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Healthy Choices to Stay in Shape as it Gets Colder

Nov 11, 2014, 14:40 PM by

It’s that time of the year again, when the temperature outside drops and our desire to stay indoors rises! Be it bundling up on the couch, partaking in massive family meals or eating holiday desserts, it’s easy to lose our daily regimen of staying healthy. Here are some simple tips to stay on track and be your best.

Stay Active!

As inviting as it is to stay bundled up in a blanket watching TV or to spend time with friends or family around the dinner table, you'll want to find plenty of opportunities for activity to balance out your increased consumption of pie and cookies. Invite your visiting friends or family to join your workout or check out a class at the Y. Or plan a snowshoeing excursion or a snowy flag football game in the yard. If all else fails, shovel the driveway. You'll enjoy the peace and quiet and give yourself a great workout.

Moderation

One of the most traditional activities of the fall and winter is the feast. My family goes all out on holiday feasts, be it Thanksgiving dinner or any meal surrounding Christmas. Turkey, ham, stuffing, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, endless sides, you name it. It’s no secret that holiday meals are beyond delicious. And it's healthy to splurge every so often; however, it’s never a good idea to eat so much that you feel your stomach is about to burst. Eat until your are full and then stop. Enjoy some leftovers when you are hungry again. And make sure you are staying true to your nutritious self on non-feasting days.

Be Inventive and Healthy With Sweets

Dessert is without a doubt my favorite course. Often times I find myself piling up mounds of whipped cream onto my pie, which is obviously not healthy whatsoever. Now, I’m not saying don’t eat dessert, but mix in some fruit! Choices like apple and cherry pie are not only delicious, but are a bit healthier than most standard dessert options (ahem, we're looking at you pecan pie).

Dont Lose Track of Everyday Health

As a college kid, I know what it feels like to have gone without a great dietary balance of fruits and vegetables—and I'll be honest, I feel a lot better when I eat healthfully. Just because it’s getting closer to the holidays, which means more festive foods, doesn’t mean you should kick aside nutritional foods. Make sure you are filling half your plate with veggies. And take an opportunity to check out seasonal options, so your menu doesn't go stagnant. This fall, enjoy squash, parsnips and sweet potato along with the usual suspects.

I often find myself craving a ridiculous amount of sweets this time of year, be it cookies, hot chocolate, pie and so on (my mouth is starting to water). It’s obviously acceptable to have some every so often; however, it’s easy to lose yourself to the temptation of deliciousness. Resist the urge most of the time, say yes occasionally (and don't feel guilty), stay active and maintain your healthy lifestyle as much as you can during this busy time of year.

Brandon Hillhouse is a CU student and a volunteer blog writer for the Y.

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