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Here’s news that can make you merry. It is possible to enjoy seasonal festivities and still maintain a balanced diet.

Here are a few tips to help:

  • Eat breakfast. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast can keep you from snacking on the sweet treats that are abundant during the holiday season.
  • Make sure you get five helpings of fruits and vegetables every day. This will ensure that you get the nutrients you need to stay healthy, including calcium and magnesium.
  • If you are invited to a holiday party and asked to bring a dish, prepare a low-calorie option so you will have something to eat that doesn’t sabotage your diet.
  • Don’t starve yourself all day in anticipation of the party. Eat small, regular, healthy meals so you will not overindulge when you get there.
  • Stock up on healthy snacks in the office so you are not tempted to eat the treats that your colleagues bring from home, or make a trip to the vending machines.
  • Walk whenever you can. If you are visiting the mall, park your car farther away from the entrance so you can burn some calories before and after you shop.
  • Spend extra time at the gym. Pencil it in on your calendar. If you don’t have time for a whole class or exercise schedule, fit in at least 10 minutes here and there.

Regular aerobic activity can help boost your metabolism and help your body burn calories more efficiently. While adding to your workout is a good idea, remember that regular, intense physical activity can deplete your body of essential vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, especially if your diet is less than balanced.

Research by the USDA shows that 7 out of 10 people have a magnesium-deficient diet. Magnesium is an essential mineral to health. Deficiency can leave you feeling sluggish at a time of year that requires extra energy. Make sure you are eating enough magnesium-rich foods such as beans, nuts and vegetables, as well as calcium. Magnesium is needed for calcium absorption. Without enough magnesium, calcium can collect in the soft tissues and cause one type of arthritis.

6 Unusual Ways to Find Time to Exercise

Try putting into practice these unusual ways to create exercise time if you catch yourself missing too many scheduled workouts.

1) Exercise while you are on a conference call: use this time to lift weights or pound out a few reps of sit-ups, crunches and deep knee bends.

2) Go dancing: use this fun time to focus on energetic dance moves; you turn a simple dance-date into a fund and romantic exercise session.

3) Park the car: start walking instead of driving whenever you can. Combine more walking with less driving; you benefit the environment and fitness.

4) Set your alarm 20 minutes earlier: For 2-3 weeks it may be tough to wake up earlier so you can exercise. But this soon becomes a wonderful habit that will get you feeling better and more alert at the start of each and every day.

5) Workout on your lunch break: Pack your lunch. You will you eat healthier, and free up time to use exercising at your workstation or a 20 minute walk.

6) Add hand weights to your treadmill or walking session: This improves the quality of your exercise, and basically doubles your workout effort and physical benefits without doubling your time expenditure.