Sunday, November 25, 2007

Staying Fit and Healthy this Holiday Season!!

Health and lifestyle wellness coach A.J. Johnson has given Essence Magazine some fabulous tips for staying fit and healthy this holiday season. Read the Essence Magazine article below.

You know the routine: First, you chomp down on your mom’s signature apple pie; then sip a few cocktails at the holiday office party. And don't forget, the hours spent cooking when you should be pumping iron at the gym. “It’s definitely a difficult time of year. You’re trying to squeeze into cute dresses, but there’s cookies and egg nog everywhere,” says wellness guru A.J. Johnson, whose celebrity clients include BeyoncĂ©, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, Gabrielle Union, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker. “Still, it’s not a time to make excuses. You should plan instead of panic.” Here, Johnson shares her best secrets for having a happy holiday without it all going to your waist.

#1 Do Some Prep Work
“Commit to making a plan. The better the plan, the healthier the holiday,” says Johnson who has a ‘no excuses’ philosophy when it comes to wellness. Need to do holiday shopping during your normal workout time? Figure out when you’ll make it up or carry your goods instead of pushing them around in a cart so shopping becomes a workout. If you know that you’re going to indulge a bit at an office potluck, cut a few calories from other meals to make up for it.

#2 Fix Yourself A Plate—At Home
“If you’re going to a holiday dinner someplace else, eat a little something before you go so you’re not starving and likely to overeat when you get there,” advises Johnson. This is also a great way to make sure you’re eating healthy because you can pick the ingredients of your own dishes at home, even when we’re talking about desserts.. “When you’re making holiday cakes and pies, I’d rather people use honey, molasses, brown sugar, or even fresh fruit juice” suggests Johnson. “Natural sugar will burn off faster than chemically processed sugars.”

#3 Go Ahead, Have a Taste!
“A taste isn’t bad. You can have a taste of mac-and-cheese, but it shouldn’t become a side. It should be a tasty treat,” explains Johnson. So if the sweet potatoes or mac-and-cheese are making your mouth water, give in. But after your spoonful of banana pudding or forkful of pumpkin pie, put that utensil down and catch up with the cousin you haven’t seen in a year, or sit down and play a game with your nephew. By paying attention to portions, you’ll get to have your cake and eat it too without suffering the consequences.

#4 Avoid Eater’s Remorse
“Instead of saying, ‘I shouldn’t have eaten that,’ say ‘I want it, I’m going to eat it, and I’ll have work to do later for it,’” advises Johnson. “If I say I can’t pass up that red velvet cake, I know that means I have to do an extra 30 minutes on the treadmill or do an extra lap at the mall." So indulge, but have a plan of attack when it comes to blasting those extra calories that you’ve consumed.

#5 Shift The Focus Away From Food
“We make the excuse that Thanksgiving is about the dinner,” says Johnson, “but Thanksgiving can be about organizing the family touch-football game, group twister or everyone taking a walk together.” Try introducing new traditions to your holiday get-togethers that get your family moving—and burning calories. That way you all benefit in the end.

No comments: