It’s that time of year again! The holidays are right around the corner and you know what that means:
We’re all about to be hit by a blizzard of festive cookies, cocktails and chocolate and while there’s nothing wrong with that (I mean who are we kidding, that’s my kind of blizzard), what about those of us who want to make it through the holiday season without feeling like we’ve been run over by a snow plow?
Between tempting holiday treats and family obligations it can be easy to let our health and fitness goals go astray but I believe it’s possible to still indulge and make it through the holidays (relatively) unscathed.
I mentioned that earlier this week I served as moderator for an online fitblog chat on this very topic (if anyone’s interested, the full transcript can be seen here). Between the feedback I got and my own ideas here are my best tips for staying fit-minded throughout the holidays:
Bump up the burn. The holiday season is when I really kick my workouts into high gear. Knowing I’ll be indulging a little more than I usually do during the rest of the year motivates me to work a little harder to burn extra calories. Staying in a fitness-oriented mindset throughout the season also helps me to make healthier choices when I am faced with temptation. This year I started taking Kosama classes in an effort to switch up my routine. By committing to a class I feel like I’m cheating myself if I skip out and I like the fact that with the group fitness setting practically ensures that I’ll show up (it’s hard not to make it to class when you know you have others counting on you). If you’re not up for committing to an entire program then dedicate yourself to an am spin class or sign up for a boot camp with a buddy but consider doing something to shake up your routine now – you don’t have to wait until January 1st to start thinking about being healthy.
Make the time. With free time scarce it can seem harder to find the time to exercise. I find I’m most consistent if I work out first thing in the morning (a lot of fitblog chatters agree). I know the colder weather makes it that much more tempting to snuggle in bed but trust me, it’s worth it for how good you’ll feel afterward. Plus it puts you in a healthy mindset for the rest of the day which makes resisting the office cookie tray that much easier.
Other good tips for fitting exercise into a time-crunched schedule? Do shorter high intensity workouts or take family activities outdoors (sledding and ice skating burn calories too!)
And lastly, remember that during a time of year when it’s often necessary to be very giving toward everyone else it’s ok to make time for yourself too. 🙂
Choose your treats wisely. ***This doesn’t mean always picking the healthiest option but I do think it’s wise to Indulge only where it’s worth it to you. Maybe it’s your coworker’s famous brownies or your aunt’s secret eggnog recipe that you look forward to all year – make sure you’re enjoying those items to the fullest but leave the other stuff behind, or sample only a small amount. I’ll reach for a good piece of chocolate or a delicious looking home baked treat over store bought cookies any day. And remember, you don’t have to partake just because it’s there – be mindful and choose what you really want.
And my number one word of advice: Do what makes you happy. These tips are only meant to serve as suggestions. I generally feel best when I do something active nearly every day and I don’t overdo it on the treats (although some days are certainly an exception to this rule). For some of you, you may know that if you overindulge a little during the holidays you’ll be right back at it come January. I think life is best enjoyed taking everything in moderation and maintaining a balance, whatever that means for you.
Sometimes you just gotta do your own thing 😉
Hopefully this post has given you some ideas for staying on track with your goals this season (whatever they may be).
I hope you’re having a great Wednesday, enjoy the rest of your week!
What are your health goals this holiday season? Any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you! 🙂