It’s easier than you’d think. You might be one of the many people who approach the holidays as a doomed situation for your health and fitness goals. This doesn’t have to be the case! If you go into the holiday season already having given up on yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure. All you need are some simple guidelines and a positive attitude to stay fit this holiday season.
1. Plan a Workout Schedule- and say goodbye to the “I don’t have time” excuse. It’s a given that your schedule is going to be filling up with holiday parties, cookie baking, and present wrapping, but your health shouldn’t suffer because of that! I know… that’s easier said than done, especially since your weekly routine is going to be all mixed up. Just because you were able to squeeze a workout in last Monday morning, doesn’t mean that will necessarily work for upcoming Monday morning.
The key to success is to PLAN AHEAD, one week at a time. I got this chart idea from a former coworker and have found it to be extremely helpful. Before the week starts, take an honest look and decide what your ideal workout schedule would be for that week. Using myself as an example, I ideally do cardio and abs five days a week, two days of upper body strengthening, two days of lower body, and one day of total body strengthening. Your ideal schedule may include three days of cardio and two group fitness classes or maybe five days of cardio. Whatever it is, check the days you plan to do each thing with a pencil. Keep it somewhere you’ll see often and each day, use a pen to check off when you actually complete it. Looking ahead and planning which days work best for your workouts makes you see what’s realistic and creates a higher sense of commitment.
Download chart here: WorkoutSchedule
2. Enlist a Buddy- Working out with a friend not only keeps you accountable, but it also makes it more fun for you! Make plans with a friend to work out together once a week or participate in a group fitness class a couple times a week.
3. Exercise Wherever and Whenever You Can- Choose to take the stairs and park further from the store option. You can also do some calf raises while waiting in lines and carry your bags to the car instead of using your cart. These little choices add up and make a big difference!
4. Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses- What triggers you to be motivated for a workout? Is it that new dress you bought to wear for your work Christmas party? Maybe it’s a way to relieve stress or give you the energy you need to get through the day. Whatever it is, identify it. Do the same to recognize what triggers you to skip your workout. Personally, if I don’t workout in the morning, the chances of me actually workout later go down to about 1%. Knowing this, I be sure to workout first thing in the morning. Once you understand these triggers, it will make it easier for you to stay motivated.
5. Take Control Over Your Sweet Tooth- Before you get mad at me, notice I said to take control, not get rid of it completely. The holidays are a time when Christmas cookies, peppermint mochas and Christmas potlucks are unavoidable… and delicious. Enjoy them in moderation. Choose a couple treats to enjoy and resist the urge to go back for seconds.
6. Bake Healthy Alternatives- When everyone comes to a party bringing Christmas cookies, you’ll be the hero when you walk in carrying a fruit salad. Try a few of these recipes for your next Christmas Party!
That’s it! 6 simple ways to stay healthy during the holidays. Good luck and enjoy those holiday parties!!