Whether you’re enjoying a vacation this time of year or not, it can be difficult to stay in shape during the holidays. It can be done though. Here’s how:
The most wonderful time of the year is here, it’s a time to indulge and have fun with friends and family, but it doesn’t have to mean that you abandon your health and fitness goals completely.
While it’s unlikely that you will go to the gym as often as you normally would, if you keep up with some regular activity, you will feel better for it in the long run.
The winter holidays can be a great time to combine exercise with socializing or take the time to try a new sport or fitness class.
It doesn’t have to be a chore to stay in shape during the holiday season. With a bit of planning and a few adjustments, keeping fit during this festive season can be fun.
Read on for some top tips to stay fit and healthy this holiday.
Healthy Festive Eating
The holidays are all about great food, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. There are plenty of great nutritious alternatives that allow you to eat well and stay healthy.
Take some time to stock your kitchen with healthy foods you like, then you know you will always be able to grab something quick and easy for a snack. Prepare some boxes of carrot sticks, celery, fruit, and nuts that are super easy to snack on if you get hungry.
Also, make sure you eat proper meals every day and not just snacks. Start the day with a healthy breakfast, so you feel energized and full. Healthy grains like oats can lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and help you feel full for longer.
Make sure the fruit bowl is always full, and any overripe fruit can be turned into smoothies or juice. Try experimenting with some seasonal smoothies using oranges and cranberries, or add a bit of winter spice like cinnamon and ginger.
There are loads of great ideas for healthy festive treats to be found. Think about substituting traditional ingredients such as white flour, refined sugar, and butter with healthier alternatives like oatmeal, stevia, and coconut oil.
Homemade soups packed with vegetables make tasty, warming winter lunches, and it’s easy to make big batches so you can freeze some for convenient meals later in the holidays.
Drink in Moderation
If you want to enjoy a festive drink over the holidays, do it but in moderation.
Wine, beer, and all alcoholic drinks contain a lot of calories, and drinking alcohol can actually slow down your metabolism. Drinking a lot of alcohol will also leave you feeling sluggish and less likely to keep up with your exercise regime.
Remember to drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated. Drinking alcohol, as well as eating salty and sugary foods, can leave you quite dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water.
Try alternating your alcoholic drinks with water, so you drink a bit less and don’t get dehydrated.
Make a Plan
Over the Christmas period, it’s easy for your exercise schedule to slide. You are not operating in your usual routine, and with some late nights and drinking parties, getting up for that run sometimes doesn’t sound appealing. Plan ahead for this!
Schedule time each week for a workout. Invite others to join you. This will help your motivation and make help you stay in a routine.
Stay In Shape With Winter Workouts
The winter holidays can be a great time to try new workout ideas. While the winter weather might not always be conducive to running, winter sports activities can be excellent workouts and great for overall fitness.
For example, ice skating can be a great workout for your core, lower back, and legs. Skating can also give you a cardio workout without you even realizing. Concentrating on balance and posture, and of course, having fun can distract you from what can be a serious workout.
When the winter weather doesn’t allow for outdoor activities, the holiday season can be a good time to try some indoor workouts. Whether it’s at the gym or at home, think about some indoor exercise plans that you might not have tried before.
Check out what classes your local gym is offering over the holidays, and maybe enroll with some friends.
You can also find plenty of exercise workouts and tutorials online which can be a really great way to get in some training at home between social engagements.
If you have never tried yoga before, the holiday season is a great time to start.
Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise for the body and the mind. Not only does it burn plenty of energy, but also helps you concentrate on your breathing.
There will almost certainly be some local yoga classes in your area if you want to get some professional attention, but you can also try yoga at home.
One of the many advantages of yoga is that it requires very little space, equipment, or money to get started. There are apps, DVDs, and online tutorials that you can try at home during the winter holidays to help stay fit and relaxed.
Stay In Shape, But Be Realistic
All these tips can help you stay in shape over the holidays but it’s important that you stay realistic over the holiday period.
It’s unlikely that you will do the same amount of workouts you would normally do, and of course, you are going to eat and drink more. That’s ok!
Set some realistic targets for your holiday fitness and choose some healthy alternatives for your food and drink.
No one should be beating themselves up for having a good time over the festive season, but there’s also no need to get out of shape.
Stay Healthy This Festive Season
Whatever you are doing this festive season, it’s important to stay healthy.