STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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trained will expend more fat in future workouts. Today, most fitness experts agree that the fat lost after a workout partially depends on the exercise intensity during the workout. Thus, interval training – where intensive exercise is broken up with periods of rest – is a great way to perform high-intensity workouts to decrease body fat percentage. A combination of endurance and strength training results in more fat loss that either on its own.


Will Weight Lifting Result in Larger Muscles?

That depends on three factors: genetics, gender and training intensity. Genetics affect muscle fiber type. Those who have fast-twitch fibers acquire larger muscles more easily than people with predominantly slow-twitch fibers. Generally speaking, men acquire larger muscles more easily than women because of testosterone and other sex hormones that influence protein metabolism. Training intensity is the only factor that has control over genetics and gender. If you want larger muscles, the lift load should be at least 80 percent of a one-repetition maximum. If you don’t want larger muscles, then keep the load at less than 80 percent per one-repetition maximum. For those who have never lifted weights, the recommendation is 60 percent of the one-repetition maximum.


Should I Do Cardio or Weight Training First?

The intensity of a workout, not the mode of exercise, determines the “fuel” – whether that be fat, carbohydrates or protein – that is used. If your primary goal is to increase aerobic endurance and/or lose weight, then do the cardio workout first. If your primary goal is to increase muscular strength, do strength training first. To get the most out of the workout, do the most important type of exercise for your goal when you are not fatigued. Most people want to lose weight and increase muscular strength; therefore, alternating the order of the workout during different cycles of training is best.


How Can I Get Rid of Flabby Arms, Muffin Tops and Inner Thigh Bulge?

This problem area falls under the category of “spot reducing” or “spot toning,” which unfortunately is not possible. You cannot dictate from where your body will decide to oxidize fat and you cannot change fat into muscle. These areas will only see a difference with nutrition changes and overall fat loss. Once the layer of subcutaneous fat is dropped, strength training will give added muscle definition.

We all have fitness questions, whether we’re new to working out or have been at it for a while. Here are the answers to some common fitness questions.


How Often Should I Work Out?

Everyone should commit to working out a minimum of three days a week to see results. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of high-intensity cardio, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise or a combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Resistance and flexibility training should be practiced twice a week.


Should I Eat Before a Workout?

Your body needs fuel for a workout. The best pre-workout meal is an easily digestible carbohydrate an hour or so before you begin. Fruit and yogurt or toast and peanut butter are good examples. Just don’t eat too much, and avoid complex carbohydrates that will leave you feeling sluggish and heavy. Some individuals can tolerate cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, but food is definitely required before a strength-training session.


What Should I Eat for a Post-Workout Meal?

It’s vital to eat after a workout to replenish glycogen stores

ANSWERS TO COMMON FITNESS QUESTIONS

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

and feed the muscles that have just been used. Sports nutritionists recommend eating a small snack of protein and easily digestible carbohydrates within an hour of training, followed by a full meal an hour or two later. The worst post-workout meals are protein shakes that exceed the calories you just burned or an unhealthy “reward” snack.


How Many Calories Does It Take to Burn One Pound of Fat?

It takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose one pound. To lose one pound per week, you need to decrease calories by 500 per day; cutting 250 calories from your diet and burning the other 250 calories through exercise is a good way to achieve this goal.


What Is the Best Way to Lose Fat?

There’s no “best way” to lose fat that works for every person, but there are some universal principles that work for everyone. Activities that use many muscle groups and are weight bearing use more calories per minute, making them good for fat loss. The rate of energy expenditure, rather than the percentage of energy expenditure derived from fat, is more important in deciding the exercise intensity that will burn the most fat. Additionally, consider that endurance-trained individuals rely less on carbohydrates and more on fat as a fuel source – being aerobically