6 Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays
Author: Heather Lomax
With the holidays sneaking up on us, now’s the time to come up with a plan that allows you to stay on track with your fitness goals. The period of time between October and January can be challenging for even the most disciplined health nut. That doesn’t mean that you can’t indulge a little and still enjoy celebrating the holidays, but, you have to be diligent about finding ways to sneak fitness into your schedule. Here are some ways you can have your cake and stay fit too.
Be Realistic with Your Goals
The key to maintaining good habits is to make your goals attainable. If you start out with too lofty of a goal, you are at greater risk of flubbing up along the way. But if you were to build in special days for holidays, you would not be disappointed that you are missing out while everyone else is celebrating. And that way, you’ll still be able to enjoy some holiday treats while making time for your diet and workouts.
Get into Winter Sports
You don’t have to give up entirely on physical activity just because it’s cold outside. Instead, choose to play winter sports. If you live in a region with a lot of snow, try snowboarding or skiing. If that’s a little too extreme, go ice skating with your friends or set up a hockey team. Or you can always take some indoor exercise courses so you don’t have to deal with the cold at all. Whatever you choose, the important thing to remember is that you have plenty of options for getting up off the couch and getting in motion.
Ask for Workout Clothes as a Gift
Few things motivate working out than a new pair of running shoes or some cute yoga pants. This works as a practical gift while also being a little bit indulgent. Plus, they will be a welcome sight in the new year when you have set new goals. New outfit – someone has to wear it and it might should be you. That is a bit of motivation…
Find a Workout Buddy
Having a friend who shares your fitness goals with is inspirational. Whenever you want to work out, they’ll be by your side, ready to keep you going. They’ll encourage you when you’re feeling down or when your health feels absolutely impossible to change. Not only that, but they can serve as a source of support for you as you get through the holidays because they’re going through the exact same thing. Together, the two of you will be a force to be reckoned with because you’ll have each other to lean on.
Use Holidays as Cheat Days
It’s perfectly fine to splurge for holiday meals, just as long as you don’t treat the season as one long buffet. You still need to be choosy about the food you eat and keep your calories in check. The best way to accomplish this is to use holidays as your cheat days, where you can eat as much as you’d like. The rest of the time, eat healthy and balanced meals with lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, and healthy fats. If you can, keep your food fresh and organic as much as possible to benefit from the vitamins and minerals they provide.
Avoid Going to Parties on an Empty Stomach
Sure, you can have your cheat days, but going to a party famished will only cause you to overindulge more than you should. Instead, have a light meal or snack before heading out. That way, you can truly enjoy the company of those around you instead of focusing on the food table. You can also cut back on calories by saving wine for dinner and drinking water the rest of the time. By the end of the night, you’ll feel calm and satisfied, not bloated and uncomfortable.
You can enjoy the holidays without straying far from your fitness goals. It takes some discipline, but you don’t have to miss out on parties, indulgent foods, and gift-giving just because you’re trying to stay on track. You’re just doing the same thing as everyone else in a way that aligns with good health and longevity.
Heather Lomax is a contributing writer and media relations specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. She writes for a variety of health blogs, and in her spare time, takes special inte rest in researching methods for achieving optimal fitness goals.