HUDGINS: Sneak in quick exercise to avoid holiday weight gain

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Holidays are in full swing, and so are the parties and get-togethers. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, food – and lots of it – is a big part of the festivities.  So is a hectic schedule that does not leave enough time for physical fitness.

“We all love the holiday season, but, health-wise, it can be a real pitfall,” says Holly Drayton, a personal trainer at Fitness Together Nashville.

“We consume far too much caloric and fattening food and don’t burn it off afterwards. No wonder many of us carry the extra weight into the New Year and, if we are not careful, into following years as well.”

If you are one of those people who just can’t find the time – or motivation – to work out during the holidays, try to find other ways to sneak in some physical activity into your day, Drayton suggests in a news release.

“Ask yourself how you can include at least some exercise in your schedule, even if it is not your usual fitness routine,” she says. “While regular and continuous physical activity is the most beneficial for health and weight control, a little bit of movement is still better than none at all.”

So what can you do to stay on track for the rest of the holiday season?

“Get creative, think out of the box, and get into the festive spirit,” she urged. “The more enjoyable your mini-workout is, the more benefit you’ll get from it.”

Drayton offers some examples, including:

Rock around the Christmas tree (or Hanukkah bush): Okay, so it doesn’t have to involve the tree, but dancing while you do your household chores is certainly better than not moving at all. You’ll be in motion, get your heart rate up, and work muscles throughout your body. So put ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ on your iPod and start moving and shaking!

Deck the halls: Whether you spruce up your house with the boughs of holly, tinsel or garlands, reaching up high to hang the decorations is a great stretching exercise, which will elongate several muscle groups, relieve tightness, improve circulation, and increase joint flexibility.

Over the river and through the woods: If you don’t feel like doing your usual workout, consider a brisk walk instead.  It will energize you, lower you risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, and keep your weight in check at the same time.

“There are many chances to stay fit even during this busy time,” Drayton points out. “It’s just a matter of seizing every opportunity that presents itself – even if it doesn’t fit into the category of conventional exercise.”

• • •

The Arts Center of Cannon County has announced that its inaugural White Oak Basketry Rib Basket Workshop will be held at the Arts Center next year.

Scheduled for Feb. 24, 25 and 26, this workshop will be taught by Master White Oak Basket Makers Bobby and Mik Edwards of Fentress County, Tenn. The price for the 3-day workshop is $130 and includes all materials needed for each participant to make their own White Oak Basket, according to a news release.

Space is limited, so reservations should be made as soon as possible, and all proceeds from this workshop benefit The Arts Center of Cannon County.

“They have enjoyed making white oak baskets for about 12 years,” the release states of Bobby and Mik Edwards. “They travel to craft shows where they display and sell their baskets as well as demonstrate some of their techniques. The couple has won various awards for their craftsmanship. While they share a passion for creating white oak baskets, they also appreciate many other crafts and enjoy seeing how they are made.”

The Arts Center is located on 1424 John Bragg Highway, just west of the town of Woodbury, approximately 20 minutes from Murfreesboro. For details, call 615-563-2787 or visit MP
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Health, Holiday, Nashville
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