"Just like in store environments, the season is really busy for people," says Dr. Josh Riff, Target's chief medical director. So for that reason, he has cart loads of advice to share with shoppers and co-workers to stay healthy while still enjoying the fun that comes along only once a year. If you make smart choices during your everyday routine, you have more room to splurge when celebration time arrives, Riff adds. Here are his three top prescriptions for everyday and party day, so when 2012 rolls around you'll have little resolving to do!
- Rest up. "Get at least seven hours of sleep. It decreases levels of stress and cortisol, a stress hormone. You'll feel so much better the next day if you make sleep a priority."
- Practice stealth health. "'Moving' is more important that 'exercise.' Host a walking meeting at work rather than sitting, or find fun family activities that are active, such as dancing or throwing a ball."
- Save your treats. "Pick one place, like at work or at the mall, and only eat food that you've made or brought. Pack snacks like apples, real fruit strips and granola bars to avoid grabbing a cookie every time you pass the platter at work or dessert shop at the mall. I also save calories by bringing my lunch to work Monday through Thursday, then treat myself to a cafeteria meal on Fridays."
Party Day Rx...
- Sneak in nutritious treats. "I make simple substitutions to transform typically indulgent recipes to more diet-friendly versions. For example, I add blueberries to chocolate cookies or muffins to add antioxidants and swap in sweet potatoes for white.
- Share the gift of health. "The right gear can make fitness more fun. This year, I'm loving C9 athletic wear, Polar heart rate monitors and Gaiam yoga mats to motivate my loved ones. I also put together wellness-minded gift baskets, including freeze-dried fruit, a bottle of red wine and dark chocolate."
- Pick your pleasure. "There are no bad foods; there's moderation. One piece of cake is great—six pieces, not so good. Fill one plate with the foods you will really enjoy and nurse that throughout the party."
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Now tell us: When the ever-present cookies are calling your name for the fifth time today, how do you avoid temptation?