Surviving The Holiday Heavy

It can be difficult to keep your weight down as a medical professional. While there are certainly spurts of accidental cardio in the office, a large amount of the workday is sedentary. When you couple this with long, exhausting hours, it's easy to lapse into a lifestyle that's woefully lacking in exercise.

...and then, of course, there's the holiday season.

The worst part about the holiday season isn't the cookies that get left out to try to be festive or the heaping plates of calories that are served by family members. It's not the excuse to drink far too much eggnog or even the desserts that suddenly appear to tempt you at your favorite lunch stop. It's the cold. When you get home after a ten-hour shift, all you want to do is curl up in your bed with a mug of hot cocoa to escape the miserable winter outside. Going for a jog or ducking out to the gym becomes an exercise in surviving in a hostile environment. This compounds any effect that a holiday menu might have on your body and makes it far, far worse.

It is possible, theoretically, to survive this ambush. You could drive to a heated gym, or attempt to resist the assault of sweets. You could even try to cut calories elsewhere. While it's difficult to find time to prepare your own food, taking a few minutes to pack a salad for lunch might be preferable than suffering to try to exercise off a plate of holiday cookies. The caloric math is simple enough: calories in minus calories out equals weight gained. The trick is finding the most pleasant way of reducing "in" or increasing "out."

The most practical solution, of course, is to give in. Partaking in holiday food in moderation won't kill you, and if you put on a few pounds, so what? You'll probably start going to the gym in January as part of the annual new year tradition anyway. This year, why not give yourself something to work off?

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