How do we stay fit during the holidays when everything seems to be working against us? It is that time of year again. We are about to enter the busiest, most enjoyable and celebratory time of year.
2020 has had its fair share of challenges and we should all feel comfortable in our ability to sit back and relax at the end of it.
But how can we stay fit during the holidays when there are so many different ways in which we can get derailed?
The key to success throughout this very challenging time will come down to the ability to create a plan of attack. You ensure that you view exercise as a part of your lifestyle over the coming months. This will leave you ahead of the curve.
As soon as you see exercise as the enemy, something that you are loathed to do, and is a burden on your plans, you will lose the motivation to keep it up. Now is the time to be proactive not reactive.
Read on for some key tips around how to stay fit during the holidays.
This is the number #1 key to success.
The biggest impactor on anyone’s health around this time of year is the dramatic increase in calories.
Think about it…
The parties are increasing. The alcohol is increasing. The type of food is far more decadent than normal. It is the perfect storm for weight gain and fitness losses.
So how can we go about staying fit whilst still being able to enjoy this extra consumption?
Make sure that we stay active! Even more so than in our normal weeks.
If you can INCREASE your exercise frequency over the coming months it will dramatically help in the burning off of those extra calories.
At a bare minimum, you should be looking to exercise for at least 45 minutes on a daily basis.
If you can incorporate activity into your daily life it can be much more sustainable.
Ideas such as the below can help create a balanced approach to activity:
- 10,000 – 12,000 steps on a daily basis
- Going for a swim in the warm weather
- Taking the family out on a bike ride
- Participating in a group exercise class
Every little bit counts and it makes the world of difference during the holidays.
This is another area that gets impacted around this time of year. Our ability to rest, recharge and repair largely comes down to the quality of sleep that we are getting on a nightly basis.
Late nights, increased alcohol and fitful sleeps are the opposite ingredients to a good nights sleep.
Combating this can be challenging. Especially when these celebrations tend to be back-to-back.
At a bare minimum, you should be looking to sleep for at least 7 hours a night.
A few ways you can ensure this happens is to:
- Plan for a bit of a sleep in after a late night.
- Book in a night (or 2) between social events to allow your body to catch up.
- Head to bed a bit earlier than normal to catch up on the night before.
- Take a short nap during the day if you have a break.
- Drink a lot of water when drinking alcohol so you don’t wake throughout the night thirsty.
If sleep is the only chance to rest and repair, it would make sense to give yourself the best chance at a good sleep as much as possible over the next few months.
Make it a priority now and you will thank yourself when you are feeling refreshed over the coming months.
The speed of our metabolism will be a key factor in the ability to stay fit during the holidays.
The faster our metabolism is, the more energy we can burn on a daily basis. This in turn means that we are able to burn more fat.
Seeing as there is going to be a higher amount of energy consumed, it would make sense to ensure that you are able to burn off a little bit more energy at the same time.
Simply lifting weights/doing a resistance program 2+ times per week will mean that you are challenging your body and muscles to continue to develop.
Please note, this does not mean that you are looking to put on a lot of muscle. Instead, it is about ensuring that the muscle mass that you do have is being utilised as best possible all the time.
Weights/resistance training does not have to be done in a gym either. There are plenty of fantastic body weight workouts that can be done outdoors in the sunshine that will give you a great challenge.
Keep an eye on your calories
We have already come to the conclusion that this time of year is challenging when it comes to calories. When it is broken down though, it is usually only a few meals that undo the good effort.
Ensuring that you are being calorie conscious around your other meals will definitely help balance out the more calorie dense events. It can be really easy to lose sight of your goals over the holidays and simply give in and believe that your health is a lost cause.
Changing this approach will do you the world of good from not only a fitness perspective, but also a mental health perspective.
There is absolutely no good that can come from being hard on yourself for 3-4 bad meals in a week when you are eating 28+ times a week!
Instead, you should make sure that the 24 other times you eat are healthy, full of good ingredients and are helping your body.
A few tips that can ensure that you are a little bit more focused on your calories include:
- Having a healthy breakfast every day.
- If you know you are going to have a high calorie meal during the day, ensure that the surrounding meals are deliberately low to counteract the bad meal.
- Stay hydrated! The more water you are able to consume, the better your body will be at its daily functions.
- Plan out your meals so you know what you are having for each meal. This will give you confidence to know that you are able to relax and enjoy the naughty meals.
When it comes to the ability to stay fit over the holidays, how you approach it will go a long way to the level of success that you will see. If you simply give up, forget about it and make say that you will start again next year, then you cannot expect to feel good about your levels of success.
If you instead, take a proactive approach towards things you will have a much higher chance of success. An added bonus to this is that you will not finish the year feeling exhausted and unmotivated, instead you will charge into 2021 knowing you are in great shape and ready to smash some new goals.
I know which one I would prefer!
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