You have surely heard people talking about how difficult it is to be healthy during the holiday season, and especially if your health is a top priority for you, you are probably wondering how to stay fit during the holidays.
Many people tend to slip during the holidays to some degree and then take the (sometimes) challenging road to get back on track afterwards. However, staying fit during the holidays is very possible, and you can still enjoy the festivities without putting your healthy lifestyle on ‘pause’.
So let’s go on to learn some ways to stay fit during the holidays.
When you are proactive, you set yourself to not only feel your best and stay fit, but also to have a better time during the holidays.
In terms of dining: If you normally don’t drink but want to have a couple glasses of wine, then maybe it would be helpful to plan ahead and bring a bottle you know you would enjoy sharing with someone. This makes that glass of wine ‘worth it’. Or if there is a dessert you love that is only around once a year, then perhaps allow yourself a small serving of it rather than fully indulging in a few.
In terms of activity: If you know you’ll be driving quite a bit to a friend or family member’s house and will be out during your normal time to exercise, be proactive and get in some movement or training session before you leave.
Plan your workouts and activity for the week and be sure to get each session in so that you are at least getting some exercise in, even if it is not as often or at your usual maximum.
If you are traveling for the holidays, pack gym clothes and be creative with workouts. You can do a HIIT workout just about anywhere, take the stairs and/or even try a fitness class in a new location.
Holiday parties generally have a spread of beautiful, but not-so-healthy food options. If you eat something healthy before heading over, preferably something packed with vegetables, then you are going with a full stomach (of something healthy) and be less tempted to reach for unhealthy snacks.
A green smoothie (vegetable based) is a great option to stay fit during your holidays. You can add avocado so it is filling, as well as frozen spinach, cucumber, and water as your base.
When there are fun cocktails and treats to indulge in, chances are that water is not at the forefront of your mind. But make an active effort to have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume to stay hydrated and maintain some sort of balance. You’ll feel better about it for the following day, as well!
If you are driving for a holiday celebration, fill up a few reusable water bottles for the drive there and back so you can stay hydrated both ways.
The holidays are both a hectic and special time as you spend time with loved ones and celebrate. The mentality that you have going into the holidays can set you up for success where you can truly enjoy (and still stay fit!) or can leave you feeling stressed and perhaps sliding into an ‘all or nothing’ mentality. So consider what you are comfortable with during the holidays.
With so many unhealthy temptations that the holidays bring, it is crucial to find a balance that works for you. And remember that you can adjust that day-by-day or even by the minute. Tune into your body and how you feel and the rest will fall into place.
If you do want to indulge in a treat, give yourself permission to do that! Indulging in one thing on one night can ‘get it out of your system’.
The holidays often involve a lot of time spent sitting down, whether as you talk, eat or perhaps watch a sports game or holiday movie. Too much sitting is not good for your health though, and it can also break your momentum of staying fit as you build a habit of not being as active as you normally are. So even as you eat or chat with loved ones, get up even for just a couple minutes to take dishes to the kitchen or refill someone’s water glass.
Here’s one more tip to stay fit during the holidays. Between people to see, things to do and all the good food to eat, many people find that they do not sleep as well during the holidays. Make quality sleep a priority so that your body has plenty of time to rest and recover. If you are out late, consider a power nap the next time and/or space out your outings if possible so that you have time to catch up on sleep if necessary.
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