And so the countdown begins. Thanksgiving is a week away. After that, we rush right into holiday shopping, decorating, planning, baking (yayy!), gingerbread-house-making… And then New Years Eve is less than a week away. By the time we make it through the holidays, Thanksgiving is a distant memory, and where did the time go? With how busy this holiday season can be, it’s hard to keep up with your healthy lifestyle on top of all the holiday preparation. If you don’t want to be playing catch up after the holidays, here are 7 tips to help get you through:
The holidays can definitely add a bit more stress than usual. So don’t forget that your workouts can be used as a tool! Not only does working out clear your head and lift your spirits, but there are many things you can get done during your choice of cardio. Build your shopping list; bring a book and read; listen to a book, podcast, or sermon; listen to some holiday classics to give you all the warm fuzzy feelings! Your workout is about you and your journey. Have some “me-time”.
Don’t skip the gym! No doubt the holiday season is pretty fast-paced. It can take a little extra effort to get to the gym, or go for a run (or even get out of bed) right around now. This is also the most important time to push through. You don’t want to let yourself backtrack on everything you’ve been working towards. If you stop before Thanksgiving and don’t start again until after January 1st, that’s almost 2 months worth of losses. SO, on the days you’re running behind, don’t skip the gym. Come on the days you normally come, but shoot for a shorter workout! And if you really can’t make it in, find a routine on Pinterest or YouTube. Then you can get right back into it at your normal length after New Years.
A little while back I had written a post about goal setting titled Losing Motivation?. If you haven’t identified and written out your long-term and short-term goals, I would strongly encourage you to do that right now. You’ll want something to hold onto and motivate you through the busy season. This goes for more than just fitness. With anything that I’m working towards, when I start to slack off or get discouraged, I come back to my goal. Why am I doing this? That keeps me moving! Find yours and right it down so you always have something pushing you forward.
Thanksgiving and Christmas meals are generally full of all the materials you need to put together a well balanced meal. The trouble is what is being eaten before and after the hearty meals. It does take intentionality to make sure you’re still filling up on the right things. Make sure you’re fueling your body with something that will keep it going. Don’t look at it as a set of rules and restrictions. Rather look at it as your lifeline; it’s how to take the best care of yourself. Try some of these quick and easy power snacks!
While it’s important to fill up on wholesome foods, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any sweets. Holiday food is not evil. I look forward to the time when eggnog, and all my favorite cookies and ice creams come back into the stores. So allow yourself a treat! Just make sure to have it in moderation. Listen to your stomach when it’s telling you you’re done. And try to avoid setting yourself up. Don’t sit down with a bowl of candy or plate of cookies. Just take a little- moderation.
This one is so important; do not shame yourself. Maybe you did sit down with the 1/2 pint of ice cream and finished the whole thing in one sitting. Don’t beat yourself up for it. Or if you go a week without working out, okay, so make sure you get to the gym that night, or tomorrow morning. But don’t shame yourself. And don’t be “all or nothing”. If you start the day with 5 cookies, don’t let that be a reason to scrap the whole day. Start again with your next meal; reach for one of the power snacks! And make sure to celebrate the little gains and successes. They add up!
Probably most imperative, is remembering to breath. You can’t take great care of your physical self if you’re not taking care of your mental self. A lot of the time the two go hand in hand. So while working out is a great booster, sometimes you just need to sit, relax, and breath. Keep the stress levels down. Remember what the Holidays are about and don’t forget to enjoy them!
If you’d want a little push and encouragement, you can sign up for personal training sessions. The first package you purchase with me is 25% off for the duration of November!
NASM Certified Personal Trainer