Merry Fitness. Holiday Help From the Y

’Tis the season of temptations. For most of us, the battle of the bulge begins with Thanksgiving dinner and lasts through New Year’s. Add in all the extra stress, holiday treats and meals on the run, and the calories really start to add up.

Ryan Holesko

Ryan Holesko, YMCA Wellness Specialist has some great tips for keeping the entire family fit, active and healthy during the holiday season and beyond.

Kids Playing

Ryan is a graduate of Kent State University, where he earned a B.S. degree in exercise science. He also has extensive experience in training young athletes and inspiring people of all ages to make healthier choices around food and fitness.

"I believe that teaching kids how to eat healthy, play outside every day and get a good night's sleep is the key to ending the youth obesity epidemic," Ryan said. "I'm proud to help our Y kids and families stay healthy!"

Holiday Tips From Y Wellness Specialist Ryan Holesko: 

  • Do your best to make time for healthy, home-cooked meals. Even quick, easy options are better than fast-food fare.
  • Get everyone on board with a plan to step-up physical activity. Make it fun with a family basketball game, a swim at the Y, or simply power-walking through the mall.
  • Create healthier versions of your favorite holiday recipes. Substitute low-fat milk or yogurt in the mashed potatoes and skip the top crust on the apple pie.
  • When attending evening parties where the focus is on food, stick to healthy snacks and meal options during the day.
  • As parents, don't skimp on your own exercise routine. You’re not just burning stress and calories, you're also boosting your mental outlook, energy, and metabolism.
  • Recognize what triggers you and your family to overindulge. If it’s stress, fatigue or over-scheduling, cut back and focus on what matters most -- creating a happy, harmonious holiday and stronger family bonds.