The holidays are here which is great…friends, family, & plenty of food. Here are 10 ways to stay fit & enjoy the holidays at the same time!
1. Make a plan, stick to it!
When going on a vacation, or even in normal, everyday life, most of us create a budget of some sort. So why not do that with our fitness? Having a plan helps to keep us from overindulging (similar to overspending) when it would be very easy to do so. It also helps to keep us on track when it comes to physical activity. Allow some flexibility (it would upset Aunt Gertrude greatly if you didn’t have one of her slices of cheesecake) but make up for that in another area. (more on that later) Your plan should include the amount of time you will be able to dedicate to physical activity specific to increasing your fitness. For example, chasing little Roger up and down the stairs twice does not take away from your cardio bank, it’s just an added bonus!
2. If you miss the mark on a part of your plan, make up for it!
For example: “Wow, Cousin Hildy’s pumpkin chocolate caramel brownie bars sprinkled with an inch of sugar looks amazing! If I eat one, I’m going to add 5 minutes to my cardio tomorrow.” Or, “I’m going to do one more round of resistance training tomorrow!” Or if you can’t hit your mark with your fitness plan for the day, add to tomorrow, or the next day. In other words, try to end up meeting your goal at the end of the week if the days in between didn’t go quite as planned.
3. Keeping those tips in mind, keep a healthy mental balance!
If you can’t stick to your plan to the mark, that’s ok! It’s the holidays! Look at the bigger picture and don’t get too focused on the hour. I live by this in my own life. Going into winter I have loosened up on my own diet a little and I’m probably 5 to 10 lbs heavier than I was in the summer. And I have fun with that. I’m eating more calories, which means I can lift a little more weight and my muscles are a little bigger. Fun! (A man reading this will generally relate a little easier 🙂 ) The point I’m trying to get across is that balance is huge. It is very easy to get obsessed, and then we’re missing so much of what the holidays and spending time with family is all about!
4. Get your exercise in first thing (or close to it) in the morning!
One thing I like to do when I’m trying to bring out those 6 friends of mine that live on my torso, is fasting cardio. This is getting exercise in before breakfast. The general concept here is that the body burns carbs before it taps into fat burning mode. If your last meal was at 6 pm last night, then chances are you’re going to hit fat burning mode quicker than you would if you’d recently eaten breakfast. If you can’t get it in before breakfast, there are still advantages to getting your workout in early in your day. First, it kickstarts your metabolism which will help you burn more calories through the day. Second, it makes it a priority. Enough said! Third, it will give you more energy and focus for the day. Fourth, the rest of the day is now yours!
5. Include a friend!
Misery loves comp…. Ok, sorry, this is supposed to be positive! So here’s my spin… In all seriousness, you will do better with all these tips if you are not going it alone! It can make it somewhat competitive, brings an aspect of fun to the table, and also keeps you accountable. I have seen this as a personal trainer. When I have a client that lacks motivation, that person seems to perform at a higher level when he or she brings a partner to the workouts! And then I get to pit them against each other and…. Argh! back to positive… 🙂 Friends just make everything better!
6. Make healthy treats!
It’s the holidays, so you’re supposed to have treats. It’s in the rules! So when you’re going to that ugly sweater party, bring some healthy treats. That way you’re not that “crazy fitness guru” because now you’re still snacking with all the rest of those party people!
7. Eat that turkey, doggonnit!
Enjoy eating! There are so many options around the holidays! Now probably isn’t a reasonable time to try and decrease the amount of food going in your jabber jaw. You will only be setting yourself up for failure! But there are a few good rules of thumb to keep in mind. Eat smaller portions throughout the day, eat foods that are higher in protein, get your fruits and veggies, and even healthy fats are ok! The smaller portions will help to keep your metabolism burning efficiently and it will also help to keep you feeling a little more “full” when it comes to those huge meals that are spread across a table the size of a small football field! Plus, when you’re “full” of good food, that desert will be less tempting!
8. Drink! (good fluids)
Make sure you keep hydrated, especially because chances are you are going to be eating more than you regularly do. Staying hydrated is a necessity in everyday life, not just around the holidays. It keeps your digestive system functioning efficiently, plus it helps you to feel a little more “full.” The positive effects of proper hydration are endless.
9. Invest in your fitness and get a personal trainer!
We work so hard at our stressful jobs. Whether it’s a job that actually requires a commute, or being a mom or dad in charge of all those hungry kiddos and maintaining that castle. Sometimes it’s just nice to be “mindless” as I call it. For example, I train doctors that know far more about the human body than I do, but they just want a guided tour in one area of their life. Even as a personal trainer I personally experience that within the fitness industry. Yesterday I did a legs workout with a friend, and she created the routine. And it was fun for me to be a passenger on her guided tour! And I even learned a new exercise! Bonus! Having a trainer also helps with motivation! You want a trainer that isn’t screaming in your face (annoying!) but finds a way that you like to be motivated, and does it! After your session you can turn your mind back on and attack your life with a renewed vigor! Finally, a trainer can bring new and exciting aspects to your own training journey that you didn’t know existed.
10. Create a new tradition that takes you out of your comfort zone!
This can be really fun! Gather the kids and run two miles on Thanksgiving morning. Make a choir of snow angels after the first snow of the year. Find the highest point in Central park and race to the top between sled runs. Make a snow wall 100 feet away from where you’re rolling the snowballs for it, whatever! Make it fun and be active!
I hope you’ve found these tips useful! If you want to learn more about my personalized training follow Stapleton Personalized Training on Facebook!