The holiday season is almost near, and along with it will come a crammed calendar, a never-ending stream of events, and the accompanying stress that comes with this happy time of year. When the holidays roll around, many individuals start to feel nervous about the possibility of losing their progress toward a healthier way of living.
Luckily maintaining a healthy lifestyle and maintaining your drive to make improvements can be accomplished with careful preparation and strategic thinking.
Top 10 Tips to Stay Fit & Active During the Holidays
When your schedule is packed with holiday gatherings and commitments to family, it can be easy to feel as though it's impossible to find the time to be active and keep up with some kind of workout regimen.
However, a few simple activities require little in the way of upkeep that you can continue to do throughout the chaos of the Christmas season. These activities will not only contribute to your physical health but may also provide the mental respite that you so desperately need.
So without further ado, let’s dive into 10 ways to keep yourself active and maintain your health goals during the holidays.
1. Maintain Your Weight Instead of Losing
Early control of our unhealthy eating patterns can significantly improve our ability to begin our healthy New Year's resolutions. And for me personally, the week after Christmas was exactly when I put on most of my holiday weight and found it difficult to refrain from eating the sweets I had grown accustomed to consuming.
Losing weight isn't impossible during holidays, but it is extremely hard, so focus on maintaining the weight you have already been working so hard to lose.
Maintaining your weight can be accomplished by increasing the amount of protein and vegetables in your diet while decreasing the number of nutritious holiday goodies you consume and eating them in moderation. After the New Year, if one of your resolutions is to lose weight, you should adhere more strictly to an eating plan.
2. Carry Your Gym Bag With You
Keep your gym bag packed with a pair of indoor shoes and fresh gym clothes. This will remove some of the resistance of having to get ready to go to the gym when you do have time. If everything is all set to go, all you have to do is hop in the car and get there.
3. Think Outside the Gym
There are many alternative fun ways to stay fit this season without needing a gym membership. You can start by doing an outdoor family group activity such as ice skating or skiing. Or bundle up and go for a winter hike or sledding in your local park.
Even shopping can become an aerobic workout depending on how much movement you invest into it. Other activities like walking the dog also burn calories while allowing you to enjoy quality family time with added endorphins released during physical exertion boosting your holiday spirit even more!
So don’t think finding ways to be physically active during the holidays requires hours on expensive equipment; instead, let creativity and fun dictate your movements to keep your body moving and stay fit through these joyous days!
4. Don’t Skip Meals
To consume more cheesecake at your next holiday party, skipping meals earlier in the day is a brilliant idea. However, we tend to binge later on after "saving" our calories. The resulting drops in blood sugar might make us feel sluggish and worried. Even worse, it can bring on migraines and headaches for some of us.
If you often skip meals, your body may eventually slow down its metabolism to save the fuel it needs to keep going. Even if we maintain our calorie intake, this can cause us to gain weight.
Eat more protein at each meal and snack throughout the day to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Reducing your intake of sugar and carbohydrates is another option.
The next time you're craving one of Grandma's famous sugar cookies, you won't feel compelled to devour the entire tray. Bring some healthy snacks with you if you plan on being out for a while doing your holiday shopping.
5. Drink Alcohol in Moderation
To drink and be cheerful; such is the Christmas spirit.
However, unlike standard wine or beer, glitzy holiday drinks are typically loaded with sugar, which can lead to bloating and weight gain.
If you enjoy eggnog, keep in mind that a single serving (one cup) contains roughly 343 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 23 grams of sugar if it's alcohol-free. If you take it up a notch and add a shot of brandy or rum, you're looking at nearly 400 calories for just one drink.
The holiday season only comes around once a year, so make the most of it. Nonetheless, watch your alcohol intake.
6. Stay Hydrated
Each day, professionals in the field of public health recommend consuming an amount of water equal to half of your body weight in ounces.
In addition, a study published by clinical nutrition research in 2018 indicated that drinking water before meals is a valuable technique that can help you maintain your weight or reduce some of it. And considering the time of year, we could use all the assistance we can get.
In addition, if you are going to be consuming alcohol, it is essential to pair each cocktail with a glass of water to maintain proper hydration and avoid the symptoms of a hangover.
7. Plan Your Workouts Ahead of Time
Being organized and prepared might make all the difference when you're going on a trip. Spend time thinking about your choices to be prepared for anything coming your way.
- If you are going to be staying with family, you should look for any nearby gyms and inquire as to whether or not they allow guests to use their facilities or offer day passes.
- Inquire with members of your family or your circle of friends if they own any exercise equipment that you could use.
- Find out if the hotel you're staying at has a gym or fitness facility before you check-in.
- Organize straightforward exercises that don't require much room or complicated equipment.
- Look for trails suitable for walking, running, or parks.
- Have a conversation with your family ahead of time, and recommend that you all go for a walk or do something physical together.
Make every effort to organize your workout program in advance. You've already committed to working out, so it doesn't matter if the plan needs to be altered somehow (which is quite likely when you're traveling). When you have something planned out, sticking to the plan will be far simpler than cramming it in afterward.
8. Exercise Early
Exercising early in the morning is one of the best ways to stay active during the holidays, as it can be all too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and forget to make time for fitness. Waking up just a few minutes earlier than usual can help you get those endorphins flowing and give you an extra burst of energy to get through the day's festivities.
Not only that, but getting your exercise done first thing means you don't have to worry about squeezing it in later when other commitments start taking priority. Additionally, since fewer people are likely to be out this early, you'll skip out on all the crowds and avoid added stress.
Whether going for a jog outdoors or doing an at-home workout routine, exercising early in the morning during the holidays is sure to help keep you energized and strong!
9. Take Part in a Holiday-Themed Run or Walk
If you want to stay motivated to train, signing up for a running event like a 5k while helping out a charitable organization is a win-win situation. Consider beginning with a Couch to 5k training plan if you aren't already fit enough to compete in a race by the time the holidays roll around.
This can assist in keeping your body active while also setting you up for success in the new year regarding your fitness goals. Several holiday walk activities are available if you prefer not to participate in running.
10. Keep Track of What You Eat
It's a recipe for disaster to try to not track to some degree during the holidays. More so if you are not the one doing the cooking. And until your pants stop fitting, ignorance truly is bliss.
Knowledge is power, and knowing the rough calorie and carbohydrate counts of your go-to meals and snacks can help you make healthier decisions and curb cravings.
Downloading a nutrition app is a quick and easy solution. You can use them to monitor your daily calorie intake and other dietary data.
As a bonus, they can assist you in keeping track of your food and drink selections in relation to your weight-related goals. Most importantly, they illustrate how quickly the costs of poor dietary habits may increase.
Slices of cheesecake and pecan pie, for instance, both clock in at over 400 calories each. They're some of my favorite holiday treats, so there's no way I'm going to skip out on them altogether.
However, I limit my intake by eating smaller servings. A tiny bit will do me just fine; a whole piece is unnecessary. In some instances, a nibble or two will suffice.
Workouts to Try This Holiday
The following are effective and efficient workouts and include everything from cardiovascular exercise to strength training and circuit workouts. Mark them on your calendar so you can perform them throughout the holidays or use them as a jumping-off point for developing your unique exercises.
- Bodyweight Workouts: 16 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Beginners
- 9-Weeks Bodyweight Workout Plan for Strong Muscles
- Introduction to HIIT for Fat Loss: 6 Best Fat Burning HIIT Workouts for Weight Loss
- Reg Park Workout Plan – A Beginner's Guide to Bodybuilding
- Exhaustive Full Body Dumbbell Workout You Can Do At Home
- 3 Day Workout Plan for Busy People
- 15-Minute Core Slider Workout Plan | Incorporating Sliders Into Your Workout Routine
Be sure that your expectations for your holiday workouts are in line with reality. This is the most crucial thing. Because you may only sometimes be in control of your schedule during this time of year, you must maintain a flexible mentality.
Finally, remember to place yourself and your bodily demands (such as getting some rest or going for a short run) as the priority.