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5 Ways to Work Off those Mardi Gras Calories

5 Ways to Work Off those Mardi Gras Calories

Carnival is a season filled with tasty treats and snacks that are knowingly bad for our health.

What can we do as parents to ensure we’re maintaining balance for ourselves and our children?

Our expert dietitians have put together this handy Carnival Calorie Counter to show how much physical activity we need to counteract all the delicious goodies we consume during Carnival Season.

RELATED: 7 tips for making your New Year's Resolution stick

A Menu of Activity Choices

Here’s a list of activities and their food equivalent to get the ball rolling toward achieving Carnival calorie balance:

1 Polish Hot Dog = 2.5 Hours of Parade Route Marching

1 Piece of Fried Chicken = 70 Minutes of Second Lining

1 Piece of King Cake = 50 Minutes of Cajun Two-Stepping

1 Daiquiri = 4 Hours of Parade Dancing

1 Light Beer = 20 Minutes of Jumping for Throws

RELATED: Recipe | “Lightened Up” King Cake

Be positive and encouraging to yourself

Physical activity is a vital part of staying healthy. Physical activity is easier for some people, and harder for others. Cut yourself some slack. A lapse is a small mistake or a temporary return to old habits. This can happen when you have a bad day and overeat or don't exercise. A relapse is when you go back to old habits for several days or weeks. Remember, having a lapse or relapse isn't necessarily failing.

Don't give up, but do get back on track.

Here are some other ways to stay active that involve the whole family:

  • Dance in the living room to your favorite songs
  • Do house and yard work together
  • Help clean a local park
  • Play an active video game that involves fun body movement
  • Play games like tag, catch, or Frisbee
  • Play sports like soccer, basketball, tennis
  • Ride your bikes together
  • Take regular family walks on weekend mornings, after dinner, and any other time you can.
  • Take stairs instead of elevators or escalators, and keep a stair count
  • Take the dog for a walk or jog
  • Train together for a charity walk or run

Beyond Carnival Season: Setting priorities for a lifetime

When starting a new exercise program, you can always talk with your doctor first to get recommendations. Some tips may include starting light, with 10 to 30 minutes of moderately intense activity, like walking 3 days a week. You can work your way up to 45 to 60 minutes on most days of the week.

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