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December 2012
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February 2013

Be a Winner at Your Super Bowl Party

SuperbowlAs you continue on your journey to live a healthier lifestyle there will be events and celebrations that pop up like Super Bowl Parties.  If you are prepared for these special functions, you will find it much easier to stick to your healthy living plan and achieve your goals. 

1. Call the host to find out what foods they will be having and volunteer to bring an appetizer or meal side dish. Choose to bring a veggie tray or lean and green salad.

2. Remember that alcohol is loaded with calories and it's an appetite stimulant. Alcohol will also let down your defenses and you will be more apt to fall for temptations.   Choose club soda, diet soda or a flavored water to minimize the "penalties" of taking in too many calories while watching the big game . 

3. Don’t change your exercise routine the day of the party. Get in 20-30 minutes of focused exercise if you can.  Remember not to focus on what you CAN'T do but rather what you CAN do.

4. Make the occasion a social event and focus on your friends and fun. Nudge your friends, family and neighbors to get healthier by make a wager using exercise as the payment of choice.  If your team wins, the other team’s fans have to do a push ups for every point your team scored.

5. When the party is at your house, use low calorie and fat free salad dressings for dips.  Have plenty of healthy snacks for you such as almonds, celery stalks and other fresh cut veggies.

6. Make a decision about what you are going to eat before you go.  Have a written plan or you will fall into the plans of other people.

7.  Make a decision about what you will say to those who try to push fattening food on you.  Be ready to respond.  If someone asks "Are you on a diet?" say "No, I'm just trying to make healthier choices."

8. Have a healthy meal, snack or meal replacement bar/shake before you go to curb your appetite.

9. Get up during half time and walk outside (weather permitting) or do some stretching.

10. Stand away from the food table and engage in conversation.  Use a small plate to put your healthy food items on, and then walk away.

11. Bring a protein shake or protein bar with you in case there are not good food choices at the party, especially if you will be there for 3 hours. 

12. Help serve and clean up. Keep busy and burn a few extra calories in the process.

P.S.  I’m picking the 49er's.  Let me know if you're up to the "push up" wager!

January? Brrrrring it on, and shape up!

If it’s cold where you live, the thought of spending time outdoors might cause a little bear envy. But unless you’re a dormouse or a grizzly, you’ll do better to de-romanticize the hibernation lifestyle.   How can we rouse ourselves from our winter torpor? Here are a few musts to keep up our fitness and health goals in cold months.

Suit up.
Coats are cumbersome. They make workouts restrictive, and they’re awkward to carry around when you get hot. Try a trio of layers. Next to your skin, you’ll want material that wicks away moisture, so you won’t stay damp if you work up a sweat (and you’ll want to work up a sweat!). Try some of these long johns for your first layer:

A second layer of thin fleece or other insulating material is essential for cold weather. And zip it up with a windbreaker. Comfortable, warm clothing negates the biggest excuse for staying indoors.

Buddy up.
There’s strength—and motivation—in numbers, so grab a friend, and take a walk. Make a standing date of it—say three nights a week after work. Meet at the local high school track or each other’s front door.

Team up.
Still want to stay inside? Join a fitness class. In fact, winter’s the perfect time to stretch your limits with Bikram—or hot—yoga. When the room temperature is 105°, walking outside on a 30-degree day will feel like nirvana! Alternately, you can bring a little summer to your winter with water aerobics in an indoor pool.

Buck up.
Unless you spend your winters in warmer climates, it’s time to change your attitude about the season. Think of positive ways to reframe your winter workout. Remind yourself that you burn slightly more calories when your body’s cold (shivering even burns calories!). Think of all the things you enjoy more
when the temps are frigid—like baths, soups and stews, and hot chocolate. (

Cheer up.
When the days are short and cold, it’s easy to come up short where sunshine and vitamin D are concerned. The winter sun might not be warm, but it’s still just as full of happiness-giving D as the summer sun. You should plan to spend at least 20 minutes outside at peak hours every day.

Drink up.
Be sure to stay hydrated in the winter. Dehydration might be an even bigger issue in winter than it is in the summer. The warm-weather months have something besides temperature and long days to recommend them. They’re wetter. We lose up to two quarts of water from our lungs when we exhale. When we inhale, we humidify and heat the air to our body temperature. In cold weather, our bodies have to work harder to humidify and heat. And because we’re less likely to feel like drinking a glass of water—cold weather suppresses thirst—it’s easy to become dehydrated, especially when we’re exercising. 
The extra water we drink in winter will go a long way toward helping us regulate our core temperature. So drink up—before and after your workouts and when you first wake up in the morning.

Whoop it up.
Sometimes the best exercise is the kind you get when you’re having fun. If it snows, you can burn  plenty of calories building snowmen and snow forts or just trudging around in it during your regular errands. For serious workouts, try your legs at cross-country skiing (or downhill; look for beginners groups at your local ski resort), or go ice skating—even more fun at an outdoor rink. Of course, an icy day makes exercise difficult, so it helps to have a few workout DVDs handy.

Winter offers plenty to love and excellent opportunities to get—and stay—fit. Ready to shape up?