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American Council on Exercise Offers 10 Tips for Surviving the Holidays

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ As the festive holiday season is approaching, many Americans find it stressful to keep up with often-unrealistic demands and expectations of family, friends and events. The solution to an enjoyable celebration is to relax and take good care of ourselves, which in turn will increase energy and reduce stress levels. To keep happy and safe this season, ACE offers 10 tips for surviving the holidays.

1. Take time for yourself. Although spending time with friends and family

is essential, it's also important to set aside at least five minutes

for yourself to relax. Try practicing deep breathing exercises when

you feel stressed out.

2. Don't set unrealistic exercise goals. Aim to exercise 30 minutes a day

instead of an hour. You'll be sure to get at least 30 minutes of

physical activity per day without feeling disappointed if you do not

complete an hour.

3. Enlist a friend or family member to exercise with you. Walking and

talking with a friend can be a great way to burn extra calories and

reduce your stress level.

4. Create new, more active traditions. Instead of throwing a dessert or

cocktail party, try snowshoeing or ice-skating as an alternate holiday

event. Play touch football or build a snowman.

5. Don't try to lose weight or stick to a restrictive diet this holiday

season. If you enjoy your favorite foods in small portions, you'll

feel more satisfied. Trying to stay away from certain foods may leave

you feeling deprived, which may cause you to eat more than you


6. Drink plenty of water. Although the cold weather may make you less

inclined to grab a glass of water, it is just as important in the

winter as it is during the summer. Water helps counter the dehydrating

effects of travel or drinking alcoholic beverages, and it may also

help satiate your appetite since thirst is often mistaken for hunger.

7. Spread out meals. Don't feel like you have to eat everything at once.

Try eating dinner early and then taking a walk before sitting down for


8. Don't overdo it with alcohol or caffeine. These stimulants will only

cause you more grief in the long-run by adding to your feelings of

stress. Try drinking hot herbal tea instead of coffee, and keep the

number of alcoholic drinks to a minimum.

9. Don't aim for perfection, and enjoy the imperfections. There is no

such thing as the perfect party or the perfect decorations or the

perfect way to spend the holidays. Don't set yourself up for

disappointment by placing unrealistic demands on yourself.

10. Laugh. Laughing is a great tension reliever. It burns calories,

reduces stress and usually means that you and those individuals in

your presence are having an enjoyable time.

About ACE

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and testing that targets fitness products and trends. ACE sets standards for fitness professionals and is one of the world's largest non-profit fitness certifying organizations. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at

SOURCE American Council on Exercise
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