If you’re still feeling the holiday bulge, these tips will help you get back in shape.

Happy New Year! The holidays have come and gone, but many of us are still feeling the bloating effects of too many sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, and candy canes. Ideally while the magic of the season wore off so too would the weight we gained, and by Valentine’s Day we’d be ready to dive into as many chocolate hearts as we desire. Until such magic is invented, though, here are some practical ways to beat the holiday bulge and feel healthy again.

  • Freeze or give away excess food. Portion control is everything. You’ll be less tempted to overeat if you separate your leftovers into portions and freeze them. Anything that can’t be frozen, such as candies, desserts, or wine, can be donated or regifted.
  • Actually use the gym pass that was in your stocking. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, a whopping 67% of people with gym memberships never use them. Whether you received passes, kettlebells, or a skipping rope, don’t become a statistic. Start exercising!
  • Transform taking down decorations into a workout. If you decked your halls seize the opportunity to get active while you remove ornaments. For example, you can squeeze in a good stretch while reaching for the mistletoe, or curl a nutcracker for some light weight training. It might sound ridiculous, but your body will thank you for these little efforts.
  • Indulge in winter activities. Many people feel demotivated by cold temperatures, but as long as you bundle up properly activities like sledding, skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing can be an incredibly enjoyable workout. Need equipment? No problem. Your local sports retailer most likely has a rental program with all the gear you need.
  • Take advantage of your community recreation centre. If you don’t live in a snowy climate you can still get fit by using facilities such as a nearby pool, running track, or tennis court. These places will probably be extra eager for your business since it’s the New Year, so look out for reduced rates and introductory offers.

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Also published on Medium.