A lot of people take a break from exercising and healthy eating during the holidays. Some excuses are:
- I have family coming.
- I just don’t have time.
- I’m too tired.
- I’m stressed out.
- Pick your favorite excuse.
They try to make themselves feel better by thinking that they will just take a break and start up after the holidays.
Then, most people gain excessive weight during that time. This is why exercise is so important. It will not only burn off excess calories, it can help reduce stress, keep you energetic, and reduce chances of binge eating.
But holidays can take up time from exercise, so here are some tips that will help you stay fit and healthy this holiday season:
1. Practice mindful eating.
When you pay attention to what you are eating, you can make small changes that make a big difference. Here are some tips toward a more mindful approach:
- Control portions. Especially during the holidays, know that you’ll have more opportunities to eat festive snacks and desserts. You don’t have to deprive yourself; just eat smaller portions and less frequently.
- Eat when you’re hungry. Just because the clock says noon doesn’t mean you have to eat. If you’re not hungry, wait until you are – just don’t wait until you’re famished because you might overeat. And, don’t eat just because the food is available.
- Plan. Prepare healthy snacks throughout the day. If you tend to get hungry between meals, bring along a 200-calorie, whole grain, high-fiber snack. Fiber keeps you feeling full longer. For some ideas go to www.CompleteFitnessLHP.com/healthy-snack-ideas.html
- Slow down. Enjoy each bite and put your fork down while chewing, then take a drink between each bite. This gives your body enough time to trigger your brain that you are satisfied (not necessarily full).
- Pay attention. Do not eat in front of the TV or computer, or while standing in the kitchen or talking on the phone. You will be more likely to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.
- Keep a food diary. Write down everything you eat, look at it, then identify why you ate it – was it hunger, stress, boredom? Then look for areas you can adjust, and incorporate healthy changes. Keeping a food diary is key to awareness. Most are surprised at all they’ve consumed when they review what they’ve eaten.
2. Adjust your workout routine.
Holidays usually disrupt our regular routine, so adjust your routine to fit your holiday schedule. For instance, if you can’t go for an evening run, try running in the morning. Be flexible with the exercises, too. Do 15-minute sprints if you don’t have time for a 1-hour jog.
3. Wake up early.
Waking 30 minutes earlier can make a big difference. Morning workouts will help you make better food choices and keep your willpower intact. Additionally, it’s easy to get caught up with other things and forget about exercise. So, get exercise in as early as possible.
4. Keep a jump-rope handy
A jump-rope is one of the most effective and convenient pieces of workout equipment; it’s portable and doesn’t take up much space. If you can’t do your regular exercises, just take out your jump-rope and enjoy a brief workout. You can burn up to 200 calories by jumping-rope for 15 minutes.
5. Set workout reminders.
There’s so much going on during the holiday season, and exercise can easily slip our minds. Reminders will stop you from skipping workouts. Use apps or plan with your workout buddy to encourage each other about exercise each day.
6. Avoid being uncomfortably full.
Overeating can cause stomach upsets and gas, and will consequently stop you from exercising. Practice mindful eating if you want to avoid being uncomfortably full.
7. Invite a friend or family member.
Ask a friend or family member to exercise with you. If they join you, well and good, if they don’t, go ahead and exercise by yourself. You never know, you may inspire someone to start exercising regularly.
8. Do bodyweight exercises.
Sometimes, you might not have time to make it to the gym. Bodyweight exercises can be a great workout. Exercises like push-ups and squats can be done anywhere, and they’re almost as effective as machine exercises.
How do you plan to stay fit and healthy during the holiday season?