Holiday season fitness survival guide

Thanksgiving kicks off the start of what can be a great deal of holiday eating and drinking between late November and early January.
After Thanksgiving there will be Christmas parties, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, college football bowl games, NFL playoffs and, of course, the Super Bowl. You may even have more on your calendar.
Simply put, that’s a ton of calories the average American will be exposed to at parties with families, friends and co-workers.
Many people wonder how to balance partying with fitness.
Here’s the worst thing to do: give up exercising until late January.
Instead, here are five emergency fitness tips to recover from a big day of overeating and-or drinking:
1. Eat healthy again in the days after – Try to eat small, light meals the day after your Super Bowl belly-buster night. Snack on fruits and vegetables and whole foods – avoid processed foods. That’s really the way you should be eating anyway.
2. Drink lots of water – Flush your system clean by making sure to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water during the day if you‘re going to be eating a lot at night.
3. Take a 15-minute walk – Squeeze in a walk to help burn those extras calories. Maybe you could walk before work, at lunch time or in the evening when you get home from work.
4. Do alternating sit-ups and push-ups – Alternate between doing three sets of sit-ups and push-ups, doing close to your max for each. An example might be 30 push-ups/50 sit-ups, then 25 sit-ups/50 sit-ups and finally 25 more push-ups/40 sit-ups. Squeeze out those last reps in the final set – that’s where you really make gains.
5. Go for a short bike ride – Hop on the exercise bike, or if there’s good weather where you live ride outside. Even if you can get a short ride in it will help burn off some of those lurking calories.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at