Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Outdoor activity for the holiday season

The holidays is always a busy time of year. With all the shopping, baking, decorating and wrapping, there are so many things that need to be done. It’s a time of year for getting together with loved ones and celebrating with lots of great food and treats and perhaps a few yuletide beverages. With so much to get done sometimes we get lost in the strain and the stress of making sure everything is perfect. 

This year make time for yourself and your family by participating in some outdoor fun and physical activity; not only will getting some fresh air and increased activity make you feel better, it is a great way to have some fun with the family. 

Here in Leduc there are so many options for outdoor fun and activity. A fantastic options is right down the highway at Leduc Country Lights. Walk around the property and take in the light display at this Leduc County acreage that will make the holidays even more special. See this segment on the local news about Leduc Country Lights

Another outdoor option in Leduc are the many outdoor skating surfaces that are available for those who want to tie up the blades for some outdoor fun. There is a new outdoor skating surface at Telford Lake that even has a Christmas light display to enjoy. For all the other outdoor skating check out The City of Leduc website of where they all are:

Cross country skiing would be another challenging and fun activity option for enjoying the great outdoors and again this is available right here in your own backyard:

These are just some of the many outdoor opportunities for increasing your physical activity during the busy holiday schedule. By staying more active you will help keep your energy level up and it will even help manage some of the added stress that tends to build over the holiday season.

May you all have a very merry and physically active holiday season. 

Corinne Cutler is an Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Holiday Eating

Ask the Intern- Holiday Eating

Let’s be honest. The holidays are a great time to enjoy family, friends and good food. However, this is also a time where lifestyle goals may be put to the test. Having a plan going into this season can relieve some of the stress. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making your plan for the holidays:

1.    Plan to keep journalling. Thinking about ditching your journal for the holidays? The temptation can be great, especially when your regular routine is changed. This might be a good time to reflect on the reasons you are journalling. Recording intake, activity or emotions makes us aware of our behavior. Journalling in and of itself can be enough to improve what we eating or increase activity. Journalling during the holidays can be great learning experiences allowing us to recognize differences in behavior during these times. If you do one thing and one thing only during the holidays, consider journalling. Download a copy of our 3 Day Food Journal by clicking here.

2.    Plan to enjoy your favorites. Special events and family gatherings tend to center around food. Planning to resist all of the high calorie goodies offered may be an unrealistic goal. On the other hand, planning to eat everything you want may make it difficult to pick up where you left off before the holidays. Try to find a compromise. When going to family gatherings or dinners, take some time to look at everything offered before you dish up. Choose one or two of your high calorie favorites and fill the rest of your plate with healthy food from the 4 food groups.

3.    Plan to have regular meals. The holidays can be a busy time when meals may be skipped. Skipping meals makes it hard to stay on track with lifestyle goals. It is also a difficult habit to get out of after the holidays. Instead of “saving” calories for big meals, eating regularly before the meal can help keep you full and prevent you from overeating. Whether you are at home, on the road or staying with relatives, plan to have regular meals and snacks during the day. Download a copy of our Meal Plan template, here.

4.    Plan to say no (thank you). It is likely not everyone you see this holiday season will know about your lifestyle goals. People tend to be more generous during the holidays which leads to more offering of food and drinks. Do not underestimate the power of the phrase “No thank you, I’m full”. If you find you need more support during the holidays, talk to your family or friends about the things you are working on.

Having a plan can give you more confidence going into the holidays. Use these tips or create your own to stay on track with your lifestyle goals during this time. Most importantly, find out what works for you and enjoy the season.


~ Sara Knodel is a Dietetic Intern at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.