Stay on top of your health routine when the holidays arrive.
It should come as no surprise that gyms tend to fill up right about the time the holidays come to a close. Between the winter weather, busy party schedules, and of course the endless feasting, the holiday season hardly lends itself to diet and exercise, and suddenly everyone find themselves trying to make-up for their negligence.
So how do you stay on top of your health routine when the holidays arrive? Here are a few tips for keeping motivated, active, and eating right.
Get a co-conspirator.
It can be extremely difficult to keep up your motivation when everywhere you look you see people not getting any exercise and not eating nutritiously. The solution involves getting a partner – a friend or family member who will share in making the tough decisions.
Make a workout plan.
A workout plan is a great idea all year round, but it’s especially helpful when you know you’ll be busy with holiday parties and travels. Don’t leave your workout routine up to chance. Make sure you schedule it in like you would any other important part of your life.
Wake up earlier.
Set your alarm clock for an hour or two earlier than usual so that you have a bit of extra time to get in a workout before your day gets filled with gift shopping and socializing.
Be the host.
When you go to someone else’s holiday party, you’re left eating whatever is served. But when you’re hosting, you can be sure to provide healthy food options.
Don’t get too close to the snacks.
When you’re at a holiday party, it can be easy to find yourself stationed by the snack table chatting, all the while shoveling handfuls of food into your face. Give yourself some distance from the munchies and make it that much more difficult to graze.
Eat the healthiest options first.
Start out by eating the healthiest selections like salads and soups. That way by the time the calorie-rich main course is served you’ll already feel somewhat full.
Avoid fast food while shopping.
When you’re hitting the mall for presents, it can be easy to find yourself in the food court choosing from whatever assortment of greasy options happen to be available. Instead, eat before you head out to shop, or bring along snacks. If eating at a restaurant is unavoidable, be sure to eat at a proper establishment where you can get something nutritious.
Drink from tall, skinny glasses.
Studies have shown that people tend to pour 30 per cent more liquid into short, wide glasses. Narrow glasses will help you cut back on calories from eggnog and festive cocktails.
Remember: it’s okay to say “no.”
It’s easy to think that you have to eat everything that you’re offered, but that’s not the case. Learn to say no. This is a situation where your health-partner can really come in handy.
Develop your holiday fitness routine.
If hitting the gym simply won’t fit into your busy holiday schedule, build a workout routine that you can do in your spare time at home. A good 20 minute High intensity interval training (HIIT) circuit, for example, is a great way to pack quality exercise into a short amount of time.
What’s a solid circuit look like? Basically, you want to have a series of bodyweight exercises that are broken up by quick bursts of cardio. When most people think of cardio the first thing that comes to mind is running, but if the winter weather makes running seem like a less than thrilling endeavour, a jump rope makes for a great alternative.
So your circuit could look something like this:
1 min. jumping rope > 10 burpees > 1 min. jumping rope > 20 mountain climbers > 1 min. jumping rope > 30 jump squats > 1 min. jumping rope > 20 pushups > 1 min. jumping rope > 20 reverse lunges
Set a timer for 20 minutes, then charge through this circuit and see how many times you can repeat it in that time.
Bottom line, keeping healthy through the holidays is all about the little things – finding little ways to exercise, and finding little ways to cut out calories.