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Defeat Diabetes
150 153rd Ave,
Suite 300

Madeira Beach, FL 33708

Eight Tips for Exercising Off the Holiday Season Weight

Posted: Monday, January 12, 2004

And you can even do it without passing up all of the holiday season goodies.

Tip #1 Add more physical movement into your daily life.

You don't have to join a gym. You can simply decide to limit your sedentary activities. For example, if you're going to indulge in some holiday treats, make yourself walk to get them (in other words, don't keep them on your desk).

Tip #2 For every extra calorie you consume during the holiday season, add 20 steps to your day.

The equivalent of a mile is roughly 2,000 steps. For most people, walking one mile expends 100 to 150 calories, depending on body weight. At 100 calories per mile, walking 500 extra steps would compensate for 25 calories, approximately the number of calories contained in half a typical holiday cookie.

Tip #3 Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator while holiday shopping.

Walking up a set of stairs can burn 5 to 10 calories, depending on your weight and the number of stairs. Going down stairs typically expends one-third as much energy.

Tip #4 Walk up and down the shopping mall an extra time or two, carrying all of your bags.

Adding the extra mileage, especially when carrying some additional weight, will help you burn more calories while accomplishing your errands. You can also avoid holiday parking lot hassles by parking as far away as possible and walking.

Tip #5 If you let your fingers do the shopping, take the time you saved and exercise instead.

If you are buying your gifts online or by phone, compensate for your lack of mall walking by taking the dog out for a walk around the block. Go to your local Y, community center, fitness club, or other exercise facility and participate in an aerobics group, a yoga class or a t'ai chi session.

Tip #6 Grab some weights and lift them as many times as you can.

Building muscle mass with weightlifting will help you burn more calories around the clock. You don't need a set of weights—try a heavy book or that uneaten fruitcake. For a greater challenge, you can always try lifting your children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews. (You should be cautious about lifting weights, however, if you have retinopathy, high blood pressure or cardiac problems.)

Tip #7 Exercise your willpower and pass on some of the goodies.

Use your strength to push yourself away from the table before you are totally stuffed. Another helpful practice is to wait 10 to 20 minutes before helping yourself to "seconds," to allow adequate time for your first helping to settle in your stomach.

Tip # 8 Apply any or all of these tips to the rest of the year as well.

Santa Claus didn't get as big as he is just by overeating during the holidays!

Sheri R. Colberg, PhD, is an associate professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She has published numerous research and educational articles on diabetes and exercise as well as a book entitled "The Diabetic Athlete" (Human Kinetics, 2001).

Source: Diabetes Interview

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