With holiday parties, one too many peppermint mocha lattes, and cold weather induced lethargy, it’s easy to gain a pound or two over the holiday season. While we are all about practicing hygge and cozying up by the fire, we also believe in strategically planned workouts and sustainable lifestyle modifications during the season to stay healthy. Not only will staying active prevent the holiday blues, you’ll have more energy, and not to mention--glowing skin for your holiday get-together.
‘Tis the season to indulge, but keep these tips in mind for your healthiest holidays:
1. Make Small Diet Adjustments
Eat a high-fiber or protein-packed snack prior to your holiday dinner to avoid binging on sweet and fattening fare later. The key is not to starve yourself so you can eat more later.
While at the party, fill up on the healthy stuff first: salad and fruit before the cornbread and casserole. Also, watch out for liquid calories. It’s all about being mindful of your food intake.
2. Strategically Planned Workouts
With your busy holiday schedule, it’s even more important to pencil in time for workouts before the week begins. Plan your workout schedule every Sunday, and stick to it. Early workouts are better. With the shorter days, you’ll be more motivated to work out when it’s still light out.
Even if you can’t make it to the gym, do a HITT workout at home. The post-workout metabolism boost prior to a heavy meal keeps off the holiday weight. Plus, those carb-heavy holiday meals are perfect for repairing muscles.
3. Limit Access to Holiday Foods
While it may be tempting to take home leftovers, or save that pumpkin pie for the rest of the week—don’t do it! It’s fine to indulge a bit at holiday parties, but once it’s over…time to eat clean!
4. Stay Active
Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time watching TV, reading, or working. Try to get up every 45 to 60 minutes to perform 5 minutes of physical activity--whether it’s taking a stroll around the office, to running up and down the stairs, to sweeping the floor at home, or even doing a few sets of squats.
Spending time outdoors in the winter can be mentally and emotionally refreshing. It’s a good change of pace from being stuck indoors. If you live in areas with ample snow, try snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Even informal activities like shoveling snow or doing winter yard work can give you a great workout. For those living in areas with mild winters, try hiking or trail running.
6. Make Time For Self-Care
We know the holidays can be super exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Take some time to tune out all the noise, and feed your mind and soul. Schedule a once weekly bath ritual or massage, or even practice meditation to recharge.
Take some time now, at the start of this holiday season to set small, achievable workout goals for yourself. The key is to define what you want, write it down, and include an end-point.
For example, by January 1st, I will be able to do 15 full push-ups, or run a mile in 8-minutes. This will keep you motivated to work out during the holiday season, and encourage you to follow-through on your workout routine!