Holiday Survival Guide
Stay Healthy and Fit During the Holiday Season
The holidays are a time for celebration, family, joy and lots of merriment. It is also a time that revolves around food, busy shopping, festive parties, cocktails, and seasonal treats. Therefore, the season can represent a time for serious temptation to overeat, forgo the gym and abandon healthy habits. There are ways to stay on track so that when the New Year rolls around you aren’t, yet again, resolving to lose the five pounds you gained over the holidays!
Before the holidays are fully underway, make a conscious effort to make a plan, stick to it and check in regularly with yourself. A healthy outlook plus regular exercise, a consistent sleep schedule and a proper diet go a long way to being successful.
There are many added sources of stress this time of year. We understand fully and are here to help. Exercise is a proven stress reducer and one of the best defenses when things start to get overwhelming. We offer a wide array of classes to get the body moving, work up a sweat and burn calories. Try a new class, maybe spinning, boxing or a dance class. Not only will you relieve holiday stress, you might just find passion for a new activity! Other mind calming, stress reducers are Yoga, Pilates and meditation.
Just finding the time to exercise during the holiday season can be a hurdle. Careful analysis of where you spend your time and how better to manage it may reveal free time you didn’t even realize was there. If you spend countless hours at the mall looking for that perfect gift, try online shopping. Not only does it save time, but it can be done even when the stores are closed.
Even at the end of a busy day there seems to be lots to get done. Try your best to delegate, multitask and organize yourself so you get an adequate amount of sleep. Your body and mind need to rest. Sleep is the time your body recovers. And the less you get the worse off you will be, feeding the vicious cycle. Be sure to find two to three days a week where you get a solid nights sleep to keep you focused, on track and energetic enough to keep up with the demands of the season.
Awareness goes a long way when it comes to holiday parties. Mindless eating, Aunt Betty's special rum balls, eggnog and seasonal candy are tempting. Be sure to eat a healthy snack to fill you up before going, drink lots of water to maintain fullness and if necessary, bring your own healthy snacks or foods if you get hungry. That’s not to say you must totally abstain from festive goodies. On the contrary, it’s fine to indulge a small amount, enough to satisfy your craving, but know your limits and keep an eye on your consumption.
As merriment abounds so do cocktails. It’s important to keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Not only does it stimulate appetite, it can disrupt sleep and wreak havoc on your body and mind.
Some tips for combating holiday stress, over indulgence and employing exercise are below. There is no reason you can’t stay on track, enjoy the season and enter the New Year in a healthy and happy place – and avoid the unwanted gift of extra pounds!
- Schedule your workouts like you would a meeting.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep at least 3 times a week.
- Hit the sack and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
- Walk outside in the sunlight to beat the seasonal sadness that tends to happen to many.
- Organize a holiday get together at the gym or an outdoor activity.
- Throw your own party to ensure healthy food is served.
- Give the gift of health to yourself!
- Go easy on the caffeinated drinks. They deplete you of vitamins and can disrupt sleep.
- Try some time-efficient, calorie-incinerating workouts such as jumping rope, running, and training on cardio machines. 30 minutes three times a week is all it takes.
- Skip the elevator or escalator and opt for the stairs.
- Dance at the holiday party, burn calories and have fun.