Not to be a total Grinch here, but… The holidays can really screw everything up
Think about it.
From sometime around Halloween (all that candy) through January 1 (the hangover), we’re encouraged to:
- Throw our routines and habits out the window
- Eat and drink too much
- Run around like crazy trying to shop and meet every social obligation imaginable
- And exercise? Are you kidding? Who has time for that, right?
It doesn’t have to be that way. Take a look at these 7 Healthy Holiday Hacks to Keep You on Track.
- Look, the holidays are consistent, at least. You know when they’re coming every year. So, get ready. Sit down with a calendar and map out the rest of the year. Include all obligations – working, volunteering, social invitations, travel days, and – yes – working out at the gym or studio. When another invitation or opportunity comes along, make sure you’re not taking on too much.
- Follow through. Use that calendar to implement smart tactics. For example, don’t just schedule workouts: Actually do them. If you’re invited to another cocktail party that will feature heavy snacks and desserts, eat a light dinner before you go. Alternate being the designated driver with your partner or a friend. Nothing ruins healthy eating more than too many cocktails.
- Say “No” at least once this season. You’re not obligated to go to every party, or to eat every dessert, or to drink beer watching every football game. We’re talking about a two-month stretch. You can say, “No, thank you” and move on. No further explanation is necessary.
- If you’re traveling by car or by air, pack healthy food for the trip. You don’t want to rely on the luck of the draw if you get stuck at an airport food court or, worse, a random interstate exit with nothing but fast food.
- On the day of a big meal, eat normally and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Choose smaller portions of heavy sides and desserts. Eat until you’re 80 percent full before rushing back for seconds.
- Schedule activity for each big day. Run in a 5K “turkey trot.” Practice yoga. Lead the family on a walk through the park or flag football game. Go to the gym if it’s possible for you, but if it’s not, chill out. It’s just one day. The main thing is to move.
- Enjoy the day, knowing that you’re going to get back on track tomorrow and stay on track as best you can until the next big event. Consistency is key to having healthy habits, and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the holidays. Just don’t take it as an excuse to dive head-first into oblivion.
Because you know what’s coming next…
New Year’s Resolutions! What’s yours going to be? We’re here to help you start now if you like, so you’ll hit the ground running that first week of 2023. There’s no need to put it off till then.
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.