|By Susan L.
Now there’s a new term to add to freshman 15, an expression used to
describe the average amount of weight college students put on their
first year, most often from too much pizza and beer. The new term to
describe situational weight gain is seasonal seven, which is the
average number of pounds put on between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
It’s the perfect storm that usually starts with Halloween candy,
followed by football tailgates, holiday parties, cookie baking, family
gatherings and not enough time to exercise. It’s no wonder most people
gain at least one pound of fat and may also lose muscle mass due to
lack of physical activity. Even worse, most people don’t ever lose that
weight so it just accumulates from year to year.
It’s not too late, even if those pounds have already started adding up.
Here are some tips for starting or maintaining a holiday fitness
- Be flexible. Holiday schedules can disrupt
normal workouts, so consider alternate forms of exercise. Try a class
that is offered at a different time, use home exercise equipment or TV
workouts, or walk during lunch. Cross-training can improve fitness
levels, reduce boredom and serve as motivation to continue workouts.
- Break it up. Workout time is hard to come by in
the midst of holiday shopping, baking, wrapping and partying. So
instead of giving up all together, try shorter workouts in between
errands and events. Squats and lunges in the kitchen, crunches before a
shower or even 10 minutes on the treadmill can burn calories, maintain
muscle mass and reduce stress.
- Make it fun. Consider winter activities as ways
to stay fit. q Do it together. Holidays involve lots of family
- Plan ahead. If traveling is part of your
holiday schedule, consider fitness equipment when you’re packing for a
trip. Bring fitness videos, workout clothes, a bathing suit or other
gear that you can fit in your bag. Use workout rooms at hotels or buy a
pass to the local YMCA or gym.
- Chair massages: Free massages are offered to
employees on Tuesday nights and midday Wednesdays. Look for broadcast
messages for locations and times.
- Farmers market: Dec. 29
- Discounted state park annual passes: Ranger
John Phelps from Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site will be
located near Starbucks in the University Hospital on Dec. 29 from 10:30
a.m. – 1 p.m. selling annual state park passes to employees at a 20
percent discount. Visit http://www.charlestowne.org/
- Experts from the Weight Management Center will
be available at the Wellness Wednesday booth from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Jan. 5 in the University Hospital.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to become involved in
employee wellness at MUSC. Events, classes or any other ideas are
Friday, Dec. 3, 2010