Walk to a healthy holiday season

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The holiday season can be a hard time for those that love the turkey, potatoes and sweets. But staying healthy is not impossible.

"There is a wonderful variety of tools out there that can help people to track calories or to track exercise," said Tawny Espinoza, health coach at Community Hospital. "Really what's important for people is to find what works for them and to stick with it."

For the Mesa County Library staff, it's a simple plan like walking.

"This trek to the Library of Congress challenge is kind of a way to get staff thinking about walking and being healthy during the holiday season," said Bob Kretschman of the Mesa County Library.

Staff are encouraged to partake in the six-week figurative "trek," a route of 8.6 million steps that will be divided into 5,000 steps per day, per person.

And when it comes to the delicious holiday foods, health officials stress the importance of the golden rule.

"Eat your small meals throughout the day still, not to hold off all day and wait for that big meal in the evening," said Paul Herek, owner of Complete Nutrition.

"Make sure that you are eating breakfast, you're eating a healthy lunch, and that you're not fasting throughout the day, so then you can think you can eat anything at that large meal," said Tawny.

Implementing exercise throughout the months-- and really making it a routine-- will also help counter the holiday food season.

"Walking is one of the best ways to get in shape, and it's good for cardiovascular. It's good for your mental attitude," said Kretschman.

Or for those ready for a big challenge, quick and productive workouts will work, according to Herek.

"Get a quick 20-30 minute high intensity workout in, just body weight stuff, wind springs, stuff like that just to help get your heart rate up so you are still burning calories throughout the holidays," said Herek.

But health professionals always stress the importance of food tracking. At the very least, it will help with portion control during the busy months.

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