‘Tis the season for indulging! And let’s face it, we all deserve a bit of indulging after the year we’ve experienced. This year has been like none other, and it’s fair to say that many of us will have a holiday season that feels very different than years past. It’s hard to keep to our health regimen on a regular basis, never mind trying to stay on track at this time of year.
Finding the time to exercise while also keeping all those tempting goodies out of our mouths becomes near impossible. The last thing any of us need is more stress, so planning to stay active will keep your energy up and keep your frazzled nerves at bay. If you follow these basic steps, you will come into the New Year with a little extra pep in your step while also keeping your calorie count in check.
PLAN THE WORK
Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or staying close to home, your daily routine will be disrupted. Taking some time to plan ahead will go a long way and keep you on track.
Here are some questions you should answer ahead of making your holiday memories:
- If you plan to stay at a hotel, find out if there is a gym onsite and if it’s open. Do they require a mask while working out? Is there a limit to guests that can use the facility at one time? Does the hotel offer a streaming workout service as part of its in-room entertainment?
- What are the COVID regulations with respect to local gyms? Is there a gym nearby you can use with a guest pass?
- Are there safe places to walk and/or run nearby?
- If you’re staying with family or friends, inquire about any fitness equipment you might be able to use during your visit.
- Find some basic 20-minute workouts that don’t require any equipment. Squats, lunges, pushups, sit-ups, and planks can work up a great sweat.
- Start thinking about your fitness “buddies” – who can you recruit to workout with you?
WORK THE PLAN
With time off, children out of school, and family and friends visiting, these types of disruptions will inevitably wreak havoc on any kind of schedule. Fluidity will be the norm, and as such, you should have a good sense as you go into your days of when you will fit in your physical activity. Since you did your homework ahead of your holidays, it’s time to put that planning into action.
Follow these easy steps to ensure you keep your body moving the way you had intended:
- Set your time. Do your best to have a set time each day in which you will get some exercise. Have a general sense of the day’s activities so that you can determine if it’s a morning workout, or an afternoon walk, or a quick visit to the gym.
- Equipment will travel. Do you have a yoga mat? Or resistance bands? Maybe a jump rope? Pack them. These are perfect for the road and can be used for that 15-minute set.
- Bring a workout plan with you. As mentioned above, you can do many basic workout sets from a small indoor or outdoor space. Choose a couple of plans, keep them handy on your device of choice. Have them at the ready so that you can bang out a few sets at a moment’s notice.
- More fun in groups. Grab the kids, your sister and brother, mom, and your one weird uncle, and get out for a brisk walk. Go on a group bike ride or play a fun family game of football. It’s always great to get others involved, and it helps to hold you accountable and stay motivated!
NOT FEELIN’ IT?
OK, so yes, there may be days where you’re just not up for the full-body workouts. We’ve all had those days. Here are a few ways to still stay active without throwing on the running shoes or doing those burpees in the living room:
- Winter Cleaning: Yes, heavy cleaning is a great way to stay active. Have you wanted to clean out those closets? Or maybe re-paint that bedroom? How about deep cleaning those floors? These types of activities burn calories and keep those muscles active.
- Dogs Love Walks: How about getting your fur baby(ies) out for more walks during this break? Fluffy will undoubtedly love it and may even get to a point where she might look at you strangely for taking her out again, but you both will benefit from it!
- Stretch and Soak: How about a good long stretch of all those muscles? Stretching your legs, hips, chest, shoulders, neck, all do the body some serious good! Jump online for some basic stretching exercises and feel that tension melt. And if you can swing it, sink into a hot bubble bath and soak away the day’s little aggravations. You will sleep better as a result.
HOLIDAY NIBBLES, AND BITES, AND…
Ah yes…the cookies, the cheese ball, the pies, dips and spreads, the extra sips (glasses) of wine… These little pleasures should not be skipped! BUT, you should be very mindful of your intake. This is always so hard because no matter where you are, there’s a plate or bowl or tray of something yummy just waiting for a nibble. Here are a few ways to balance your eating so that you don’t feel like you need two workouts a day:
- Portion Control: Yes, I know, you’ve heard this all before. But it absolutely works. Watch what you are putting on your plate. Literally, count the number of “pieces” of whatever goodness you’re about to snack on. You don’t need more than 2-3 small tastes of any one item to satisfy your craving.
- Size Matters: Plate size, that is. Keep to small plates and ensure your serving doesn’t resemble the beginning of the Jenga game.
- Greens are Good: Be sure to get at least one serving of greens per day. Eat that kale or spinach. How about some broccoli and brussels sprouts? Fill up on these types of greens. Your insides will thank you for it!
- Hydrate with H2O: This is the most important – drink that water. All day, all night. This will help with keeping you feeling fuller, support your digestion, and keep that skin glowing. Water does indeed do the body great!
As you embark on whatever the holidays have in store for you, follow these simple guidelines and do your best to start 2021 on a healthier foot. Don’t let that little voice in your head speak to you in any negative way, and be kind to yourself if you miss a day or two. Take stock in all that you accomplished in this difficult year, enjoy your loved ones, and keep giving yourself the gift of health because there’s no better gift you can give.
FIT FOR GOOD
Fit For Good aims to build a healthier future for this generation and the next by turning personal fitness goals into lifelong habits. Fit For Good’s goal is to provide an easy, straightforward way to help members create a healthy lifestyle – while helping others. Every month, a portion of membership fees help provide fitness and nutrition programs for schoolchildren in need through DonorsChoose.org. Fit For Good was started in 2018 by Founder and CEO Sharon O’Donnell, and is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company was first debuted at the 2018 Innovating a Healthier Future Summit as one of five startups invited by Partnership for a Healthier America. Since then, Fit For Good launched nationally in early 2019 and has since expanded its offering to include a corporate wellness program for small and mid-sized businesses.