The holiday season is one of the most wonderful times of the year. It’s a time to spend with loved ones and celebrate our favorite traditions. But it can also be a stressful time for many people, especially if you are trying to stay fit during this busy time of year.
If you want to maintain your healthy lifestyle during the holidays, here are some tips that may help:
1. Don't skip workouts.
It's tempting to take a few days off from exercise during the holidays. But if you want to stay in shape, don't let the festivities derail your routine.
That doesn't mean you have to work out every day, says Heather Caplan, a Los Angeles-based celebrity trainer and creator of The Tummy Coach System. Just try to get some activity in at least three times a week. "Exercise helps us feel better about ourselves," she says. "It increases our energy levels, which can be depleted from busy holiday schedules."
2. Avoid stress eating.
Stress eating is a common response when we are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about something that happened during the day. Stress eating can lead to weight gain and high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, so it is important to find other ways to cope with stress if possible. Try exercising, taking a bath, meditating, or listening to music instead of reaching for food when you feel stressed out or overwhelmed by life's demands.
3. Snack wisely, if you snack at all.
Eating snacks between meals can help keep blood sugar levels stable, which helps prevent energy crashes — especially important when exercising during the holidays! Try eating low-fat dairy products like cheese sticks or yogurt with fruit as a quick fix instead of reaching for an unhealthy snack like potato chips or cookies (which are often packed with sugar). And don't forget that water is always an excellent choice!
4. Learn to say "no".
It can be hard to turn down an invitation when there are so many parties and dinners going on during the holidays, but it’s important to learn how to say “no” sometimes so that you don’t end up eating more than you should or drinking too much alcohol. If someone asks you to attend an event that doesn’t fit into your schedule or budget, tell them that you would love to attend another time or suggest another friend who might be able to come instead.
5. Stick to a routine.
If you don't already have one, come up with a simple daily routine that includes exercise and healthy eating habits — even if it's just going for a walk after dinner or doing yoga before bed every night. Make sure it fits into your schedule so it doesn't become another thing on the list of things you "have" to do each day; instead, treat your daily workout as something that is important enough that it deserves its own time slot in your schedule each day (even if it's only 15 minutes!).
6. Stay focused on the bigger picture.
The holidays are an exciting time for many people, but they can also be stressful. If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the changes in your life, take some time to reflect on what's most important to you. Is it spending more time with your children or grandchildren? Is it spending more time with friends who live far away? Is it taking a vacation so you can get away from it all? Once you know what matters most to you, try to focus on those things as much as possible during this busy season. You can also do some gratitude exercises (that is, writing down at least three good things that happened or are happening in your life every day) to help get into a better frame of mind.
A little creativity and planning can go a long way toward staying healthy and fit. You just have to put in the effort. Are you doing your part? Have you found a creative way to stay fit during the holidays? Let us know in the comments section!