‘Tis the Season! The holidays are upon us and we soon, if not already, will be hustling and bustling to decorate, shop for gifts, attend holiday parties, cook and bake…the list goes on. The weather is cooler, the days are shorter, and our stress levels are higher. All of this can cause our routines to be crushed and our fitness goals to take a back seat. But since exercise releases endorphins, keeping your regular fitness routine in place can keep you feeling the cheer throughout the holiday season!
So how can you keep your routine and maintain your shape throughout the holiday season? Check out our Holiday Fitness Slump Survival Guide.
Schedule Workouts! Be proactive and add your workouts to your calendar. Make these events high priority items and don’t let anything get in the way of completing them. If you attend a gym for fitness classes, make sure you check their holiday schedule and enter the classes you attend on your calendar. And, if you don’t have one, get an accountability partner or gym buddy. Make plans to meet that person at class and keep each other accountable. Keeping these commitments to yourself will help you mitigate stress, feel energized, and maintain a cheery disposition.
Plan for Indulgences! Yes, it’s ok to indulge for a night or a meal but the problem is when these indulgences become daily staples from Thanksgiving until the New Year. We know, ahead of time, what parties we will be attending and what family members are visiting. If we know Grandma is making her famous chocolate cake, then plan on having a piece. If you are at multiple holiday parties, maybe the cookies aren’t really your favorite so skip those and opt for healthier choices. It’s best to pick your favorite and enjoy those then to mindlessly eat just because it’s the holiday season.
Remember, holiday stress plus poor eating habits lead to digestion issues. As a Fitness On The Run Expert states, “Your hormones, your immune system, your neurotransmitters that regulate your mood and sleep are all created in your gut. So, digestion is really the foundation for feeling good.”
Stay Hydrated! Holiday food is bursting with sodium and sugar so staying hydrated will help flush out some sodium and keep you from over-indulging. Start each day off with 16 oz. of water upon waking. This will jump start your body’s metabolic process. Remember, your brain sometimes confuses thirst for hunger so try drinking 8 oz. of water when you feel hungry. If you are no longer hungry, great. If you still are, then it’s time to eat. When it’s time for that high-calorie meal, drink 16 oz. or water prior to eating. You’ll be less likely to overeat, and you’ll maintain a better hydration level in your body. And don’t forget that alcohol dehydrates you so make sure to rehydrate after!
Get Rest! Our bodies love routine and one of the most important routines is our sleep cycle. During the holidays, we are over stretched and stay up late. Going to bed later than usual is very common…And, it will catch up with us and cause us to be more like a Grinch. That’s no way to spend the holidays! Help yourself keep a better routine by shutting off electronics and holiday lights one hour before you plan to go to bed, add some lavender oil to your pillow or diffuse in your room, and minimize late night eating and drinking. And don’t forget, quick power naps during the day, in between baking and shopping, can boost your energy level and keep you going.
The holidays are a magical time of year and maintaining some simple, yet effective, methods will help you enjoy every moment of the holiday season. Your mind and your waistline will thank you!