Walking Toward Christmas: A Program of Diet and Exercise

Let us assume that you want to get into that dress you wore three years ago for the family Christmas party. You know that you no longer fit into it and this begins to bother you. What can you do about it in two months?

It is commonplace that an exercise program can tone the body while increasing lung capacity and aerobic health. The essence of this program is that it combines aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise emphasizes taking in more oxygen and assimilating it and anaerobic exercise emphasizes minimal oxygen intake and emphasis on strength for short periods of time. Both are useful to promote a streamlined body and maximum energy. Diet supplements both the aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

If you are embarking on a walking program you are going to need good walking shoes. Now, do not mistake a running shoe with a walking shoe. The design is different. The running shoe will tilt your feet so that they are leaning forward and the walking shoe emphasizes the normal foot movement of an everyday stride. Only easier! Some people compromise and get the all court training shoe which allows for quick movements laterally as well as vertical forward movements.

Start the Program with Casual Walking

Start your exercise program with casual walking. On the first day, just take a stroll and do not attempt to make it into an exercise. The next day walk with a bit more intention. Feel what parts of the body are activated with every movement. Then begin to alternate between active and passive. On one day walk causally and the next walk with an energetic clip. This alternation challenges your body one day and gives it rest the next. Different muscle groups come into play and you learn to use your whole body. Now this is not all. This part of the program will increase your aerobic fitness which will enable you to take in and process larger amounts of oxygen, but you also need anaerobic exercise which will increase you muscle mass. This will reduce fat and replace it with muscle. Now you don't need to go out and buy a weight room full of state of the arts weights; just use what is available in your kitchen, cans of soup in different sizes, brooms, a couple of chairs, a doorway, a flat floor with matting.

You can stand erect and raise the soup cans in curls or lift them overhead in a military press. You can lie on your back and do flies with the cans. You can do pushups off the matted floor. You could also use Christmas music to set the mood. End by doing a dance coordinated with the music. This will help on the fluidity of your movement.

Now, do not weigh yourself until a week has passed. Weigh yourself every week at the same time and with the same clothes on. If you do not control these variables, you will not be able to make a valid judgment of how much you have gained or lost. Also, it is advisable to drink lots of water and to take a supplement of a multiple vitamin and a fiber source. Keep your bowels in good shape and you will be rewarded with a smoothly running system.

Keep in mind that you want to wear a certain dress to your family Christmas party. This is your goal. Beyond this you are free to set other goals. But emphasize this goal by putting the dress out where you can see it and constantly play some Christmas music. You could play Bing Crosby's White Christmas, or Mario Lanzas, Ave Maria or my favorite: I Saw Mommie Kissing Santa Claus. All of this will up your motivation and make your goal that much more realizable. You can, of course, up your running program. You should have a stadium nearby and you can go there on off days and run up the stairs, Up and down. This will increase your stamina and leg strength as well as give you superb muscle tone and balance.

Your diet should be high in fiber with lots of water. And in the morning you should take in some carbohydrates for energy that you are going to burn off. For lunch and late snack you will ingest protein and lots of vegetables. Make sure that the veggies are green and yellow. Avoid hefty intakes of starchy veggies such as potatoes. Go easy on the carbs. Drink plenty of water. And remember to take your supplements of fiber and multiple vitamins.

Get Plenty of Sleep or Meditation for Christmas Cheer

Get plenty of sleep or meditation and dream or meditation on Chritstmas and wearing your favorite Christmas dress. After your walk and toning exercises you may find that sleep comes naturally to you, but in case you do get too wound up, there is always meditation. Sit comfortably in a yogi posture or however you are most comfortable. Or you could lie back on some fluffy pillows. Now concentrate on your breathing. And with each breath mentally count and allow what is in your mind to go by you and come back to an awareness of your breathing. You can have some soft Christmas music playing in the background but do not use a vocal recording. This can be distracting. Use strictly instrumental music. Then you will have no interference with the message of the music. If you should fall asleep, this is just fine. After all, you are doing the meditation as an option of sleeping, so if you fall asleep, the meditation has done its job. Now some folks get so would up that they find it difficult to get into meditation. In this case a prelilminary process is recommended. Just tense your toes and then your feet and then your legs and relaxing each ...letting go,...Move up your body and continue to tense and relax until you reach your neck and then imagine a golden light moving through you while you drift away on the edge of sleep or meditation.