Holiday breaks always make it hard to implement a new diet or exercise routine – so Fitness Coordinator Bucky Buchanan says not to worry about it. “The holidays aren’t the time to try to get strong or lose weight. You should focus on enjoying the break,” Buchanan said. “The best thing to do is something – be active but don’t try to start anything new.”
Here, he breaks down six ways to stay active and eat healthy over the holidays.
1. Go for a run
There are two ways to run: distance and interval. “Long-slow distance and steady-state running are for people training for long distance races. Interval training is more effective for losing or maintaining weight,” Buchanan said. “Break up a 10-minute run by doing one-minute-on, one-minute-off and run faster than you would in a 30-minute jog – you’ll get more bang for your buck.”
2. Eat small, frequent meals
Most people will enjoy a big Thanksgiving meal over the break, and Buchanan agrees there’s nothing wrong with indulging in moderation. But for most of your meals, “small snacks every three-to-four hours will boost your metabolism, especially when combined with exercise,” he said. The best rule is simple: Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not.
3. Just do it
It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 minutes or an hour, performing some kind of exercise will benefit you much more than doing nothing.
4. Paint your plate
With food, that is. When sitting down for a meal, Buchanan says a colorful plate leads to better health. “You don’t want a plate that’s totally yellow-brown with just turkey, mac and cheese and stuffing on it. Add greens and red vegetables like tomatoes or bell peppers,” he advised.
5. No excuses
The George St. Fitness Center will still be there when you get back. Over the break try circuit-style training – an easy, equipment-free way to get your heart-rate up. “Do six-to-eight rounds of squats for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, then do a set of push-ups the same way, then crunches to get your whole body moving,” Buchanan said. “Make it a cycle.”
6. Drink water
Drinking a full glass of water before a meal helps curb appetite, and drinking water throughout the day has countless benefits for your body, skin, metabolism and energy levels. “Often people think they’re hungry when really they’re just thirsty,” Buchanan said. “A good test is to drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. If you’re hungry, you’ll know it.”
For students who will be in Charleston over the holidays, the George St. Fitness Center will be closed from November 27 – December 1, 2013 and December 13 until school resumes for the Spring 2014 semester.
For more information, contact Bucky Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org.