Staying Motivated and Fit During the Holidays

The busy holiday season leaves little time to focus on fitness. Taking it one step at a time and incorporating small amounts of exercise into each day will help you to maintain your fitness level and combat holiday weight gain. It is also a time of the year when many people have trouble staying on track with their fitness goals or if just getting started, finding the motivation to continue staying on task. Here are a few ideas that can help you avoid the plateau, stay motivated, and either continue towards your current goal or take the first step in discovering the New You!

Set a goal – Make this specific to what’s important to you. It could be saying to yourself, “I will start exercising 3-5 days a week” or “I want to get into a smaller size”. Whatever the goal is write it down and then get out and make it happen!

Positive influences – Surround yourself with people and tools that will add to your overall well being and are supportive of your health and fitness goals. Life is simply too short to have someone in your life that doesn’t believe in you or is not supportive of your goals. Whether we realize it or not, what we see and hear is a major influence on our psychological well being. Think positive and believe in yourself!

Add variety – Stagnation comes from lack of imagination and creation. Change your exercise, daily routine or simply change the environment you are working out in. Try a new exercise or class, vary your workouts with ranges of weight, go heavier or lighter, change the days or time of day you normally workout. Variety prevents boredom and helps keep things fresh!

So my #1 tip for staying fit and healthy this holiday season is to stay motivated in your head. Rather than looking at the season as an inevitable pound-packing month of holiday parties and craziness, be excited about your daily workout, even if it’s just 20 minutes, this is your gift to yourself. Make a great playlist, workout with a friend, try a new healthy recipe, whatever it is that helps invigorate you and puts a smile on your face. We can all do it; it’s just a matter of whether we choose to!
Cheers to the Beginning of the Best Holiday Season Yet!

Fitting in Fitness for the Holidays

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be easy for your fitness routine to fall off track. Though exercise may seem less of a priority, squeezing it in can actually help you feel more energized and better cope with the stress of the season.

The holiday season is undoubtedly a time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, the average adult often does a little too much celebrating, which inevitably leads to extra baggage when the New Year rings in. Indulging in extra helpings, snacking on seasonal treats, increased alcohol consumption, and little to no workout time all contribute to an increase of dieters in January. This year, enjoy your holidays without the weight gain and save your resolutions for something else!

Here are few suggestions to prevent weight gain while still enjoying the holiday season:

1. Incorporate activity into holiday celebrations. Park and walk to view neighborhood lighting displays instead of riding in the car. Start a tradition of ice skating, sledding, or skiing as part of the planned holiday tradition.
2. Give yourself the gift of planned physical activity. Make it a priority by scheduling daily activity into your routine. Physical activity is an effective method for preventing weight gain during the holidays by burning calories, suppressing appetite, and helping deal with stress.
3. Never skip meals before or after a big celebration. This practice creates a feast-famine cycle. To prevent overeating at holiday celebrations, drink a large glass of water beforehand, try to avoid socializing near the food, place food on a plate rather that eating straight from the buffet, and don’t eat while standing.
4. Spend less time in the kitchen. Do you really need to make dozens of different cookies, candies and breads? If so, consider modifying recipes for baked products by reducing the fat and sugar.
5. Rethink the food gifts you give. Consider replacing your usual box of homemade candies for your neighbors with an assortment of fresh or dried fruits and nuts or a freshly-baked loaf of whole grain bread.
6. Go to the back of the line. Let others go before you in serving and buffet lines; tempting items may be gone by the time you go through. Practice being a slow eater. Give your brain 20 minutes to tell your stomach that you are satisfied before going back for seconds.
7. Get adequate sleep. Sleep loss may affect various components of metabolism that influence hunger and weight gain. Being tired also affects your mental ability to resist temptations.
8. Plan Ahead. Schedule time for yourself and physical activity on a daily basis. Prioritize holiday celebrations to attend, schedule weekly family activities, be adventurous and try some new healthy food recipes.

Moderation is the key to achieving a fun but also healthy holiday season. With a moderate approach both to what you eat and how much you exercise, you can avoid packing on the weight and still partake in all the fun activities this time of year. So, this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting with extra pounds to lose in January.

“Celebration is the Movement of Life.”

Carol A. White