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Stay Healthy This Halloween (and Beyond)

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October 9, 2012

You know it’s coming – lying in wait for you like a spider waiting to trap you in its web – Halloween and all its sticky candy treats.  The holidays, which start at Halloween and run to New Years, has Americans consuming a lot of sugary, waistline-destroying treats, an average of 7-10 lbs. per person! Hoping to stay clear of the dreaded holiday heft? There is hope if you follow these guidelines:

Mounds & Monsters

Halloween marks the beginning of candy madness.  You buy a bag (or five) intending to hide it away for the trick-or-treaters but the trick is on you.  You eat all the candy before the month is out and the damage has been done.  Plus, you need to schlep to the store for more candy.

Which candy does the worst damage?  According to Men’s Fitness Magazine the guilty parties lie in chocolate-covered coconut Mounds bars.  Stay away from high-fructose corn syrup laden items like candy corn too.  Your best bets are lollipops, which last longer, and small pieces of dark chocolate.  If you really can’t stay away from the candy – buy the kind you don’t like and stock that for the kiddos this Halloween.

Tag You’re It

The weather this time of year is almost magical.  The temperatures are cooler and you can prolong play time after school or go for a family walk after dinner.  Take advantage of the fall festivals with their relay races and other fun games. Being out of the house each day reinforces a positive state of mind and helps keep you in shape even if it is to just by walking through a pumpkin patch or apple orchard.

Now is a great time to go running or walking before or after work without having to layer up or worry about heat exposure.  Throw a football around or get in another game of golf before a real chill sets in.  Family Fitness has some fantastically fun and spooky games such as Monster Freeze that  the whole family can enjoy.

Healthy Alternatives

Remember that Halloween isn’t all about the candy.  It is hay rides, apple picking, pumpkin carving, fall festivals and haunted houses.  Rejoice in the gorgeous weather and fall foliage.  In addition, there are loads of tasty and tempting foods that are good for you too.  Roasted pumpkins seeds fresh from your pumpkin carving are loaded with antioxidants and pumpkin puree tastes greats in a smoothie or your morning oatmeal.  Fresh made applesauce without the added sugar is another way to bring in the fall season and Halloween.  Think about the food that is in season and use it to your advantage when snacking and preparing meals this upcoming October. Your body will thank you come January first.

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