Holiday health harangue

    You’ve heard it before, but here it is again–some advice on staying active in the face of end-of-year festivities.

    “There are some simple things that people will often think about but don’t do that can really help them from gaining those five to 10 pounds … over the holiday season,” said Stella Volpe, chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University.

    Volpe says many people struggle to drop that weight, despite their New Year’s resolutions.

    If you can get to the gym to spend 45 minutes on the elliptical machine, great. But Volpe says, even better, act like a dog when you get there.

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    “Think about kids and dogs. When they’re outside, they’ll be walking and all of a sudden they will sprint over to go smell something, or they run and do this and then they stop,” she said. “So they kind of do these little bits of higher-intensity activity intermingled with lower-intensity activities and that allows people to have more variety and fun even if they are at the gym.”

    Volpe says her best advice is BTN or “better than nothing.”

    “Taking the stairs at work as opposed to taking the elevator. Maybe sitting on a balance ball at your desk, instead of a regular chair. Those things add up, people don’t think they do, but they really do,” she said.

    There are also opportunities to build in exercise at the mall.

    “Walking a little bit more or bringing packages back to the car also relieves the stress of holding too many packages,” Volpe said.

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