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Posted on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : noon

Easy tips for not turning into a mashed couch potato and staying fit during the holidays

By Melissa Gerharter MS, RD

With November in full swing, that means that Thanksgiving and the weather that makes us all want to become couch potatoes is just around the corner. Thanksgiving begins the holiday season of many tasty treats that are not always the healthiest of foods. So in order to prepare for the holiday season of cookies and treats and that cold weather, we have created a few tips to stay on track with your fitness plan.

Exercising can become difficult once the frost of Michigan begins to set in. Exercises such as yoga and kickboxing can be done in the comfort of your own home without having to venture in the cold for a run or to the gym.

However runs in the cold are known to be refreshing and a chance to get some fresh air. Just don’t forget your cold weather running gear!

Now some Thanksgiving Day tips:

  • Don’t show up to Thanksgiving dinner hungry. We tend to eat faster when hungry so be sure to eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch.
  • Aim to fill the majority of your plate with vegetables and eat slowly.
  • If you are the chef of the day you can easily substitute fatty ingredients with lower-fat or fat-free ingredients, such as substituting egg whites for whole eggs, plain yogurt in place of sour cream and frozen yogurt for ice cream.
  • Don’t forget to use leftover turkey to create tasty, healthy turkey sandwiches.

Remember it is easy to stay fit during the chilly season. Try new recipes and don’t let the weather scare you away. Skiing, ice skating and sledding are great seasonal sports that will get your heart rate up and provide that fresh air we all crave during the fall and winter.

Melissa Gerharter MS, RD, CSSD is an part time lecturer at Eastern Michigan University and co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor. She can be reached at



Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

Hmm...we needed a whole article for this? Don't want to gain wait, don't eat like a fat pig and get some exercise.

Ron Granger

Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 9:20 p.m.

The best way to get a flat stomach is to regularly approach a busy Ann Arbor crosswalk and try to cross. Invariably you will soon be running faster than you can ever remember. And your stomach will soon be flat.