Hudson Valley Parent

HVP December 2018

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Page 32 of 47 n Hudson Valley Parent 33 Wiles suggests, "Watch your favorite television show while sitting on a yoga ball. This strengthens core muscles in a way sitting on the couch won't." If you do an exercise on the ball during each commercial, that is an extra 15 minutes of exercise over the course of one show. Make healthy choices during the "season of food" Wiles also stresses the importance of diet. "The more inactive you become over the winter, the easier it is to put on weight." He refers to the winter as the "season of food" and says, "It starts with the Halloween candy that runs out mid-November as you prepare for Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers which may run out just as you start attending holiday parties." Brian Harrison, owner of Fitness Works Gym in Pine Bush, has a few suggestions to keep those extra pounds at bay. Limit eating to an eight-hour window. "Seventy percent of our immune system comes from the gut. When we eat all through the day, our gut doesn't get a chance to focus on repair and regeneration." Harrison explains. This way of eating, known as intermittent fasting, improves health and aids in weight loss. While hearty comfort foods may sound tempting during the colder months, it is important to stay focused on your food choices. "Steer away from cream-based soups and opt for vegetable soups or chili made with turkey and beans," Harrison suggests. Don't ignore your cravings altogether. There are tons of easy, healthy substitutions you can make. "Ladle your favorite tomato sauce over eggplant, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles instead of pasta. You'll get fewer calories and more fiber," Harrison says. Move whenever you can Harrison also has suggestions for those who may not be able to commit to a strict fitness program over the winter. You can fit in extra movement in regular daily activities. For instance, park farther away from stores and skip drive-throughs to get extra steps in. Use snow days for family fitness and burn calories while spending time with your family. Build snowmen, have snowball fights and trade the plow for some good, old-fashioned shoveling. "Make sure to warm up inside first and bend your knees while shoveling to protect your back," warns Harrison. Every little thing you can do will help you feel better physically and mentally. You can enjoy the cold-weather season and emerge feeling fit, healthy and accomplished. Joan Miller loves to cook, lead hyp- nosis sessions and teach yoga, Pilates and pole classes. Follow her online at We asked parents: How do you stay fit during the winter? Shoveling snow! — Nina R. If I can't make it to the gym I dust off my exercise DVDs and workout at home. — Sarah H. I get outdoors as much as possible. I go hiking, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice climbing and winter trail running. — Lauren F. I go to Warlock Athletics in Poughkeepsie. The coaches and members are all so supportive of one another. — Mary P. I'm a gym rat all the way! Crunch Gym has childcare and ever-changing classes, so you are never bored. As far as my diet, if I don't buy it, I won't eat it! — Maureen K. Meal prep makes it so easy! — Shanna K.

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