Fit Holidays: Eat, drink and be merry in moderation

Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:46am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Holidays are the times that try the fitness routine.

With family feasts, office parties and champagne soirees, the temptation to overindulge is everywhere, just as your yoga studio moves to holiday hours, your gym cancels classes and your personal trainer leaves town.

But experts say if you've worked all year at staying fit, it might be time to give yourself a break, sort of.

"Have a reality check. It's the holidays. It's a wonderful time of year, it shouldn't be a stressful time. Give yourself a little slack," said Carol Espel, director of group fitness for the Equinox chain of luxury health clubs.

"Change of routine, celebrating with family, they're all good things. And they should be," she added.

Espel suggests considering a holding pattern.

"Focus on maintaining some level of nutrition and exercise that you've spent this whole year working at," she said. "Say to yourself, 'What can I do so that when January first rolls around, I'm not feeling like I have to start all over again?'"

In other words, do what you can.   Continued...

<p>People take part in a free yoga class at the Parque del Oeste in Madrid September 27, 2007. REUTERS/Susana Vera</p>