The holiday season has arrived, a time that should be festive, fun, and relaxing. However, between the planning, shopping, cooking, decorating, traveling, and family events, this is also a time when fitness goals tend to fall by the wayside. It is perfectly healthy to loosen up and indulge, but completely abandoning your health and fitness routine could be a huge set back. You can avoid the holiday weight gain, without missing out on any of the joy. Below are some of our favorite tips to help you navigate the season with your health intact.
- Let food fade into the background—There are a lot of ways to enjoy yourself without letting junk food be the focus. Instead, immerse yourself in making meaningful memories. Cut down your own Christmas tree, take a long walk to admire intricate light displays, be the first to hit the dance floor at each holiday party you attend, or make it a point to get out to community events. Remember, the next couple of weeks are packed with festive activities! Check out Midnight Madness, the Parade of Lights, and Lights on the Bay.
- Ditch the online shopping—Tackling your holiday shopping list from your couch is certainly easy and convenient. But it is also sedentary. Laugh all you want, but shopping can be cardio. Hit the shopping mall and the grocery store instead of having items delivered. Yes, you may have to park far away. Yes, you may have to wait in line. But every little bit of activity helps.
- Re-frame your feelings about working out—Consider attempting an intentional shift of attitude when it comes to exercise. When you have a to-do list that is a mile long, a workout can feel like one more item to cross off. But it is also time that you are taking for yourself, to blow off steam and clear your head. You may be less inclined to skip your workout when you focus how much better you will feel after hitting the gym.
- Moderation, moderation, moderation—You have heard it a million times before, but it is truly the key to keeping your fitness in check, particularly during the holidays. Overeating is stressful, and that is the last thing you need during a hectic holiday season, with endless seasonal parties and events to attend. Instead of going overboard, savor the special foods that you really love, and skip the rest.
- Stay on top of your overall health—You will be indulging in more rich foods during the holidays, as you should. But that does not mean that you have to completely disregard all of your healthy habits. Overall health involves more than just diet and exercise. Continue to pay attention to other details, like how much water you are drinking, how much sleep you are getting, and how much stress you are feeling. You will feel so much better than you will if slack in all areas of health.
- Cycle in mocktails–Alternate your adult beverages with sparkling water. By doing this, you will both slow down the empty calories you are consuming with from alcohol and avoid a killer hangover. Make this more fun by adding fruit, or a little cranberry juice.
- Add Yoga to your routine—If you are not already experiencing the benefits of Yoga, this is a great time to start! Leave your to-do list at the door, and spend an hour do something completely restorative. You will return to your busy life more prepared to deal with the strain, we guarantee it.
What are your favorite healthy holiday tips? Let us know!