The holiday season is upon us- a time for family, friends, parties and presents. It’s also a time for indulging, stressing and taking lots of time for the previously mentioned- time that usually might be spent exercising, eating well and sleeping. We have compiled our best tips to help you get through the holidays in a healthy way so read on…
How were you planning on fitting exercise in throughout the holiday season including the actual day of the holiday? You may be surprised.
Consider adding a little intensity to the workout while shortening the length. Decreasing the time of the workout and increasing the intensity will get your heart rate up in no time. You don’t have to feel like you need to sneak away for an hour or more. You can get a good workout in well under 30 minutes. Maybe you need to get away- just use exercise as your excuse and take as long as you need!
Pack it up. No need to leave your workouts behind when traveling. Pack tubes or bands in your luggage for resistance exercises. They are lightweight and fit easily into a suitcase. Heading to the beach? Exercise in the sand to make things more challenging.
Plan a group workout. If you will be visiting relatives or having friends stay over, get them involved in your workout. This allows you to spend time with them too! You can make it a fun activity for the whole family. You can challenge each other or turn it into a group exercise class! Who can hold a plank longer, how many squats can you each do? Kids and adults can exercise together, it is a great way to encourage fitness and set a great example.
Plan a few workouts in advance and schedule them. This allows you to be prepared no matter where you are and ready if you have a few free minutes! Decide ahead of time when you will be working out to increase the likelihood of fitting in your exercise. Do you hang out after holiday breakfast and just sit around? Don’t have to be anywhere until late afternoon? No party tonight? Chances are you can fit some time in to exercise. Think about what you are going to do, write it down and just do it. You don’t have to waste time planning a routine right before, it will already be planned.
You don’t have to go the gym- you can exercise in your living room. All it takes is a little bit of space and you can use your body weight as your resistance. Squats, lunges, pushups and planks are all great bodyweight exercises that utilize very little space. You can run your stairs or your use the bottom of the steps as step-ups.
It doesn’t have to be all about squats and lunges. An activity with your family and friends can include walking around the neighborhood to look at the lights, going for a hike or going ice skating.
American adults gain on average about 1 pound of weight during the holiday season. While this may not seem like much, any weight gain can contribute to health risks such as diabetes and heart disease. We’ve got your back with these 5 tips to make a healthy game plan this holiday season.
Plan ahead. If you are going to a party or event, don’t go starving! Don’t wait all day to “cheat” at the party, chances are you will overeat. Eat slowly, enjoy the conversation rather than focusing on the food and keep the alcoholic beverages to a minimum. This includes eggnog and punches!
Bring your own. Lots of gatherings involve everybody bringing something. Choose to bring something healthy, like the veggie tray so you know that there will be at least one thing that you can snack on.
Make smart substitutions for recipes. Use healthy oils (coconut or avocado), yogurt, lowfat milk and limit butter. Low sodium fat free chicken broth is a great flavor substitution!
Give out leftovers. If you are hosting holiday dinner or a party, send your guests home with a goody bag. The less you have sitting around your kitchen, the less you will be able to eat- again and again…
Don’t feel guilty. Chances are, your favorite foods might be served everywhere you go. Limit your portions and truly enjoy the food you are consuming. Once you have had your portion of those favorite foods, move on. You don’t have to feel badly that you ate them, just know that you can make different choices the next time.
Trying to balance schedules, plan menus, hosting or visiting family and sticking to a budget can be stressful and not good for your health. Try these tips for limiting holiday stress.
Create a plan. Whether it is a plan for gift buying- what to buy and how much to spend, creating a schedule for where you are supposed to be and planning the menu or what you will be bringing, planning ahead will help you get a little more organized. It also helps you figure out if you can do anything ahead of time!
Make time for you. Exercise and healthy eating will give you more energy and allow you to de-stress. If you don’t have a chunk of time to exercise, break up the sessions- maybe 10 minutes, 3x day. Also, remember to rest. Get a good night sleep and try to stick to your normal schedule.
Start a new tradition. If cooking for 20 leaves you feeling anxious, assign some family members a side dish or appetizer. Our Thanksgiving tradition is allowing the “kids” (we aren’t really kids anymore) to bake a dessert and make it a competition- think bake- off. It’s fun for us, and takes the stress off my mom to make all of the desserts!
Give yourself a break. Take a few quiet minutes for rest and relaxation when you can. Listen to some music, take a few breaths or even go outside for some fresh air.
After all that, please remember to enjoy this holiday season! Have a tip you want to add? Let us know.
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