By Palak Chaturvedi
Festivals are one of the most celebrated times in the Indian calendar. It coincidentally is also the time when festive foods are consumed pretty much without a thought towards the calories and their effect on the weight. It is only after the festivities are over, that one is surprised at the kind of ramifications that those delicious foods and that extra bowl of sweets have inflicted on the health factor.
However, fitness can and should be included within the festive season. There are the 6 creative ways to innovate beautifully and make fitness a crucial part of the festival calendar.
Walking: Firstly, make walking a regular part of every fitness. Going for regular walks helps in a host of ways and while being easy on the body and provides the necessary outdoor experience to step away from the crowd. A 15-minute walk can help with digestion and it is more practical to go for a stroll after a meal as it promotes the passage of digested food through the Gastrointestinal system and can assist patients in controlling their blood glucose levels. Heading for a post-meal walk may provide people with the reduced sensation of bloating and gas while also positively improving the sleep cycle. Walking promotes health in a variety of aspects, and it may be done at any period of the day.
Hydration: Staying hydrated is another way to ensure that fitness is not just about the food. Since water accounts for about 60 per cent of the body’s weight, water is used for a variety of bodily purposes. Consuming enough fluids not only lowers your hunger but also increases your digestion, allowing you to absorb the festive sweets more quickly and effectively. When feasible, replace high-calorie beverages with simple drinking water or infused flavoured H2O.
Avoid Overeating: The crucial term here is “overeating.” It is easy to go overboard and lose track of the meal portion. Our bodies only consume what they require, and any surplus is stored as fat for later use. The idea is to eat a small quantity of almost everything but not to overdo it.
Home Workout: Most of us are still unable to maintain the normal exercise routines over the festive season, either because due to travelling or because gyms and fitness centres are closed. Workouts, however, do not have to be limited to the gym. They can occur in the comfort of the home or while travelling.
Alternative Food: Basic healthy methods could always satisfy appetites over the festive season. Greek yoghurt can be used in place of sour cream while swapping out the baked potatoes for sweet potato salad can work wonders. Instead of heavy cream soups, choose broth-based soups and substitute healthful bean-based dips instead of heavy cheese dips. Adding roasted vegetables and gently dressed salads to the meal along with a healthy smoothie works as great alternatives to help build some healthy habits. As an immune booster, consuming a range of fruits and vegetables during the festive season can provide the necessary nutrients.
Resting: Apart from eating and drinking, resting is of utmost importance during festivals. It’s easy to miss resting during the festive season. If the schedule is a bit crunched, then just spending a few minutes before bed for left-nostril breathing, will assist in catching some good sleep and drive into deeper sleeping patterns over those 5 or 6 hours. So, even if there are just a few hours left, concentrate on getting a good night’s sleep and ensure a good night’s rest for a healthy and fit lifestyle.
More often than not, the festivities do disrupt the usual fitness routines and take away precious time from the daily fitness regime. Although daunting, keeping fit during the festivals is possible and essential by instilling a healthy diet and a disciplined fitness routine.
The writer is Nutritionist & Lifestyle Consultant