The holidays can be a “good news, bad news” situation for some people.
The good news: We get time off from work, we get to see families and friends, and we get to eat our favorite foods.
The bad news: Disrupted schedules, busy calendars, and extra calories can throw us off our healthy tracks.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can enjoy the holidays AND maintain the commitments you’ve made all year to eating right and exercising regularly.
Here are our top 10 tips to stay on track this season.
- Be active every day. Maintain your normal workout routine as much as possible. If you’re traveling, that might mean bringing some equipment, including an exercise mat, resistance bands, and small weights.
- Work out and eat right in the days leading up to your travel or other break in your regular schedule. That will balance out the inevitable calorie spikes you’re going to enjoy.
- Remain flexible. When you can’t hit the gym, go for a walk or a jog. Try some bodyweight exercises. Play with the kids. Lead the family in an outing at a local park or sledding hill.
- Don’t let a single holiday become a week of gluttony and sloth. If you’re driving somewhere, pack a sensible lunch rather than rely on roadside fast-food restaurants and diners. And plan to take 15-minute walking breaks every hour or two. … After the holiday, resist the temptation to keep eating leftovers. Get back to your fitness routine as soon as possible, even if you don’t quite feel like it yet.
- Drink plenty of water every day. It will help keep you from feeling hungry. A good rule of thumb is a half-ounce for every pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, shoot for 75 ounces.
- Eat sensibly – vegetables first. Eat slowly. Stop when you feel 80 percent full, because it takes a while for our tummies to tell our brains we’ve had enough.
- Limit your alcohol. Too much easily becomes just empty calories that lower inhibitions and lead to sloppy overeating.
- Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough can lead to crankiness and other body disruptions that can lead to, yep, overeating and sloth.
- Use smaller plates and glasses, and limit the empty carbohydrates to the treats you truly enjoy.
- Calm down and enjoy yourself. Yes, it’s important to not go crazy with food and too much sitting around the house. But it’s also important to remember that healthy living is a lifelong commitment, and your good habits can sustain, oh, say a second piece of pumpkin pie.
Breaks like holidays are meant to be enjoyed, and you don’t have to let them be TOO disruptive!
Finally, keep up whatever spiritual habits you practice, maintain gratitude, and be charitable in word and deed.
Call us today. We’re here to talk about any questions you have about exercise, nutrition and more!
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.