The holiday season is synonymous with weight gain. However, there are a few tricks that can be implemented to help you maintain a healthy bodyweight and even lose weight during the holidays.

Work it off

Exercise is your best friend since you can burn off the additional calories you've consumed at a potluck or family gathering. Concentrate on cardiovascular exercise since it will burn the most amount of calories and will do the most benefit after a heavy meal. Set aside 30 to 40 minutes for exercise, five times a week to avoid weight gain. Create a high intensity interval program that alternates between high and moderate intensity spurts on your machine of choice, such as the treadmill, elliptical, spin bike, etc.

Go green and stay lean

When you're preparing to eat at the family Christmas party this year, look for green veggies and lean meat. The green veggies are a great source of fiber and the protein in the lean meat will keep your blood sugar stabilized when the desserts get revealed. Steady sugar levels tend to lead to better choices at meal time and high amounts of fiber and protein will keep you full for longer. Also, if you're attending a potluck, offer to help out since you can bring a low calorie entrée or side dish and have more control over your environment.

Give the gift of fitness

An exercise DVD, workout equipment or sessions with a personal trainer are a great way to give the gift of health and fitness to your friends and family. When purchasing an exercise DVD, keep in mind the recipient's fitness likes and dislikes. Zumba might be a good fit for your sister or aunt, but the guy on your Christmas list might prefer a routine that concentrates on weight lifting such as P90X or Body Beast. Since exercisers should concentrate on cardio during the holiday season, a treadmill might be a great gift for someone trying to lose or maintain their weight. Those with bone or joint paint should opt for an elliptical since its low impact and offers a full body workout.

Training sessions with a personal trainer is a great gift to yourself or others. You can learn how to perform exercises properly, get answers to questions you have about fitness and get a plan made that will get you to your goals efficiently.

Dustin Bogle is personal trainer in the High Desert. Contact him at (760) 995-3366 or