Lose the lbs over break: stay active in simple ways

Jada Hallman, Editor-in-Chief

Now that Thanksgiving has passed and a string of more holidays are right around the corner, it’s easy to ditch the scale and indulge yourself in some of the year’s best holiday treats. Although, this time of year is praised for its delicious delicacies and mouthwatering treats, it’s important to stay healthy as well. In between all of the presents, family outings and Netflix binge watching, it may be difficult to find time in your busy break to get moving and stay active. Remember to try your best to really find time to exercise and stay healthy and here’s why.

According to WebMD, aerobic exercises, or any physical activity that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe heavier, do more than just keep you fit. Exercising helps you to maintain a healthy weight, tones your muscles, relieves stress, clears your skin of acne (perspiration unclogs your pores and decreases pimple development), minimizes food cravings and floods your brain with endorphins, chemicals in your body that improve your mood naturally.

Instead of reaching for that third slice of pumpkin pie, check out these easy and simple exercises that will help you stay in shape over winter break.

1.) Abs during ads: when that television show you’re binge-watching has a commercial break, get down and do some quick crunches before your show starts again. It will give you a quick moment to work on your core and not miss any of your show! You can also substitute sit-ups for pushups, jumping jacks, planks or other quick exercises you prefer.

2.) Rise and stretch: right as you get out of bed in the morning, do some stretches. By taking 10 minutes in the morning to stretch your arms and legs, you become more flexible, improve your posture, increase your stamina, improve energy levels and stimulate blood circulation. Stretch your arms over your head, your quads by pulling your leg behind you or even just focus on taking deep breaths in your nose and out your mouth.

3.) Make the parking lot trek: yes, we all like to find the closest parking spot we can get especially during the busy shopping season, but parking farther away will get you moving more than you realize. According to Prevention.com, just by simply walking, your body’s response to insulin improves, reducing belly fat, and your metabolism increases, burning extra calories and preventing muscle loss. Plus, there are many more open parking spaces the farther out you go! It’s a win-win!

4.) Take your eco-friendly bike: if it isn’t too chilly outside, try riding your bike to the places you need to go. Cycling increases muscle and bone strength, improves posture and coordination, decreases stress levels, reduces anxiety and decreases body fat levels. You’re also doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint on our planet! Good for you going green.

5.) Simply drink an extra glass of water: a study done by Berlin’s Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center showed that, after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water, the metabolic rates of the subjects increased by 30% for both men and women. By staying hydrated, you burn calories from fat and carbohydrates faster. Drinking water also helps you to feel fuller during a meal, allowing smaller portion sizes and healthier options to satisfy your hunger faster.

6.) Look for instructional videos online: professional trainers aren’t so hard to find thanks to the world wide web. Go on YouTube and search up exercise tutorials on anything you’d like to focus on. From ab workouts to cardio to Zumba routines, our access to online videos makes working out comfortable and accessible from our homes. For the times I want to really stretch my muscles, I go to the 3 Week Yoga Retreat videos; I feel so relaxed and flexible afterwards. For when I really want to work on my cardio, my favorite Shaun T workout videos really help me get a good sweat in. Try your own videos, burn some calories and find your favorites too.

7.) Go on a run: running helps you to stay in shape while also getting you out of the house. According to Active.com, running is one of the leading ways to burn off extra calories and is the second most effective exercise in terms of calories burned per minute. Running boosts your immune system, relieves stress and tension headaches, boosts your mood and increases your energy. Put on some good running shoes, bring a bottle of water and get going.

Join a class at your gym, work out with a friend or exercise on your own, but don’t forget to get your blood pumping over break. In these fast and easy ways, you can keep off the pounds while still enjoying your holiday break.