Ester Marsh column: 12 workouts to Christmas

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2017

Stay active by challenging yourself to twelve days to Christmas!

With this busy holiday season, I am so thankful to be able to spend quality time with family and friends. I am fortunate that I continue to exercise through this hectic season. It not only helps me stay on my weight, it also helps me deal with the stress that comes with this season. Many people stop exercising or wait until the new year to start exercising,

So try this. From now until Christmas, plan to get 12 workouts in. That is three workouts a week for four weeks. Doable right? So, what can you do?

Try to get at least one hour three times a week. It can be in two sessions of 30 minutes if that works better.

It can be as easy as walking out your door for a stroll through the neighborhood. Rowan County has a slew of beautiful parks with gorgeous trails to walk or run on.

And we have the YMCA! We love to keep you busy with our pools, basketball courts, pickle ball, racquetball, indoor track, classes on land and in the water and our fitness center.

So besides keeping you from gaining unwanted holiday weight and helping with stress relief, exercising can reduce symptoms with seasonal depression due to the shorter and colder days. An exercise routine will also help you stay more structured by making sure you don’t overdo the calories but also get enough sleep and prioritize the demands which come with this exciting holiday season.

Also knowing what it takes to burn off holiday foods keeps me from overindulging in them.

Check this out!

• To burn off four ounces (size of a smart phone) of roast turkey light and dark meat, you need to run 1.7 miles

• To burn off ¾ cup mashed potatoes (size of a tennis ball), you need to run 1.8 miles

• To burn off ½ cup of homemade gravy (half a baseball), you need to run 0.7 miles

• To burn off ½ cup of sweet potato casserole (half a baseball), requires 1.4 miles

• To burn up one cup of green bean casserole with crispy onion topping (size of a baseball) will require 1.4 miles

• A one-ounce roll with one teaspoon of butter (computer mouse-size bun with thumb tip of butter) will take 1.7 miles

• To burn up 1/8 of a 9-inch pie (pair of thin socks), you will have to run 4.1 miles

• One cup of sweet potato casserole will require 2.8 miles to burn off

So plan your workouts, get at least 12 of them in from now until Christmas. Be aware what goes in your mouth, prioritize your time and most of all enjoy your family and friends to the fullest!

Ester H Marsh is Health & Fitness director JF Hurley family YMCA