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(ARA) - The average American does a little too much celebrating at this time of year. Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, most of us will gain seven pounds as a result of indulging in extra helpings, snacking on holiday treats, having an extra glass of wine and exercising less.

Life Time Fitness, Inc., a Healthy Way of Life company that operates 30 multi-purpose, state-of-the-art Sports, Fitness and Recreational Centers in eight national markets -- Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Arizona, and Texas -- has set the industry standard in providing consumers with the absolute finest in sports and fitness centers

“This is an especially challenging time of year for those who are trying to maintain healthy habits such as working out and eating low-fat, low-calorie foods,” says Jeff Zwiefel, vice president of the nutritional products division at Life Time Fitness. "We're constantly urged to have another helping, enjoy a holiday treat or skip the workout to go shopping instead. No wonder nearly everyone gains weight," he points out.

But complete deprivation is not the answer. "The holidays are meant to be enjoyed," Zwiefel says. "At Life Time Fitness, we think it's possible to balance healthy habits with enjoying special gatherings and traditions. We encourage balance and moderation in all areas of your life," he says.

Here are 10 great tips, courtesy of Zwiefel, for staying fit and eating well over the holidays.

1) Drink lots of water throughout the day. It suppresses the appetite and is something everyone should do year round.

2) Snack on fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods whenever possible. Dried fruits are healthy and a good alternative to many sweet snacks such as cookies and candy.

3) Limit alcohol consumption. Remember that alcohol contains almost as many calories per gram as fat. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or club soda while you're at a party.

4) Enjoy the outdoors as much as possible: bundle up and take the dog for a walk, and try skating or sledding; squeeze 10-minute walks into your schedule. Any extra activity helps.

5) Health and fitness centers offer a combination of cardio and resistance-training opportunities, as well as group fitness classes and personal training, that are essential to maintaining a healthy way of life. If you’re thinking about joining a fitness center, fall is a great time to sign up.

6) Acknowledge that you're probably going to miss some workouts during this time and plan now to work around it. Schedule different times or substitute another activity, even if it's at home.

7) Eat a nutritious meal or snack before you attend events or parties where there is a lot of food, or use a small plate to avoid overindulging. Another good tip is to leave at a reasonable hour. In addition to helping you get enough sleep during this hectic time of year, you'll also be removing yourself from the temptation to continue eating unnecessary calories.

8) For the 9 out of 10 adults who do not get the essential daily vitamins and nutrients from the food they eat, nutritional supplements should be considered. Life Time Fitness offers a full line of nutritional products, including men’s and women’s multivitamins, energy bars and shakes and weight-loss supplements.

9) Enlist the help of a family member or friend to help keep you on track with healthy habits during the holidays. Choose someone who can provide not only encouragement, but a good example as well.

10) Remember that balance, variety and moderation apply to holiday celebrations as well as to most other things in life, so don't be too hard on yourself if you slip up. Keep your good intentions, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the holidays.

For more information about Life Time Fitness centers and nutritional products, please visit

Courtesy of ARA Content

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