Make holiday calories count, break even


’Tis the season for fitness instructors to caution holiday revelers against overindulgence.

However, I just can’t bring myself to do that. I don’t believe in missing out on the fun.

The holidays are full of treats and delights around every corner and I for one don’t want to miss a thing.

Truly, if we have to face the drudgery of the January-February holiday hangover, let’s make it worth it!

That said, I also believe in breaking even. There’s nothing worse than waking up on Jan. 1 in the hole, dreading the work ahead to shed those holiday pounds in time for swimsuit season.

So here’s the plan: We need to keep up with our workouts during December — no excuses. I mean it.

I know you have to shop, wrap presents, bake cookies for your party, write Christmas cards, attend fabulous parties and bring good cheer to all.

Nevertheless, you cannot skip your daily workout.

Not only is it going to make you feel better during the holiday crush, it will keep you from going into the “big pants zone.”

In addition to continuing your workout schedule, you may have to add a few classes or extra ways to burn calories this season. Hey, those bacon wrapped figs don’t burn themselves off.

There are plenty of ways to burn extra calories during your holiday season.

Some examples, for a 150-pound person:

30 minutes of shoveling snow burns approximately 205 calories.

A 45-minute walk burns 307 calories

Dancing at a party for an hour burns 443 calories.

Moderate cross-country skiing for 2 hours burns 955 calories.

And a half day of downhill skiing for 4 hours burns a whopping 1,636 calories.

To find out how many calories you are burning off during your various activities, visit It is an excellent resource for medically backed fitness information.

OK, we have our game plan.

I will definitely see you at the dessert table at the office party. But, I’ll also see you on the treadmill for an extra 10 minutes, too. Happy holiday revelry, and here’s to breaking even!

Rebecca Thorpe is aquatics director at the Walla Walla YMCA.


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