Have Yourself A Very Healthy Holiday

Yu Shing Ting
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Friday - November 18, 2009
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With the holidays quickly approaching, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s Pixman Team has been busy patrolling the Island to share tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle, particularly as shoppers head into the holiday season with heavier eating habits and less time for exercise.

The Pixman Team most recently made an appearance at Ala Moana Center equipped with Nintendo Wii fitness games to provide shoppers with an opportunity to test their own physical fitness abilities. According to Kaiser, the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus recently made history by becoming the first-ever computer game to be approved by the U.S. Department of Health as it serves as a great way to get kids moving.

“At our home we don’t have the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus but we have the other versions,” shares Dennis Kaaihue, health education supervisor at Kaiser Permanente Hawaii.

“And the interest for us buying the Wii was out of our 13-year-old daughter’s urging. She had seen and heard about the system coming out, and she looked at it as a way to help her be active and help to manage her weight in a way that was not only enjoyable, but more importantly innovative.


“What the research shows is that for people to be consistent at maintaining regular physical activity, they need to enjoy the activity.”

In addition to the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus, other great gift ideas suggested by Kaaihue include resistance bands, a stability or exercise ball, workout DVDs and an exercise mat.

As for not having time to exercise during the holidays, Kaaihue says the key is to modify your workouts, not cancel them.

“It’s probably important for people to understand they need to mark exercise in their daily planner,” explains Kaaihue. “They need to schedule it as if it were another appointment. During the holidays, don’t put your workout on holiday.”

Then there are all those holiday parties, starting from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s that are just unavoidable, as well as all those tasty snacks and food baskets under the Christmas tree.

According to Linda Powley, clinical nutritionist at Kaiser Permanente, one way to prevent unwanted weight gain without totally staying away from the holiday goodies is to share your treats with others. Instead of eating it all yourself, distribute some to your friends or bring it to your workplace.

Also, when choosing what to bring to holiday potlucks, pick something you feel good about eating, such as yams without butter, pumpkin muffins, a medley of colorful vegetables or a platter of fresh fruit.

“It’s also good to eat smaller portions of food so you can have a little bit of everything,” adds Powley.

“And make a conscious choice to limit the high-fat items, such as fried foods, cream-based soupy foods, pies, salami and alcohol. A big thing about calorie reduction in any way, shape or form is watching alcohol and soda intake.”

Powley also recommends for people to eat slowly because many times people eat too fast, think they’re not full and will go back for seconds.

Also, socialize rather than hanging out near the buffet table and consider going for a walk with your family after eating.

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