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Maintain Don#8217;t Gain

If you made it through Thanksgiving without gaining weight, losing your cool with the relatives, or overdosing on football games, chances are you’re well on your way to a healthy holiday season. If you did slip in any area, realize it’s just a slip—you’re not doomed to repeat it for the next 5 weeks.

To build on your success (or get back on track) make some ambitious plans for early in the week. For example, commit to 2 fitness walks a day on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday as well as 1-2 nutrition activities a day before midweek. The early momentum will carry you through the week and give you a chance to try new activities by Friday or Saturday.

Consistency is the key to any behavior change. Whether you’re trying to exercise more often, eat better, or do a better job of managing stress in your life, it’s more likely to happen if you focus on actions that contribute to consistency. Here are some exercise ideas:

-Set aside the same time each day for fitness. That doesn’t mean you have to jog 30 minutes every day, but do make it an automatic part of your day-even if it’s just a 10-minute walk at lunch.

-Recruit a partner. Someone with your interests and abilities-a person you can depend on who can depend on you-will make a big difference in consistency.

-Focus on fun. If it’s not fun, it’s easy to drop the activity. Try lots of different fitness activities until you find a few you really enjoy.

Maintaining Momentum

To avoid a post-Thanksgiving let-down, start filling in your Holiday Health Pyramid early this week. Choose 4 fitness, 3 nutrition, 2 stress management, and 1 social health activity below. You can repeat activities you performed last week, or try new ideas to keep it interesting and fresh. Remember, it’s okay to do more than the pyramid allows, but be sure to follow through with your plans to complete the pyramid.

After selecting your activities, write them in your calendar or other place where you’ll be reminded often. TIP: Be flexible with your plans; if you need to adjust midweek, it’s okay to substitute (but don’t drop) different activities when your needs change.

Fitness

* Plan a social fitness activity (walking, tennis, basketball) 1 night this week

* Try exercising to a new aerobic or yoga video

* Map out a new walking route in the neighborhood and go for it

Nutrition

* Plan the next holiday meal using Fat-Free Holiday Recipes

* Make a meal with vegetables as the main dish and meat as a side dish

* Substitute applesauce for an equal amount of oil, margarine, or butter in baking recipes

* Include 3-5 vegetables in a day’s food choices

Stress Management

* Buy and listen to a relaxation tape or music of your choice

* Try a new stress-relieving hobby like gardening or ceramics

* Clean a closet or organize your kitchen

* Make a family to-do list; discuss how to divide it

Social

* Do a nice thing for someone who won’t know who did it

* Volunteer for a children’s activity

* Donate Blood

* Invite a neighbor for dinner

Russell Allen is the Coordinator of Member Services at Viquest. He can be reached with

comments or questions at rdallen@pcmh.com.