With Halloween fast approaching, one should be afraid, very afraid. The time between now and Thanksgiving is as dangerous as walking through a haunted forest on your way to grandma’s house with a basket of donuts. Just as every cloud has a silver lining, every Halloween fitness trick has a beneficial treat. Here are my Top Five:

1. Trick: Eat Breakfast Every Day

Treat: Having adequate calories at breakfast will increase your morning energy level and decrease your need to have a mega lunch or a calorie-laden snack mid-morning. One survey found that a third of American workers did not eat breakfast or lunch most days. Eighty-nine percent of them snack, with over half snacking primarily on chips, candy, cookies or donuts. A nutritional breakfast is worth getting up early for, as it’s a proven way to maintain a healthy weight.

2. Trick: Do Strength Training

Treat: Exercising with weights increases muscle tone. And muscles burn between 30 and 50 calories per pound per day…even when you’re sleeping. In addition to a metabolic boost, strength training helps to offset the effects aging has on your body. More good news…lifting weights increases your energy level, attenuates osteoporosis, reduces stress and helps improve balance. 

3. Trick: Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Treat: Numerous studies have shown eating a combined minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables each day reduces the risk of cancer as well as other diseases. By consuming low calorie, high fiber foods, you will be less apt to eat high fat, calorie dense foods. 

4. Trick: Drink More Water

Treat:  Drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water (or other water-based fluids) will supply your body with its most important nutrient. Just as running your car with a quart less oil will impair its performance and possibly damage its engine, living in a body a quart down on water will impact your health and physical and cognitive performance. An adequate supply of water or water-based fluids helps the digestion process by transporting nutrients and removing waste by-products. Improved hair and nail texture plus skin clarity are extra treats.

5. Trick: Do cardiovascular exercise almost every day.

Treat:  A 25-minute walk at 3.6 MPH, done five days per week will cause a weight loss of about a pound per month for most people. In addition to preventing creeping weight gain, cardio has been proven effective at reducing “bad” cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure, elevating positive brain hormones and reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

If you try these tricks now, you should be able to treat yourself to a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner without out the ghosts of guilt weighing you down.

What are some tricks you do now to keep fit and trim before the Holidays are in full swing? If you send me your tricks, I’ll send you a treat.