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Healthy habits factor for holiday fitness

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
With the holiday season comes a feast with all the trimmings. Turkeys, hams, cakes and cookies line the frozen food sections and aisles of local shopping centers, a potential recipe for disaster for Airmen trying to maintain fitness during this festive time of year.

"The reason many people overindulge during the holidays is because of tradition and due to so many choices available," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Herman, nutrition program manager. "Most people come from distinct cultural eating habits during the holidays. Create your own traditions by incorporating healthy eating habits into your holidays."

Eating off smaller plates and taking in smaller portion sizes is another way to consume recommended daily caloric intake. The HAWC staff offers calorie count appointments for Team Andersen members.

Eating healthy is not the only factor in the fitness equation. Airmen are also encouraged to maintain levels of activity when enjoying the holiday season.

"Take breaks between small meals," Sergeant Herman said. "You may not realize how full you are until at least 20 minutes after you ate. Also, take a walk outside to get your metabolism working. Other ways to stay active is take advantage of Guam's weather by having outside events such as volleyball or football. Make exercise into a game and it won't seem so difficult."

Overindulgence in food is not the only enemy in the fight to keep the calorie count low.

"Alcohol is high in empty calories," Sergeant Herman said. "Cut it completely, or limit yourself to one or two drinks per day."

Airmen should maintain their training regimen during the holidays because we are supposed to be fit at all times, not just during our annual PT test, Sergeant Herman said.

The health Web site, www.webmd.com, offers some tips and techniques to help deal with stress and holiday fitness:

- Fit in fitness every day. Getting regular physical activity works wonders in coping with stress. Give your stress to the pavement or the treadmill and let it go from your body. Staying active in winter elevates your mood and reduces stress.

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