by Paula Allia PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

Thanksgiving is over and that first big gathering of the holidays brings family and friends together to eat, drink, and socialize. That holiday is known to be a big calorie consumer.

Actually, the Calorie Control Council estimates that one can eat as many as 4500 calories in that one day alone! That is a crazy amount of food and drink. For some, that day leads into a season of eating and drinking way too much.

Before you know it you have consumed more calories than ever. Now what? Get in the spirit of feasting on fitness this season! Fitness is such a relative term and is individually relative to your own situation.

Fitness is a term to describe a quality that allows one to be sound in a given situation. Thus, psych yourself up to be fit for the season to handle the temptations of the holidays.

Do things in moderation; be aware of what you are consuming; realize that doing too much of anything is not fit. It is time to get up and exercise your fitness training! Think about what you have to do to avoid overindulging and exercise the steps to do this. At the same time, exercise your body along with your mind.

Everybody’s metabolism is different and thus calories are burned off differently. Some people have a slow basal metabolic rate. This can be tested with certain equipment to give you a relative idea of your calorie expenditure. (Fitness Together in downtown Naples has this testing available.)

Many people have recognized the fact that what they once could do with dieting no longer works with aging. The real key is indeed moderation but this was abused earlier in life so now this method just does not seem to work.

Aging and muscle tone is not easy to maintain if you are not participating in regular exercise. If you do not participate in activities that use all planes of the body, posture and balance can deteriorate more rapidly.

Side to side movements, rotations and forward and backward motion help to stimulate the body’s sensors to adapt to balance and tone needs. There are things that you can do to try and be fit for not only the holidays but to use as lifestyle change.

First, ensure that your body is getting enough water. Secondly, eat small amounts of food more often during the day and always include some protein. Third, eat small amounts of healthy fat such as olive oil or avocado. Lastly, MOVE your body.

Movement burns calories so any movement is better than none. Use your bodyweight as resistance to help maintain strength. The body likes to be challenged. Everybody can participate at some level.

Water is essential to your body and is used in most metabolic processes of the body. One should drink about half of your bodyweight in ounces of water a day. This will give you enough fluid to metabolize, create energy, and contribute to cleansing your body.

Commonly people think they drink enough water but when you hear that a 150 pound person should have around 75 ounces, reality hits and most fall short of this number.

Small amount of food more often is better than 1-3 bigger meals. The goal of eating is to supply your body with nutrients and calories and to maintain your blood sugar level. If you eat less, chances are your blood sugar is fluctuating and thus your energy dips.

Your body also needs healthy fats. Many eat bad fats and this does not make the body want to use fat as fuel. Eating healthy fat is beneficial for your body whereas other fats are detrimental. Using fat as fuel for aerobic activities during the day can add to your body’s efficiency.

Exercising the right options is essential. Consider getting out and walking or biking. Movement tries to raise your metabolism and gets your body to want to use calories for its fuel.

Overall, EXERCISE the right options for you! If you get in a rut, MOVE. Get up, drink water, cleanse your body, spread out the joys of the season so that they do not take the wrong toll on the body.

Be fit, be well!

Happy holidays, everybody!

Fitness Together

335 14th Ave South

Naples, FL 34102239.263.9348


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