Staying Fit During the Holiday Season
Posted by Century Support Services on Dec 17, 2020
The holidays can bring many pleasures, from reminiscing with family and old friends, to enjoying favorites foods and festive drinks. But the holiday season can also be a stressful time, especially with added financial pressures and complicated logistics of fitting in work, special events, family time, and your own self care. Between the constant temptations of sweet treats and the changes in routine, it’s all too easy to let your health and wellness plan go.
Read on for some practical tips for how to stick to—or start—a fitness plan during the holidays, plus some key tips on how to be realistic and do your best with what you’ve got!
1. Set a Schedule
Take a few minutes to decide your workout goals over the holiday season, and then plug those sessions into your paper calendar, your phone, or whatever reminder system will keep you on track. Instead of just picking the days you will workout, try to be specific about the time of day so that it feels like part of your schedule instead of something optional you’re trying to “fit in.”
2. Create Realistic Diet “Rules”
A strict diet during the holidays may not be realistic, so focus on your priorities. For example, it may be best to ensure you eat 5 servings of vegetables every day as opposed to saying that you’ll “never” eat any sweets. By allowing yourself some indulgences as long as you’ve got your healthy basics covered, you’ll be able to stay on track while still enjoying the season.
3. Recruit Accountability Buddies
Doing all of your workouts solo may feel isolating during a time that’s often about togetherness. Join up with a friend or family member who shares your health and fitness goals, and get in a practice of texting each other when you complete a workout to stay accountable and motivated.
4. Take it Outside
Taking your exercise routine outdoors can give you a welcome breath of fresh air—literally! Activities like walking, running, hiking or bodyweight exercises done on a mat in the driveway or backyard cost nothing at all to do, and save you the hassle (and gas money) of getting to a gym. If you live in an area that turns into a winter wonderland, look into purchasing gently used snowshoes or cross-country skiis, which will allow you to get into nature while burning hundreds of calories an hour!
5. Make It Easy
Overcomplicating your fitness plans can sometimes set yourself up for failure. You don’t need to pay hefty gym fees or purchase pricy meal systems to stay in shape. Take small steps, like meal prepping a few health weekday lunches each week, or keeping an extra gym bag in the car. Build in systems that make it really easy to say yes to your fitness goals instead of requiring lots of extra steps—or money—to work out or choose healthier foods.
6. Mix It Up
While routines can be super helpful to keep you on track, be careful to not get too bored with the same old exercise routine or healthy meals. Research some free, online workouts you might want to try, and easy, inexpensive recipes that fit your diet. Keep a list you can reference when you’re feeling uninspired, and continue adding to it. To make it feel more festive, consider writing the ideas down on individual slips of colored paper in a jar. When you’re tempted to skip a workout, or feeling tired of your usual baked chicken and salad, you can pull out an idea and try something new!
Remember, any fitness plan is better than no fitness plan, and even a plan executed 50% of the time is better than not trying at all! Be gentle with yourself this holiday season, and don’t let a day of getting off track sabatoge your whole season. Give yourself plenty of opportunities to recommit, start fresh, and stay on track. Your health will thank you! Happy healthy holidays!