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Holiday Fitness Tips: 9 Shortcuts From Top Celebrity Trainers

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/22/2011 8:41 am EST Updated: 12/22/2011 9:14 am EST

For many, the December holiday season is marked by parties, visits home and a feeling of shared celebration. But all that reveling (the rich meals! the long nights of drinking!) can spell disaster for a carefully maintained fitness and weight-management program. Is there a way to have your eggnog and drink it too? We asked four celebrity trainers to weigh in on respecting your health without missing out on all the fun.

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"The holidays are stressful as it is, but we instinctively choose the exact opposite of what we really need to reduce that stress," says Tony Horton, who created the P90X fitness system and is known for training classic-rock icons like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. He's referring to sedentary holiday activities and diet-busting food traditions. "In reality -- the thing that makes the holidays more fun and relaxing is healthy living."

Horton sees the holidays as an opportunity to use physical activity not just for weight loss, but for better mental health. And that means we can't stay curled up on the couch -- we've got to get out and get moving. "When you move physically, you sleep better," says Horton. "And when you sleep better, you're less stressed, so your cortisol levels are lower and you are less likely to eat high-fat, high-sugar foods as a result. And when you sleep better, you're less stressed, so your cortisol levels are lower and you are less likely to eat high-fat, high-sugar foods as a result. And when you eat better, you sleep better too -- it's a cycle."

While a couple of days off is fine, Horton advises clients to work out regularly during any remaining holiday time. Since schedules are particularly crunched during the busy holiday season, he says it's okay to go for shorter workouts that last 20 or 30 minutes rather than a full hour. "Something is always better than nothing," he says.

Already know how you'll stay in shape over the holidays? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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