With the holidays upon us, we are beginning to realize that time is not on our side. We try to prepare for the food-laden holidays, buying all the baking goods, purchasing gifts, and trying to keep some semblance of normalcy in our lives. With times so hectic, all too often we turn to convenience foods, so we’ll have enough time to fit in all the tasks and errands we want to accomplish.
That’s where trouble sets in. We forget about exercise because our to-do lists are hanging over our heads. We nibble on snacks as we’re baking the cookies or preparing a yule log for the company holiday party. We’re busy people, but all that fuss takes a toll on our fitness.
Here are a few tips that are quick and easy to get you through the harried holiday season :
– Portion control is your friend. It’s okay to have a cookie but avoid eating the entire tray of cookies. Carry or serve healthier alternatives.
– Drink plenty of water. You may not realize it, but those hunger pangs you think you feel may actually be a signal that you’re dehydrated. Choose water first. If your tummy is still growling after that, have a light snack. Don’t overindulge.
– Keep moving. It may feel like you’re constantly on the move, but you may be surprised to see you haven’t moved as much as you think you have. Use a fitness tracker to help keep track of your steps or calories burned. Set a goal and stick to it. You’ll have more energy to get the things done that you need to do.
– Add exercise and sleep to your to-do list. You’ll need both to keep you feeling alert and energized, make both a priority.
– Say yes to your favorite carb-heavy meal or dessert, just don’t make it a habit. One night to indulge is all you need and commit to not doing it again for another seven days.
– Carve in exercise bursts throughout your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park far away from the store entrance. Walk during your lunch hour. Take a nice evening stroll to look at the holiday decorations. Do squats while you brush your teeth. Use a couple of cans of cranberry sauce as light weights while you oversee what’s on the stove.
– The point is to keep fitness in the forefront of your mind during the busy holiday season, so you can maintain (or increase!) your energy level and feeling of wellbeing. Plus, you won’t have to make that dreaded New Year resolution to lose weight and get into shape!
By Alexandra Newman