Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City recommends staying active and keeping off the pounds on Thanksgiving and through the holidays

It won’t be long now until temptation is presented to us in the form of turkey, stuffing, sweet potato pie and just about anything else imaginable that can fit on the table. That’s right, Thanksgiving is almost here, and that means the first of many celebrations filled with food and spirits that are characteristic of the holiday season.

We know the drill and expect it every year, but try as we might, for many of us this means falling victim to the many opportunities to let our taste buds run the show.

If this sounds at all familiar to you, you can take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. The holiday season is a dangerous time for weight control, as gatherings and feasts of all kinds take precedent over healthy eating and exercise. It all starts with Thanksgiving and the cornucopia of tasty and often calorie-filled treats presented to us. In fact, a typical Turkey Day dinner contains a whopping 4,500 calories, which is more than double most people’s daily calorie needs.

Thanksgiving may only be one day, but it’s also a chance to start a trend for the next few weeks of the holidays. Why not get the season started on the right foot by using self-control, practicing healthy eating habits and exercising regularly during this time and keeping it up into the New Year?

Better yet, try to focus on losing weight during this time while everyone else is gaining it. You’ll thank yourself for it down the line and will be ahead of the game when everyone else starts making New Year’s resolutions. Below are some tips to help you conquer the holiday temptation season and actually lose some weight:

  • Begin a new exercise program now or increase the intensity/frequency if you already have one going; find a workout buddy to help you stay motivated during what’s sure to be a difficult time
  • Exercise will lower your blood glucose levels; this can lead to dizziness, nausea and increased appetite, which can cause you to overeat during your next meal; to prevent this, eat a well-balanced meal at least an hour before and/or a snack within an hour afterwards high in carbs or protein
  • Before big meals like Thanksgiving, eat a small breakfast high in protein and fiber so you’re not too hungry when you get to the table
  • Appetizers can be especially dangerous, so try to make safe snacking choices before the big meal; raw fruits and veggies and pretzels are smart
  • Survey the table or buffet before filling your plate, and go with small portions of healthy foods only available during the holidays; avoid seconds
  • Regulate your alcohol intake, which can also add to calorie intake quickly
  • Go for a brisk walk with family or friends after any big feasts

Regardless of how much willpower you have, there’s no denying that the next few weeks will be tough. But if you create a plan to exercise regularly and approach the big feasts carefully, you’re giving yourself a great chance of getting through the holidays without the extra pounds. For more information on weight control during the holidays or to schedule an appointment for any exercise guidance, contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City at 212-317-8303.

Trying to lose weight or get in shape for the New Year? Don’t fail like the rest and make it really happen this time around

With the New Year comes a new batch of resolutions, and 2014 will start off just like every other year before it: masses of people with ambitious goals and aggressive attitudes jumping out of the starting blocks, firmly committed to keeping up the pace for the remainder of the year.  Whether or not this approach continues on for the next 12 months, however, is not so easy, and for about 90% of Americans, it’s the latter.

Yes, sadly, only about 8-12% of people in the U.S. actually stay true to their New Year’s resolutions for the entire year, with most failing due to lofty goals, excuses, lack of motivation or some other combination of factors.

Unsurprisingly, about one-third of all people make weight loss the primary goal of their resolution, with another 15% aiming to start a new exercise program in the New Year.  Seeing as so many of us commit to losing weight and even more of us don’t succeed at doing so, we at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy would like to tell you that keeping on top of your resolutions is absolutely feasible, and encourage you to follow the seven tips below if you’re truly interested in bucking the trend:

—  1) Carefully select realistic and specific goals before setting out on your quest; it also helps to write them down and chart your progress

—  2) For any new training program, start slowly and gradually ease your way into it rather than going full speed ahead from the start

—  3) Having a few moderate- to high-intensity workouts every week is one key ingredient to losing weight and should not be overlooked

—  4) A good fitness program should consist of exercises that work out the whole body: cardio exercises are great for the heart and lungs, while weight-bearing exercises enhance the health of bones, muscles and joints

—  5) Pick exercise(s) you find to be most enjoyable that increase the demand for oxygen for a true cardiovascular workout

—  6) No fitness program is complete without a proper diet, so be sure to eat healthy and make adjustments when needed; educate yourself with books/magazines or see a trainer/nutritionist for more information

—  7) Injury prevention: in the midst of your new workout regimen, be sure to take precautions to prevent injuries such as warming up and stretching before working out, staying hydrated, eating two hours before exercising, wearing proper gear and getting sufficient rest afterwards and at night

If you do happen to injure yourself while working out, don’t push through the pain, which can be dangerous, but don’t abandon your fitness plan either.  Instead, adjust it accordingly to accommodate your injury and stay active.

For persistent pain, assistance with a fitness program or any other musculoskeletal concerns, visit us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, and we can help tend to your questions, whatever they may be.