Many know what it takes to successfully implement the nutrition and exercise strategies to lose weight. It’s a skill and is based on measurable lifestyle changes that target sustainable fat loss. When confronted with the period of Thanksgiving to the New Year, we often deprive ourselves of dietary indulgences or we throw in the towel by allowing ourselves to get out of our routines – most notably, exercise. And then we gain weight. Is this weight gain caused by our dietary choices? Unless you’re going to a holiday buffet on a daily basis I would emphatically vote no. Occasional dietary indulgences are not the reason we gain weight. We at SAC are all here to remind you that exercise is your skill set to maintaining your weight during the holidays!
Exercise is the key to weight maintenance.
As you mindfully enjoy holiday foods, push yourself to go an extra 15-30 minutes during your next workout. Look for opportunities to walk more and take the stairs when you can. It all adds up to burning off those extra calories.
For most, delaying weight loss goals to the month of January is more realistic. By allowing yourself to mindfully include the dietary holiday traditions you enjoy you’ll be that much more prepared to transition to weight loss in the New Year (if that is your goal). And, by practicing the skill of weight maintenance over the holidays you’ll be that much more equipped to maintain your weight when you’ve accomplished your weight loss goals.
Enjoy the holidays and remember to be vigilant and double-down on your exercise routine. What a way to combat holiday stress as well!
For more information, please contact our Nutritionist, Kathryn Reed, MS, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diet & Nutrition
dietary indulgence, exercise, fat loss, holidays, Thanksgiving
If you are traveling this holiday season, remember to be kind to your body. In a plane, train, or automobile your muscles are forced into a shortened position for a prolonged time. Here are some basic stretches that can be done to mitigate the effects.
Chest stretch- A muscle commonly associated with poor posture is the pectoralis, or chest, muscles. As shoulders droop forward and upper back becomes stretched out, the chest muscles become shortened. An easy way to stretch the chest is in a doorway or against a wall. Make sure your shoulder blade is back and down, shoulder joint is back, elbow level with the shoulder line, lean in and slightly angle away from the wall. Putting the forearm flat against the wall makes it easier to have the correct alignment.
Lat stretch- In bad posture the shoulder blades move away from each other and you fall forward into a collapsed ribcage. This shortens the lattisimus dorsi of the upper back. It’s easiest to do this against a wall with the hands against a wall, hinging forward with straight limbs, shoulders down, which also effectively stretches the hamstrings.
Neck and upper trapezius stretch- The collapsed upper body slouch also causes shortness in the upper trapezius area. To stretch this muscle along with the side flexors of the neck take one arm bent behind your back, drop the opposite ear to shoulder and make sure to keep the shoulder back and down.
Spine stretch- To align your spine after being in a prolonged seated posture sit straight, twist to one side, focusing on an open chest and twisting the neck to look over the shoulder.
Piriformis stretch- Inside of your hips the muscles and ligaments can become tight and pull your sacroiliac joint out of alignment. This can cause all kinds of discomfort along the back. An easy way to stretch the hips is sitting straight with feet flat then crossing one leg up and over the other with the ankle over top the upper thigh. This opens the hip to allow a deep stretch.
Hip flexor/ quadricep stretch- The front of the hips also becomes tight from sitting in a fixed posture for a long time. Sit on the edge of a chair and swing the outside leg back while pushing forward with the back of the hip to ensure that you’re not arching your lower back. You should feel the front of the hip and thigh being lengthened.
Another great way to create length in the spine after gravity has worn on you is to hang from a bar above you. This just allows space between the vertebrae and can release any vertebrae that are subluxed, or misaligned. If you do these basic stretches, you can help alleviate any accumulated discomfort in the body that sets in because of travel. For any specific stretch advice contact me, Amber Walz, at the club (206)443-1111 ext.242.
Fitness Advice, Lifestyle
comfort, fitness, gym, health, health club, holidays, physical therapy, rehabilitation, Seattle, stretching, travel