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Staying healthy despite the temptations of the holidays

By HILARY LANE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - From fruit cakes, to cookies, to candy, it's no secret that during the holiday season, junk food is everywhere.

The average person puts on 7 to 10 pounds during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's.

Sophia Elacqua is a student at Otsego College and like most people, finds it hard to stay in shape during the holiday season.

"It's hard because everyone is home from college," says Elacqua. "All of the families are together and everyone is traveling and fitness is the last thing people want to do."

That is why doctors and fitness experts universally agree, it is more important than ever to maintain an exercise routine and healthy diet this time of year.

"At the holiday parties, not only is there the rich foods and the snack foods but there is also a few more cocktails and those are calories that are consumed at the worst time of day," says Matt Vasco, owner of Empowerment 2 in New York Mills.

Calories ingested at night are often stored as fat, which is why Vasco suggests not snacking after you are done with dinner.

Another tip, mix up your cardio routine. While walking or running, try varying the pace and incline. Or, try a different form of exercise to challenge your body.

While it might be hard to stay motivated, just think about the sense of accomplishment you will feel when you are leaving the gym.

"It makes me feel better. Everything is better. I just feel better about myself," says Elacqua. "I feel like I look better, my whole body looks good, and I feel happy."

Not only will gaining weight make your clothes feel tight, but you are also putting yourself at a risk for heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of cardiovascular exercise for the average adult.

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