Oct 23, 2014

Tips for Having a Healthy and Active Halloween

How to manage your diet, sign up for Halloween races, and partake in spooky workouts

Growing up, Halloween was the best holiday ever. It arguably still is. One thing it is not is the healthiest holiday ever.

Now, you could just treat Halloween like it was any other day. If that in any way sounds like a good idea to you, I’m sorry, but you are not a fun person.

So how do you keep Halloween awesome and (kind of) healthy? Let’ s break it down.

The Candy Issue

Let's face it, Halloween is centered around costumes and candy. Costumes are amazing and have no downside. Candy, while delicious, isn't really on the diet food list.

1. Choose healthier Halloween candy

Chances are, you’re going to have some candy. The good news is all candy is not created equal. Some of it isn't even that bad for you. Pop a Hershey’s dark chocolate bar in the name of heart-healthiness. Eat a roll of Smarties for a mere 25 calories.

Not feeling those options? Check out this list from Greatist to see 20 types of healthy Halloween candy.

In other great news, much of the Halloween candy you’re going to come across will be “fun-size,” i.e. one or two bites (why an amount that small is referred to as “fun” beats me, but let’s roll with it). Two bites will not ruin your diet. Heck, 10 bites won’t ruin your diet. Pick your five favorite types of candy, acquire the “fun-size” versions, and enjoy your Halloween dessert.

2. Donate your candy

Maybe you’re like me and your self control falls somewhere around zero percent. You’ve probably jumped the space-time continuum by now, ate your five pieces of candy, and are holding another 10 in your hand while staring down a huge pile on the floor in front of you. How do you stop yourself? How can you not eat the candy when there’s SO MUCH CANDY?!

Solution: Use the candy for good. Countless organizations and charities collect candy this time of year for those in need. Check out this list and donate the candy to the organization of your choice. It’s less tempting to pig out when the alternative means you’ll be helping people.

3. Don’t guilt yourself

Okay, so you pigged out. If you’re reading this before Halloween and you’re scared of this prospect, take a look at your diet and behavior the past few weeks.

Are you craving candy because you’ve been super, super healthy? Consider allowing yourself a cheat day. Studies show designating one day a week for a cheat meal (or dessert) can actually help you lose weight in the long run by lessening the possibility of an all-out binge as well as maintaining your motivation to stick to a healthy lifestyle.

Reading this post-binge? If it was a one-time thing, don’t stress it; however, if the binge was one in a recurring series, check out this article examining why binging occurs and what you can do to stop it.

Let's Get Physical

So we’ve got the diet part covered. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to stay active on Halloween.

1. Halloween races

Feeling super spirited? Sign up for a Halloween race in your area. You get to dress up and challenge your body (so healthy! so fun!) Head over to Race Finder to get a list of races in your area.

2. Halloween workout

Already have plans this Halloween but still want to fit in a workout? Make Halloween your cross-training day and plan on doing a workout that incorporates plyometrics to get in a quick, intense workout. Need inspiration? Choose from one of these 15 circuit workouts.

3. Look The Part

To preface this next one: I’m of the opinion that everyone should be in full costume for their Halloween workout. Understandably, that might be going a bit overboard for some of you. But fear not! You can still get into the Halloween spirit. Stock up on some Halloween-themed workout gear to get in on the fun without going all out.

4. Halloween Playlist

We know music can push us to complete our most intense workouts. Get in the zone with a Halloween themed workout playlist from 8Tracks.

5. Halloween Parade

You don’t have to do a full-on workout to be active this Halloween. We already know walking improves your health. Take advantage of that by participating in a Halloween parade, visiting and interactive haunted house, or by simply trick-or-treating  kids optional ;).

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