Many people leave the holiday season with more than few new sweaters; they also pack on extra pounds. Dr. Takashi Hirata, a family physician at Novant Health Hillsdale Medical Associates, says that a bit of planning and effort can slow holiday weight gain and lead to a healthier life. He says that effort can start at the shopping mall.
"When you're choosing gifts for family members," he counseled, "try to get them things that encourage outdoor or sports activities. If they like biking, for instance, get them some gear or accessories that encourage them to participate more."
Dr. Hirata notes that the focus should still be on fun. "Plan activities and get excited together as a family," he said. "Focus on the effort and working hard rather than numeric goals or results."
Dr. Hirata understands that it is harder to be active in the colder months, but says every little bit counts. "Find ways to still get some aerobic exercise a few times a week," he reminded. "Even if it doesn't equal what you are doing in the Spring or Summer, every minute of activity helps."