Fit Friday 4: Staying Fit During the Holidays

Tips for staying fit during the holidays!

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With the season of Thanksgiving/Christmas upon us, there’s so much fun, family, and FOOD to look forward to! So many tend to “fall off the wagon” as far as healthy eating or workout regimens go this time of year. The good news is, that does NOT have to happen to you!

Honestly, I hate that people use the holidays as an excuse to abandon all health and fitness habits. It makes no sense. Why throw away something you’ve been working hard at consistently, for just for a few days/one holiday?!

Maintaining your healthy habits during the most wonderful time of the year isn’t as difficult as it seems. It just takes some planning ahead, and reminding yourself of your goals to stay on track.

PS – pardon the horrible quality phone photos! These are pre-good camera purchase. 🙂

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Does this mean you won’t enjoy the holidays like you did before you adopted healthier lifestyle choices?! NOT AT ALL. I can honestly say I enjoy the holidays even more now than I ever did before. This is probably because I feel great physically and mentally. I’m more free to enjoy the wonderful company of my family while celebrating my favorite time of year.

So, what’s the secret? There isn’t a secret! But I do have a few tips to help you stay on track when things might get tough or if you’re new to the working out/eating healthily scene.

  • Plan ahead and be prepared
    • Like most things in life, if you want to excel at something, it takes conscious effort. You’re going to have to plan ahead and be prepared when it comes to staying fit through the holiday season.
    • Working out
      • A lot of people, including myself, travel for up to a week at a time during the holidays. Does this make working out more difficult? Yes. But it’s not impossible! You have tons of options. If you have nice weather, obviously running outside or doing some type of body weight routine outside is an awesome option. Most, however, don’t have that luxury in the cold winter months. My go-to is always an Insanity workout that I can do with minimal space and equipment indoors. I don’t have to bring anything but my laptop with me, and I’m good to go.
      • If you aren’t comfortable working out where you’re staying, another choice is to look up gyms ahead of time. Remember, planning is the key. If you look up a few gyms prior to your trip and know where they are and what you’ll need to take with you for a short-term/day pass, you’ll be much more likely to get up and go work out before all the festivities begin.
      • Find a partner! Whether it’s your mom, brother, sister, cousin, significant other, whoever, just find someone who also wants to get a good workout in over the holidays! Whenever I get a chance to workout with my husband it’s always a thousand times more enjoyable. It’s so much more fun to have a plan to go on a run or to a group class with someone rather than dragging yourself out in the cold alone. Having a partner is also great for accountability – you’ll be much more likely to follow through if you know someone’s waiting on you.
      • Plan BEFORE your trip or before your guests arrive to make arrangements for your workouts. Your well-being should still be your first priority during the holidays.
    • Eating
      • When it comes to eating, planning ahead and being prepared is easy! Think about healthy snacks you’ll want to prep or pack for a trip, to have on hand when sweets may be surrounding you for days upon days. If you really can’t resist something totally decadent and unhealthy, just decrease your portion size.
      • Another great tip is to stay hydrated! Often we’re guilty of eating simply because food is around or out of boredom – staying hydrated helps stave off those imaginary hunger pangs. Or if you are genuinely hungry, snack on something healthy until it’s time for the big meal.
      • My favorite strategy is to make something for the main meal, so I know I’ll have at least one healthy option. My family is awesome so I have a lot to choose from, but I know everyone isn’t so lucky. Ask if you can bring a dish, and make it a healthy one. This also is a great opportunity to start conversations about healthy, delicious, plant-based eating!
  • Be flexible!
    • If you’ve planned ahead for working out or eating healthily and something still goes wrong – don’t panic! Do the best that you can. The gym you want to go to is closed? Do something at home instead. Bundle up and go for a long walk, or head out for a long day of shopping. Simply moving everyday is what’s important – maybe on the holidays it’s not possible for you to set aside an hour for a typical workout, but it probably is possible for you to be active in some way – make it a priority!
    • If you’ve planned ahead and have snacks/healthy options available, you’ll just need good old will power to get through! Am I saying you should deprive yourself and be miserable when it comes to sweets and other holiday foods? Of course not. But go in knowing what you’re willing to do in terms of your goals. I’m the type that refuses to eat anything unhealthy, so I bake up decadent desserts that I wouldn’t eat any other time of year, but that are still made with only healthy ingredients. I totally feel satisfied and like I’m indulging in a super special treat, but I’m still sticking with my core values of eating in a way that does my body good. The most important thing is to have a plan!
  • Don’t make excuses
    • The bottom line when it comes to the holidays is to treat them like any other day when it comes to being active and fueling your body in a healthy way. Christmas is my favorite time of year, but when it comes to working out, it’s like any other day. I start Christmas morning with a workout, and I’m ready to take on the most wonderful day of the year with my family after that. If it’s a priority for you, just plan ahead when you’ll have some free time that day to get moving, whether it’s first thing in the morning or later in the evening after the festivities have settled.
    • As far as eating goes, don’t make excuses there either! Nobody is putting the fork in your mouth but you. So if you’re okay with having a few treats you wouldn’t typically indulge in, don’t waste time feeling guilty about it after – you chose to eat it! If you know it won’t make you feel great or you’ll be unhappy after, again, plan ahead and be prepared with other options.
  • Be gentle with yourself and have fun!
    • It’s totally possible to stay fit and healthy during the holiday months. But if you do slip up here and there, give yourself a break. Don’t use it as an excuse to totally let go of all healthy routines you’ve established, but DO learn from it moving forward and have fun!

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Hope this has helped any of you that are intimidated by the upcoming holiday season. I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS, GUYS. So many good recipes for cookie trays and Christmas parties coming – stay tuned! 🙂

 

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