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Boot camp offers methods to keep off pounds

The holiday season is about to begin and so will all the treats that come with it. There is probably a lot of Halloween candy in the house and at work. Thanksgiving is less than a month away. From Halloween through New Year’s, the average weight gain among Americans is 5 to 8 pounds.

To avoid having the "holiday bulge" take over your body, focus on three goals: 1) make exercise a priority, 2) moderation in eating and drinking, and 3) weight management.

Making exercise a priority during the holidays (and always) is a key to surviving the season. Exercise not only burns up extra calories to help keep the weight off, it also helps reduce stress, which is important during the stressful holiday season. It is important to set realistic goals for your exercise during this busy time of year. Aim to exercise 30 minutes a day and if necessary it is all right to break it into 10-minute intervals throughout the day. Besides structured exercise, remember that you can give yourself mini bouts of exercise throughout the day by parking your car farther away, walking to work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator and at that holiday party you can get exercise by kicking up your heels and dancing.

Another tip for exercising during the holidays is to exercise right away in the morning before the demands of the day sidetrack you. We are offering the seventh annual Battle the Holiday Bulge Bootcamp. This class is geared toward all fitness levels and is a great way to jump-start your workout, break through a fitness plateau and beat that holiday bulge. The camp is a 15-session, results-oriented workout, held from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Progress will be documented to show results. Two instructors will motivate you to push your limits, increase your strength and endurance and help you to achieve your fitness goals. A commitment agreement must be signed at the time of registration. Sessions will begin Nov. 21 and go through  Dec. 23. Register online or stop by the Y’s front desk. Cost is $35 for members and $85 for nonmembers.

Cool it on the calories


Now that you have a grasp on exercising during the holiday season, let’s turn to how we can eat and drink in moderation. Eating and drinking in moderation does not mean you have to feel deprived at a holiday party or that you have to leave a party feeling hungry. When attending a holiday party, you can prepare a healthful food that you like and fill up on the most healthful foods and then eat smaller portions of the less healthful foods. Remember that it is important to give yourself permission to eat in moderation all year long so that you aren’t tempted to overindulge on foods you have restricted yourself from eating. Be aware that alcohol increases appetite and lowers inhibitions, which could cause you to drink more and make poor food choices. Also don’t stand by the food table and avoid thinking about food during a holiday party. Instead, focus on the people and move around the room for conversation.

Lastly, concentrate on weight management over weight loss. If you try to focus on the social part of the season instead of the food and continue to put exercise in your day, you should be able to maintain your weight so that you don’t have to start your New Year’s goals off at a deficit. You are in control of your lifestyle, and if you take the time to plan in advance you can make it through the holidays without tipping the scales upward.

Family Tri Fun Night is Friday

The Family Tri Fun Night is a challenge: Youth and families must complete 12 of the 15 activities on the Tri Guide. After completing the tri, gain entry into a drawing for $25 Subway gift card and free session of youth programming or lessons. Family night is 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. It's free for members, $15 for nonmember families.

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