set alarms or reminders for yourself.

It may seem like a minor annoyance to break the rhythm of the workday for a set of jumping jacks or a walk around the block, but all of those little actions add up to a larger result. A great way to track daily activity is with a Fitbit Activity Monitor.

12 Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

Twas 12 nights before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a person was exercising, no workouts were planned.
The ham was carved, candy eaten without care,
10 pounds later we complain life isn’t fair.

This holiday season, before you snuggle into your bed,
Make sure to have a Holiday plan in your head.
Fitdigits is sharing the year’s best fitness tips,
To help you avoid adding winter weight to your hips.

12th Day- 12 Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

As Thanksgiving becomes a distance memory and we plunge headfirst into the holiday season, it becomes more and more difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. Just because Mr. Claus has thrown up the white flag in the battle of the bulge does not mean you have to follow suit. Yes, tis season for parties that offer plenty of festive food and some heavy-duty Holiday *ahem* spirits, but if you follow the Fitdigits Holiday Survival guide you can make it through the sleigh bell season without adding a “winter coat”.

  1. Plan ahead. If you know that you will be going to a party or having an extravagant meal, skip the booze and eat extra healthy in the week leading up to the event. This is called having a “cheat” day, and is recommended by many health experts for those trying to lose weight.
  2. Exercise. It is easy to look at dreary weather and want to curl up by the fire, but nobody said staying healthy would be easy! Try out some interesting indoor workouts if mother nature keeps you indoors.
  3. Stay Hydrated. Making sure you drink enough water is more than a holiday tip, it is a way of life. The benefits of staying hydrated are too extensive to list, but on the most basic level water is the essence of life. A good way to make sure you are guzzling down enough H2O is to have a 32 oz water jug and carry it with you at all times. Whenever it is empty, immediately refill it. A good test to see if you are hydrated properly: your urine should be clear or only have a slight yellow tint.
  4. Swap Sugar for Stevia. When you are baking Christmas cookies for Kris Kringle and Co., ditch artificial sweetener and sugar for Stevia. Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute with no calories, carbs, or glycemic index. Indulge yourself without the guilt with a great recipe for not Sugar Cookies, but Stevia Cookies .
  5. Drink Green Tea. When the weather outside is frightful, a cup of hot cocoa may sound delightful, but save those calories for your Christmas Ham! Instead, try drinking a hot cup of green tea. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and recent studies show that green tea can help battle cancer, reduce your risk of coronary disease, and battle obesity. Not only can caffeine help speed up your metabolism, but properties found in green tea can also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  6. Try A Winter Sport. Nothing is more apropos for the Holiday season than participating in a winter sport, and it is a perfect way to burn calories and have a great time. Even if you do not live near a mountain or have the necessary funds to go skiing or snowboarding, you can probably find a local Ice Skating Rink and channel your inner Apolo Ohno!
  7. Focus on Family and Friends, not Food. Often people make holiday plans around eating, be it going out to dinner or making a big meal. Instead, emphasize activities that take advantage of the time you get to spend with the people you love. Try out some fun games such as Loaded Questions or Apples to Apples, or stretch out the vocal cords with some Christmas Caroling! Remember, food is merely a way to fuel your body, not an activity.
  8. Take Your Vitamins. If it is cold outside, it sometimes is hard to muster up the energy necessary to work out. A great supplement is a B-Complex. If vitamins are not your style, try FRS.
  9. Give Healthy Stocking Stuffers. Usually stocking stuffers consist of chocolate and candy canes. Try to encourage a healthy lifestyle with your stocking stuffers. Instead of sweets, try giving a jump rope, Fitbit Zip, or a Heart Rate Monitor.
  10. Try Not to Stress Out. The Holidays can be a stressful time. Family and friends coming from out of town, big meals to cook, presents to buy, and the pressure to live up to the idealized version of Christmas we see in the media can make even the most laid back person tighten up. Stress can lead to heart disease, binge eating, and weight gain, so take a deep breath. The holidays should be a fun and happy time. Try some tips on how to manage stress during the holidays
  11. Check Out Some Christmas Lights. The Holidays offer plenty of opportunities to get moving. A great way to be active and feel the Holiday cheer is to go on a walking tour of an area that specializes in extravagant Christmas decorations. Make it a Christmas Eve tradition!
  12. Have a Merry Christmas! If you have been following all of our health and fitness tips, you deserve a day off. That does not mean you should waste all of the hard work you have done and eat until you feel sick, but don’t count calories. Enjoy your family, friends, and the feeling that comes with being fit and staying healthy!

Holiday Survival Guide: The 12 (Healthy) Days of Christmas

As Thanksgiving passes and we plunge deeper into the holiday season, it becomes more and more difficult to lead a healthy lifestyle. Just because Mr. Claus has thrown up the white flag in the battle of the bulge does not mean you have to follow suit. Yes, tis season for parties that offer plenty of festive food and some heavy-duty Holiday *ahem* spirits, but if you follow the Fitdigits Holiday Survival guide you can make it through the sleigh bell season without adding a “winter coat”. Without further ado, the 12 (healthy) Days of Christmas:

Day 1: December 14.
Plan ahead. If you know that you will be going to a party or having an extravagant meal, skip the booze and eat extra healthy in the week leading up to the event. This is called having a “cheat” day, and is recommended by many health experts for those trying to lose weight

Day 2: December 15.
Exercise. It is easy to look at dreary weather and want to curl up by the fire, but nobody said staying healthy would be easy! Try out some interesting indoor workouts if mother nature keeps you indoors

Day 3: December 16.
Stay Hydrated. Making sure you drink enough water is more than a holiday tip, it is a way of life. The benefits of staying hydrated are too extensive to list, but on the most basic level it will make hangovers after a night of too much eggnog that much easier. A good way to make sure you are guzzling down enough H2O is to have a 32 oz water jug and carry it with you at all times. Whenever it is empty, immediately refill it. A good test to see if you are hydrated properly: your urine should be clear or only have a slight yellow tint

Day 4: December 17.
Swap Sugar for Stevia. When you are baking Christmas cookies for Kris Kringle and Co., ditch artificial sweetener and sugar for Stevia. Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute with no calories, carbs, or glycemic index. Indulge yourself without the guilt with a great recipe for not Sugar Cookies, but Stevia Cookies

Day 5: December 18.
Drink Green Tea. When the weather outside is frightful, a cup of hot cocoa may sound delightful, but save those calories for your Christmas Ham! Instead, try drinking a hot cup of green tea. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and recent studies show that green tea can help battle cancer, reduce your risk of coronary disease, and battle obesity. Not only can caffeine help speed up your metabolism, but properties found in green tea can also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol

Day 6: December 19. Try A Winter Sport. Nothing is more apropos for the Holiday season than participating in a winter sport, and it is a perfect way to burn calories and have a great time. Even if you do not live near a mountain or have the necessary funds to go skiing or snowboarding, you can probably find a local Ice Skating Rink and channel your inner Apolo Ohno!

Day 7: December 20. Focus on Family and Friends, not Food. Often people make holiday plans around eating, be it going out to dinner or making a big meal. Instead, emphasize activities that take advantage of the time you get to spend with the people you love. Try out some fun games such as Catch Phrase or Apples to Apples, or stretch out the vocal cords with some Christmas Caroling! Remember, food is merely a way to fuel your body, not an activity.

Day 8: December 21:
Take Your Vitamins. If you are planning on having a long night of drinking, plan ahead and take some vitamins. Alcohol depletes your body of essential nutrients you need to function (hence hangovers). Make sure to at least take a B-Complex both before and after drinking, and if vitamins are not your style, try FRS

Day 9: December 22. Give Healthy Stocking Stuffers. Usually stocking stuffers consist of chocolate and candy canes. Try to encourage a healthy lifestyle with your stocking stuffers. Instead of sweets, try giving a jump rope, some workout gear, or better yet a Fitdigits Cardio Bundle!

Day 10: December 23:
Try Not to Stress Out. The Holidays can be a stressful time. Family and friends coming from out of town, big meals to cook, presents to buy, and the pressure to live up to the idealized version of Christmas we see in the media can make even the most laid back person tighten up. Stress can lead to heart disease, binge eating, and weight gain, so take a deep breath. The holidays should be a fun and happy time. Try some tips on how to manage stress during the holidays

Day 11: December 24: Check Out Some Christmas Lights. The Holidays offer plenty of opportunities to get moving. A great way to be active and feel the Holiday cheer is to go on a walking tour of an area that specializes in extravagant Christmas decorations. Make it a Christmas Eve tradition!

Day 12: December 25: Have a Merry Christmas! If you have been following all of our health and fitness tips, you deserve a day off. That does not mean you should waste all of the hard work you have done and eat until you feel sick, but don’t count calories. Enjoy your family, friends, and the feeling that comes with being fit and staying healthy!

Workout Tips for Holiday Travel

The holiday season is filled with distractions and temptations that derail even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast. Traveling can add even more challenge with packed schedules and limited access to fitness facilities. Even though you may not be able to exercise as much as you normally do, fitting in even a few small workouts is better than none at all.

Walk. According to Fitbit, walking 10,000 steps per day will keep you healthy and trim. So, look for opportunities to walk more during your travels. For instance, walk past moving walkways and take the stairs instead of the escalators at the airport. Park your rental car in the back of the lot when gift shopping or walk to the grocery store. Take your aunt’s dog for a lap around the block or plan a family stroll after dinner. Since walking can be done almost anywhere, it’s the easiest way to maintain your activity level when traveling.

Keep it Short. If your schedule is jam packed with flights, family dinner and gift shopping, you likely won’t find time for a long workout. The good news is that you can get the same benefits from shorter workouts. In fact, three 10-minute workouts are not only easier to accomplish throughout the day, they are more effective than one single 30-minute workout as reported in the New York Times. The trick is to find small pockets of time throughout the day. When you’re watching TV with the family, do 10 minutes of jumping jacks combined with mountain climbers. Go for a 10-minute jog in the morning before hopping in the shower and do 10 minutes of crunches and lunges before going to sleep at night.

Pack to Motivate. When preparing your luggage for your trip, pack your workout gear last. This trick will get you motivated to exercise when you reach your final destination because it will be the first thing you see and unpack. Also, consider gear and exercise clothing that is lightweight, thus easier to fit into even the most bulging bag. Nike Free Run sneakers, for instance, are light andpack easily. Tanks with built in sports bras eliminate the extra item and those with quick dry material can be washed in the sink for multiple use throughout the trip. Exercise bands and jump ropes are light and don’t take up much room, plus they’re perfect tools to use in the hotel or guest room.

Get Inspired Online. If you have internet connection, look for online workout tutorials. For example, BeFit offers tons of free workouts by popular personal trainers like Julian Michaels, Denise Austin and many others. If you don’t have WiFi, you can tune into your smartphone for exercise tips and moves to do anywhere. Apps like Daily Workouts will keep you moving and offers fresh fitness content to motivate you to work hard.

Be Social. Nothing beats the support and motivation of a dedicated exercise buddy. If you can’t find a partner while on vacation, use the power of the internet and social media to challenge a friend back home to daily workouts and goals. Apps like Fitdigits iCardio track your exercise and allow you to share workout stats with others by email, social media or a fitness partner. You can also challenge Facebook friends and Twitter followers to an exercise challenge to help boost your motivation.

Have a Drink with Wine. Staying hydrated will help you avoid fatigue, keep you looking good, and help keep the hangovers to a minimum (which trigger the desire to make poor eating choices and result in low activity levels). That’s why it’s recommended to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. Add lemon juice to your H2O or try sparking water if the otherwise bland taste keeps you from hydrating.

Don’t Forget, Diet Matters. Many people throw their diet out the door during the holidays, but poor eating and drinking choices from Thanksgiving through New Years can do damage to your waistline. From wine and eggnog to stuffing and home-made cookies—there are so many favorite treats and high-calorie temptations that are hard to resist. If you are going to indulge, plan accordingly–do extra cardio in the morning and cut calories throughout the day or take smaller portions. Otherwise, look for low-calorie alternatives to favorite foods and drinks. A low-sugar hot chocolate has just a fifth of the calories of eggnog. Pinot Noir is also a better choice over a Cosmopolitan and pumpkin pie has 515 less calories than pecan pie. Read this post to help you make better diet choices without sacrificing your taste buds.

Plan Active Activities. When planning time with family and friends, look for opportunities to be active. Look for a hiking trail at a nearby park or go on a walking tour of the city. Even ice skating will burn calories while having fun. Otherwise, walk around town to window shop and take in all the decorations–it’s a great way to keep moving while enjoy the holiday season with loved ones.