How To Stay Healthy During The Holidays

The holidays are approaching, and with all of the joyful gatherings with family and friends generally revolving around lots of wonderful holiday foods and treats, it can be a little bit stressful trying to navigate those situations without packing on the pounds but still having fun.  If you’ve felt this before, then I have a few tips for you that can help keep the stress down and allow you to make to the new year without taking 10 additional pounds along with you.  

  1. Plan some short workouts

  2. Plan ahead for holiday treats

  3. Take time for yourself

Training

If you can manage to keep up with your normal workout routine, that’s great!  But with added responsibilities eating into your workout time, you may need to shorten your workouts.  Come up with several shorter workout routines that will help you to squeeze in your exercise without spending hours at the gym.  

Circuit training is a great way to accomplish a lot in a shorter amount of time.  You can also mix in some cardio intervals to make the shorter workouts more intense and get more out of less.  You can do a complete bodyweight workout at home, including pushups, side planks, air squats, crunches or v-ups, jumping jacks, and lunges.  

Diet

During the holidays, it’s easy to get distracted by all of the holiday treats.  It’s the one time of year when you’ll be tempted by so many delicious things that you don’t normally see or eat during the rest of the entire year.  Pecan pie, pumpkin rolls with cream cheese filling, and fudge, on my!  But you have to keep your health and fitness in mind.  Plan ahead for the gatherings that you know you’ll want to indulgence.  I like to call in “paying in advance”.  

If I know I’m going to want to indulge a little, or a lot, I always plan in advance for those occasions.  Days ahead of the event, you’ll want to ramp up your workout routine a little.  Get in an extra training session, or adding some high intensity interval cardio.  Just do a little bit more and higher intensity than you normally do.  Also, you’ll want to make a few adjustments to your diet.  Add in extra fibrous veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, or spinach and salads, and cut down on the starchy carbs, like rice, potatoes and oats.  This will allow you to have those extra treats at the party without really setting yourself back. 

Self Care

Something else you can do to set yourself up for success during the holidays is to set aside a little “me time”.  The holidays can be stressful, and if you take some time to de-stress, you’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed, and also better maintain your health.  Stress can have so many negative effects, like anxiety or depression, sleep disruptions, and digestive issues.  It can also disrupt your hormones, making it easier to overeat and gain weight.

One of my favorite things to do to help manage stress is to take a 15 - 30 minute walk.  I try to walk for 30 minutes every day, and I find that this really works for me.  Some other things you can do is yoga, play with your dog, take a warm bath, get a massage, or meditate. 

And last, don’t put too much stress on yourself during the holidays around maintaining your fitness.  If you use these tips, you should be able to maintain well enough to not be set back much if at all by the time the new year rolls around.  Enjoy family and friends without stressing the small things.  Then once the holidays are over, set some new goals and go crush them!