Eating, Health & Fitness Tips for the Holidays With Fitness Expert Dana Pieper! by Donna John
Need motivation to get moving during the holidays? Want to keep your family active and not throw healthy eating out the window because ’tis the season? Dana Pieper is the founder of Everybody Fitness – and the mother of triplets! Dana inspires and leads by example, and she joined us recently to share her eating and fitness tips for the holiday season!
Q: What are your recommendations on eating at big holiday events?
Holidays are fun to enjoy and indulge! If you can’t resist wanting it all, I say portion control. A little taste of everything will satisfy your needs. Bump up your workouts and be mindful of leftovers and snacking. Get up early and go for a walk or check your gym schedule for special classes to burn calories before the big meal. Be sure to have some healthy high-fiber foods before that big meal or holiday party, but don’t skip meals then overeat.
Q: How do holiday cocktails get in the way of my calorie count? What are some good options?
Alcohol is a big diet buster. If you like to drink, counteract with fewer appetizers. Select low-calorie ones with no juice or sugary ingredients.
Q: How do you plan your menu? What advice do you have about leftovers?
I’ve broken tradition and pared down all the starches in the holiday meals. I make sure it’s well balanced with veggies and light recipes of favorite dishes. You won’t miss a thing. Allow yourself one day of leftovers. If you feel uncomfortable tossing them, bring them to work for co-workers to enjoy.
Q: Do you have any holiday traditions?
I aim to inspire my family by moving. Cleaning up together instead of sitting and digesting. Go for a walk or have a dance party before dessert are must-dos.
Q: Do you have a favorite go-to exercise that burns off the excessive calorie consumption?
I love intervals. I get bored doing the same thing for a long period of time. I will cycle, go running, climb stairs, do lunges, push-ups, dips, jump rope and boxing to feel sweaty and satisfied. Holiday weight is easy to gain.
Q: Where do you think I should begin with exercise?
Get a fitness routine started now and you will feel less overwhelmed after the holidays. Your first step is admitting you want to make a change this year. Start slow. Choose low-impact exercises like walking and climbing stairs. Include weights! Building muscle will increase your calorie burn in your workouts. Be accountable! Make a deal with a friend. Check in and be honest with each other about what you’ve eaten and workout together! Positively reinforce with non-food related rewards.
Q: I have a road trip planned for the holidays. Are there exercises I can do in the car and away from my daily routine?
You can do some isometric exercises. Holding core, pushing hands on seat and lifting body up, hip stretches, arm circles, stomping feet. Prepare and plan. Find trails to walk or hike together, pack a jump rope and tubing to exercise with at the hotel. Research active excursions as a family.