Sweating Off The Sweets

Heading home for the holidays means plenty of home cooked meals and sweet treats. VALLEY is here to give you tips for this sugar rush so that you stay guilt-free during break.

Even though you are probably writing the rough draft for your New Year’s resolutions, it’s never too early to get on an exercise grind. Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle during the break will help to combat the extra calories that you might consume throughout the holidays.

The stress of finals definitely calls for a reward, but staying active is much easier said than done, especially when the whole house smells like gingerbread. Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you should fall off the wagon (or sleigh). Getting motivated can be hard, and, sometimes, finding time to get to the gym can be even harder. Try to take “running errands” literally.


Going from store to store during the holiday season can become time consuming, but there are simple alternatives that make the difference. One idea is to take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. Walking around the mall or any store provides great cardio for the last minute shopper. Keep up a fast pace to for an extra workout while also beating out everyone to the last pair of shoes on the rack.

Long lines? No problem! Heavy bags and piles of clothes can become great makeshift weights. Turn those dresses into dumbbells. People may look at you like you’re crazy, but who cares? You’ll have something to do besides stare at your phone to pass the time and you’ll get toned doing it.

If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with a white Christmas, offer to shovel the driveway/walkway for some extra calorie burning. Also, while you’re out there take Fido for a walk around the block or blast some Christmas music and literally “rock out the block”.

A Christmas Workout

Generally speaking, one or two trips to the gym after a Christmas dinner will completely turn any gains that you may have put on into #gains.

Christmas would not be complete without cookies—a classic staple in Kris Kringle’s diet. One chocolate chip cookie is approximately 80 calories. To counteract that you can walk for 10-15 minutes outside in the fresh air.

If you’re not throwing back some egg nog with the fam, while watching a Christmas movie marathon, is it even Christmas? Egg nog tends to pack on the calories. To really get into the holiday spirit and keep off those cals, ice skating for an hour if a fun way to exercise while spending some quality time with friends or family. The heart is pumping, and you are still able to indulge some more later.

Hot chocolate is a seasonal necessity with the cold weather. Although it is by no means deadly, after a while they start to add up. A 20-30 minute run is another great way to heat you up in the cold and work off your 10 cups of hot cocoa from this winter.

At dessert you should treat yourself to as much pie as you want. Just promise yourself that for every slice of pie that you have you’ll do 5 burpees and 10 sit-ups. This should get rid of any worries you might have about your stockings being overfilled.

Finding A Balance

Eileen Reiley, a sophomore at Penn State, attends the gym frequently while on campus, but also makes exercise a priority while at home. Reiley’s busy work schedule forces her to think of creative ways to slip in a workout. “My daily routine keeps me balanced and able to eat what I want,” says Reiley.

The holiday spirit is about helping others around you, but you also have to make time to take care of yourself. Instead of being impulsive, if you just take a minute to think about it, you can convince yourself to stick to your goals.

Have a happy and healthy holiday from everyone here at VALLEY.


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