5 Tips to Keep You Motivated and Fit through the Holiday Season
It’s no coincidence that the gym is packed in January. The holidays are typically a time when we fall short in the gym and slack off from our typical routines which can lead to weight gain, muscle loss, and a strong desire to get back on track come New Years. With family obligations, events, traveling, and delicious food, it’s no surprise that we tend slack off during the holiday season.
The good news – you aren’t destined to gain holiday pounds. In fact, with proper planning, you can maintain your fitness level while still enjoying the holiday season. Here are a few tips to help you to stay on track throughout the holiday season.
1) Buddy Up for the Holidays
They’re here! Your entire family, all in one place for the holidays. Or maybe it’s your good friends visiting from out of town. Either way it’s the perfect opportunity to pick a holiday workout buddy, or even a workout group. Hey, the more, the merrier. Grab a family member(s) or friend(s) who will be your holiday buddy—decide to maintain, not gain during the holiday season by doing workouts together, trying new fitness classes on your holiday days off.
It’s up to you to take the lead and have fun with it. Make fitness a family affair. (Take a) family hike or bike ride or family challenge! And if friends and family aren’t up to holiday workouts, I recommend an easy alternative. Find an accountability partner through the holidays to commit to your favorite group fitness classes!
2) Keep Your Routine…Routine!
You have a long list of places to go, presents to buy, and people to see. So maybe you don’t have time to work out today. Tomorrow will work, right? Wrong. Make sure your workouts are still scheduled. Holidays don’t mean a holiday from working out. Plan, plan, plan. Stick to routines!
For many people, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, so be sure to maintain a healthy balance to keep it that way. It’s ok to say ‘no’. Stress and racing from place to place can leave you exhausted, overwhelmed, and out of sync with your healthy routines.
3) Choose your indulgences
With all of the tasty food on the holiday table, it’s hard not to give in and eat a week’s worth of calories in one sitting. There’s no reason to deprive yourself from enjoying your favorite foods. Pick the ones you want to indulge in, but limit yourself to one serving. Once you’re done, put the rest in a container and slide it in the fridge. You’ll be less likely to dig in for seconds when the food is out of sight.
4) Stay true to yourself and evaluate
You will need to occasionally evaluate yourself to determine if you are working toward your goals. During the holiday season, this is especially crucial. You’ll be more likely to push away from the table sooner if you see the results (or lack thereof) on the scale, in your clothing or in the gym. Record your progress and track every two weeks during the winter months to stay motivated.
5) Eat Before Your Big Event
Ahh, holiday delicacies. Turkey with all the trimmings. Dessert. How about another cup of eggnog? It feels like the calories are adding up just thinking about it. Eat before dinners and parties. Spoil your dinner! Fill up on veggies and fruit before dinner/the party and bring your own healthy dish. Remember, the holidays are more about spending quality time with the ones you love.