Everyone always seems to have the same concerns when the holidays come around. We all want to attend as many events, dinners, and ugly-sweater parties as possible, but we don’t want our health and fitness to suffer as a result.
You would think that through the years people would have figured out how to have their cake and health and fitness, too. The reality is that some of us have, but too many of us have not. The answer should not be about desperately doing everything you can do from January to November for your health and fitness and then just see what happens in November and December. You need a new approach.
The Five Rules of Holiday Fitness could single-handedly be your turning point and finally teach you to learn to love the holidays and maintain your health and fitness levels throughout!
So, let’s take a look at the old way most people do things and the new rules that will help.
FIVE RULES OF HOLIDAY FITNESS
OLD WAY: Try (AND FAIL) to stick to a split program through the holidays
NEW RULE #1: Do Full-Body Workouts during the holiday season.
Things come up during the holiday season all of the time. If you are doing split workouts, you will be so scattered that you will be missing some body parts and over-working others.
A few missed workouts does not mean you should throw in the towel until next week or next month. Instead, consider following a program of full-body workouts that use resistance, cardio, and yoga or stretching will keep you moving forward even if you miss a day or two.
Since time is valued this time of year, it’s a great time to look at At-Home Workouts. Working out at home saves time and money because you won’t have to drive to the gym. At-Home Workouts doesn’t mean your workouts will be easy. If anything, they may feel harder! Many At-Home Workout Programs incorporate supersets, cardio bursts, or other compound movements to elevate your heart rate and maximize your time. Trust me: you won’t lose any ground. Honestly you will more likely gain ground and see results, and the gym may be something you do once in a while after the holidays.
OLD WAY: Allowing Events and Workouts to Compete for Your Time
NEW RULE #2: Good Morning Workout!
The holiday season typically makes everyone’s schedules more jam-packed with events after work. This can also be a time that many plan to workout. So which do you do? During the holiday season the holiday events typically win. There’s no reason to waste time figuring this out. The decision is “Good Morning Workout”.
Doing your workout first thing in the morning keeps you on track and never missing a beat. Plus it lowers your stress because you are not thinking about having a workout when the unexpected event comes up, because yours is already done. If you are gym person, then load up your gym bag the night before to save time and give yourself enough time to eat, get to the gym, clean up, and off to work. This again is where At-Home Programs can ease the stress of time. It can save you 45-60 minutes of time in the morning which could be used for extra sleep.
OLD WAY: Don’t consume all the decadent treats and sweets
NEW RULE #3: Try to eat only the treats and sweets new and appealing, don’t just gobble all the old favorites. Have a small portion of your favorite seasonal treats, and skip the things you can get anytime of the year.
FIVE RULES OF HOLIDAY FITNESS
Most people fail miserably at this one, so set yourself up with an incentive. Maybe it’s money in a jar for every time you skip something you can have anytime or have already had this season. Whatever incentive works for you, try it and do it.
Keep in mind that sugary treats can be found everywhere you look, so be mindful. Mindful means if you want the pumpkin pie or egg nog, scrap the Oreo cookies in the breakroom or a cafe mocha on the way home. You don’t want to ride the blood-sugar high all New Year’s and have to make resolutions that you would have never needed to make.
OLD WAY: Try to resist the urge even if you are starving.
NEW RULE #4: Plain and simple… Don’t let yourself get to the point you are starving!
Planning ahead becomes crucial and staying hydrated is important. Being prepared for the unexpected during the holiday season (or anytime) is important. Pack protein bars, raw almonds, apples or other fruit, or packets of total nutrition Shakeology.
Having these extra healthy snack options will help get through the day and are necessary before going to an unexpected holiday event. A healthy snack prior to your event will help you stick to the plan of not eating whatever throughout the night.
Drinking a 12-16-ounce glass of water prior to going to the event will also help you feel full when you arrive. Keep drinking water throughout the event.
OLD WAY: Training all year with hopes that people notice during the holidays
NEW RULE #5: Invite friends and family to join you for your workouts, whether at home or the gym.
The holidays are often times when you see people you haven’t seen for a while.
It’s normal to secretly want to shock those people, and have them give you the “Wow” compliment! Or the “What have you been doing?” “You look great!” So instead of being secret and looking for your compliment, why not help inspire them to embrace the fit life. It is always better to give and inspire.
Make a workout date with a friend, family member, or coworker this holiday season. It will help hold both of you accountable for getting your workouts completed and provide a more natural platform for fitness questions and conversation, should any arise. Give the gift of health by inviting them and giving them an At-Home Fitness Challenge Pack to keep them going after the holidays.
Also remember to go for walks after big dinners and do things as a family like skiing, snowshoeing, hitting the beach, or going for a hike, depending on your climate.
Whatever you do, do it with friends and family. Inspire versus go for the compliment. Give the gift of health and fitness.
The bottom line is the holidays come once a year, but they still occur every year. So lower your stress and stay healthy and fit through the holidays by dumping the old ways and implementing these Five Rules for Holiday Fitness.
Finish the year strong!