People often ask me the best ways to survive the holiday season with minimal damage to their health and fitness. Two years ago I wrote a Holiday Party Survival Guide, and I think the ideas there are still really useful.
Anyone who has worked with me knows that I believe that, for most people, getting fit is about planning what you eat and planning how you move in a way that works with your life. Food marketers have done an amazing job in recent years touting their goodies for sale in convenient 100 calorie packages. While this can be incredibly useful to people as they wean themselves off of processed foods or eat them only in these small portions, I want to think about 100 calories in another way.
I encourage you to find a way each day between now and the end of the year to burn an extra 100 calories. If you do this, you’ll have burned an extra pound (3500 calories). I’m going to guess that one pound doesn’t have much WOW factor for you, but in a season of excess, setting an intention to do just a little bit more for yourself can really affect both your mind and your body.
For the average person (not that I think any of you onbalance readers are average), the following activities burn about 100 calories in ten minutes:
- running (10 min/mi pace)
- cycling (13 mph)
- stepping– either in place or up and down flights of stairs
- circuit training
- calisthenics– pushups, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, plyometrics
Your calorie burn is dependent on your sex, weight, and fitness level. I like to use an activity calculator to get a closer approximation of calories burned. The Fitness Partner allows you to enter your weight and time, and you’ll get a chart of activities that show how many calories you’ll burn in that amount of time. Calories Per Hour has an activity calculator where you enter your personal details and then choose a specific activity for calorie burn information. Either way, you’ll get a good idea of how many choices you have to burn these extra calories without investing a lot more time.
Remember, a little bit of intentional movement really does make a difference. Good health and great happiness to you!