For many, the holiday season is viewed as the best time of the year. It’s a time to spend time with friends and family, go on festive outings, shop, and eat. It’s a time to unwind. But for some, the holiday season can be a very stressful time of the year. The treats that come with the holiday season are tough for them, as to resist. Plus, the dramatic shift in their schedules during this time of the year make it difficult for them to stick to their workout routines. Not to mention, the subsequent slip in their workout routines may take toll on their motivation levels, making it even harder to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
If you found yourself identifying as ‘them’ above, don’t fret! It is still possible stay fit during the holidays while still enjoying the holiday festivities to the fullest, regardless of how unlikely you think that might be. To help you maintain a healthy routine as well as a high motivation level, we have compiled a list of tips on how to stay fit during the holidays.
Eating Healthy During the Holiday
Don’t exclude healthy alternatives completely
This first tip may seem obvious, but, surprisingly, many of us forget to choose healthy foods when preparing and/ or eating a holiday feast. If you are hosting a party (COVID-19-permitted, of course), try replacing some ingredients with healthier alternatives. For example, instead of using refined sugar, try using honey or maple syrup; instead of using vegetable oil, try using coconut oil; and instead of using milk, try using a low fat option such as almond milk. If you are invited to a party, you may choose to bring a healthy dish. For example, instead of cake, you can bring banana bread. At the party, start with healthy foods- lean meats, vegetables, and fruits- and then go for the less-healthy foods. Who knows, you may even be too full by then to over indulge in the holiday treats!
Take a short break in between servings
By waiting just 10 to 20 minutes before going for another serving, you allow your brain the time to receive signals from your stomach and register that you are full, if you are full. This short break may help you to reduce your calorie intake and avoid overeating during the holidays.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
As a natural appetite suppressant, water can prevent overeating by taking up the remaining space in your stomach, helping you feel fuller sooner. By drinking water, you can avoid unnecessary snacking when you are not hungry, but thirsty. Moreover, drinking water helps to burn calories faster. For people who are looking to avoid weight gain and/or eat healthily during the holiday season, water is your best friend.
Most importantly: enjoy the holiday feasts
In maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout the year, it’s important to do things in moderation. That means you should try to eat healthy most of the time, not all of the time. It means that you should not cut off holiday treats from your holiday, but just avoid overconsumption of these foods where possible. Do not deprive yourself of the food you love and cannot eat at other times of the year. Preventing yourself from eating the food you enjoy can be counter-productive. This is because it may cause your motivation to crash, because you did not allow yourself to take a break.
Exercise During the Holidays
Because the holiday season is a very busy time of the year, it very likely that you might miss a few workouts. Instead of beating yourself up when this happens, try squeezing in a quick 30 to 20 minute workout when you can.
Due to the busy nature of this time of the year, as well as the COVID-19-related restrictions, you may not be able to go to the gym as much as you used to. However, you can workout at home instead. Squats, mountain climbers, and/or push-ups can be a great home holiday bodyweight workout. These exercises don’t require any equipment and will help you stay fit during the holidays.
If it is a feasible option for you, why not try seasonal sports like skiing and/or snowboarding? Not only are these activities fun, but they are great ways to stay fit during the holidays. Plus, you can enjoy these sports with friends and/or family, meaning that you can engage in holiday festivities and stay fit simultaneously.
Post workout recovery
Though sometimes overlooked, post workout recovery is an important part of staying fit. With sore muscles after one workout, one may find it hard to exercise the next day and may end up having to skip subsequent days in order to recover. Moreover, the pain after one workout may lead to demotivation, causing you to avoid exercising even after recovering. However, with muscle recovery products, like foam rollers and active compression wraps (such as SPRYNG), faster recovery after workouts is possible. These devices can speed up muscle recovery by increasing blood circulation in the area where these devices are used. You can read more about how to recover quickly after a workout and which devices may speed up muscle recovery here: Easy and Effective Ways to Reduce Muscle Soreness After A Workout – SPRYNG (spryngme.com)