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What Motivates You to Exercise?

8 Ways To Fend Off Holiday Weight Gain

Gaining weight during the holidays is an expected seasonal hazard for many individuals. Holiday indulgences are everywhere, and fending off the temptations can be a serious discipline.

The countless rounds of holiday parties make weight maintenance at this time of year a must. Take in the following 8 strategies to greet the New Year without an expanded waistline.

1. Plan Eating and Exercise
Experts suggest creating a plan for eating and exercise, as well as a reminder system to ensure that you follow through. Put notes or pictures in strategic places where you'll be sure to see them.

2. Small Servings
You need not be deprived of the holiday treats that you're sure to be bombarded with during the holidays. The trick is to have just a little of everything. Portion control is key to minimize weight gain during the holidays.

3. Choose Your Treats
Before partying, plan ahead which holiday food you're going to indulge in. There'll be a lot of temptations like rich dishes, sweet treats, and extra drinks. Just choose wisely and enjoy it. 

4. Get Moving
Lack of activity and rich holiday food make the perfect combination for weight gain. Short 10 to 15 minute sessions of activity, like walking, shoveling snow, or lifting weights, three times a day works just as well as a 45 minute workout. Think of these as a way to combat holiday stress and to make up for the extra calories you consumed.

5. Take Control
You certainly cannot control the type of food at any event, but you can bring your discipline to the table. To fend off those urges and temptations, try these tips:

  • Stay away from the buffet table.
  • Wear form fitting clothes to remind you that you've eaten enough.
  • Chew sugarless gum after you've finished eating.

6. Be Prepared
Don't go to an event hungry, thirsty, or tired. It sets you up for over-indulgence and poor judgment. Eat a healthy snack like whole grains, fresh fruit or low fat yogurt before hitting the event. In addition, thirst is often confused with hunger, so stay hydrated. 

7. Avoid Grazing
Often, we think that food eaten standing up or picked out from a tray doesn’t count, but it does. It is best to sit down and savor the food you've decided to enjoy rather than grazing continuously the whole time. Use a smaller plate if you want to control portions better. 

8. Limit Alcohol
Liquid calories are still calories. Besides, alcohol reduces willpower and can later stimulate appetite. Establish your limits and make you can stick with it.

You can avoid holiday weight gain if you really put your mind to it. Enjoy the delights of the season but stay committed to your weight maintenance plan.

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6 Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year when you want a break from your routines. You are in a festive mood, and with a little vacation time, it’s difficult to maintain discipline. And with all the holiday temptations, finding time to exercise is even more essential.

How can you make the most of your healthy endeavors during the busy holiday season?

It is important to understand and accept that the holiday season makes it hard to stick to healthy food and a regular exercise program. While it is hard, it is definitely not impossible to find discipline and techniques to stay in shape and choose healthy food options wherever possible.

Below are 6 tips for a healthier holiday season

  1. Combine exercise with family time on a holiday vacations. Go on a backpacking trip, skiing, sledding trip, or some kind of fun thing which involves physical activity with the family. Aside from exercise, your family gets quality time together with loved ones.
  2. Bring to mind that poster or image of your favorite celebrity or aspiring icon whose sexy body that you dream to possess. Each time you see unhealthy foods, this will be a conscious reminder to stop yourself from going overboard.
  3. Make few adjustments and find alternative physical activities to keep you fit. For example, The day you find yourself making excuses of avoiding your routine workouts, get creative with an at home exercise plan. You could do some jogging around the house, do stretching exercises or yoga, crunches and push-ups, or use a fitness DVD to do guided workouts to help you through.
  4. If you go shopping, make a plan to walk as much as possible. This includes taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and parking your car far from the exit of the mall.
  5. High sugar and high fat temptations will present themselves at almost every holiday season party. Consciously say aloud “no” each time you try to reach out for second helpings. This can help you fend off holiday weight gain.
  6. Getting up an hour earlier than usual to exercise or go running is a great idea during the holiday season. Not only will this help you ignite your metabolism, but the feeling of an early morning accomplishment can leave your feeling great all day.

The busy holiday season is bound to be fought with temptations. There may be a slip between the lip and the mind, but don’t beat yourself up over it. It is alright to allow yourself to ‘cheat’ at times when you get a little slack. However what is most important is to have the right attitude towards your health, your diet, and your exercise program.

Do not give up if you falter on your diet or exercise temporarily. Stay positive. Be aware that if you do fall off the exercise bandwagon, there's no reason not to climb back aboard once your holidays are over.

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5 Rules to Make You a Successful Runner

Successful RunnerCongratulations if you’re reading this because that means you’ve made it past the New Year’s resolution phase. Most people who put on their trainers and turned up their iPod on January 1st have long given up. Generally speaking however, running has never been more popular; it attracts people looking to lose a bit of weight or who just to improve their general fitness. But recently I’ve started to notice that people are going about their running regime in completely the wrong way. So without further ado let’s get cracking on five rules to make running a success for you.

Good Equipment

Running is just like any other activity, you need the correct equipment to do it safely; you wouldn’t go scuba diving without oxygen would you? The most important piece of equipment for any runner is undoubtedly a good pair of running shoes. Just running in standard sports shoes will put your feet and legs under too much strain which can lead to shin splints (learnt that the hard way) and other conditions.

Unfortunately a good pair of running shoes will set you back quite a lot of money but think of it as a long term investment. The more you run the more use you get out of them, if that’s not an incentive to carry on running I don’t know what is. Be sure to do your research before purchasing anything, use customer reviews and ask shop assistants to get a good idea of what will work for you.

Get Organised

It is so important to keep your running regime organised so you can maximise the positive effects of exercise. I find it helps to write up a schedule to keep track of when I’m meant to go running so I don’t make any excuses. I’d also recommend recording the distance you went, the time it took and any other pieces of information you think will be useful. That way you know what your targets are and you can chart your progress from a measly 500metres on day 1 to 10km a few months down the line.

If you can’t be bothered to spend five minutes drawing a chart on an old fashioned piece of paper then use your smartphone. There are loads of apps that automatically keep track of your progress without any hassle or effort.

Fuel Up

It’s incredibly important for people about to undertake any form of exercise to ensure that their body has fuel to burn. The say same is true of running, if you don’t eat a nutritious meal around 45 minutes before you start you’ll find you can’t push yourself further and faster because there is nothing left in the tank. Obviously you shouldn’t eat too near to running because this can result in you sitting on the side of the road/treadmill throwing up.

In terms of food types I’d suggest complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, wholegrain pasta and oats all count. They provide your body with a sustained level of energy throughout exercise; the recipes are numerous when you include rice and pasta but I’d avoid throwing in anything excessively fatty or sweet.

Run Alone

This might make me sound very antisocial but I believe it is an essential for people to run alone in order to get the most out of it. There a few reasons for this; firstly it takes awawy the temptation to talk whilst running which obviously screws up your breathing. Secondly you may end being forced to rely on someone else to motivate you to run or it may go the other way and you may find your running partner is always late/making excuses. Lastly, it can make you push yourself too hard (that is actually a thing) or not push yourself hard enough because your partner has to stop every 5 minutes because they’re so unfit. At the end of the day it’s your decision but make sure you’re aware of the potential problems running with someone can cause.

Get a Soundtrack

Now for a slightly light hearted tip; I’ve found music gives me that little bit of encouragement to push myself further than I otherwise would. So before embarking on your Chariots of Fireesque run load up your iPod with power songs to push you harder.

You can’t go wrong with the classic Eye of the Tiger but don’t be embarrassed to listen to rubbish songs. As long as it has a good beat it doesn’t matter, plus who can hear it anyway?

Disclaimer: I’m not a qualified medical or sports professional in anyway; this article is entirely based on my opinion and experience. If you have any concerns please seek advice from your doctor.

About the Author Josh writes for XXPress PCR an innovative biotechnology firm based in the UK. XXPress specialises in pcr machines and have pioneered pcr technology.

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