We all love the holidays, but many of us are also concerned about staying healthy and fit as we prepare to ring in the New Year. The holidays might be brief, but if you indulge too much, you might feel like a failure and let a few slip-ups derail any progress you have made.
To help keep you on track this holiday season, we have compiled a list of helpful tips that will help you enjoy a more healthful holiday season:
- Log it in: When you log in food and exercise, these actions help keep you accountable, but they can also be a little burdensome and a little daunting when you begin to think of all the alluring holiday snacks, desserts, and cocktails you might be offered during this festive time of year. However, taking a few extra minutes to log in those tasty hor d’oeuvres or pomegranate martini in apps like MyFitnessPal will help you budget your calories and plan an extra workout, if necessary.
- Sign up for a New Year’s race: If you jog, walk, cycle, or swim, consider participating in some of the many races that happen around the holidays. New Year’s Day races are a great way to kick of the year right and training will help keep you active during the holiday season. For a little extra motivation, sign up with friends and family members.
- Plan an active outing for every holiday celebration: While you are RSVPing the holiday dinners and parties you plan on attending this winter, add in an active outing in your schedule as well. Activities like a family hike or a game of basketball with a group of friends is a great way to give yourself the gift of health.
- Put some new workout gear on your wish list: If you have nice workout gear to stay active in, you might feel more motivated to actually go out there and get moving. Of course, sometimes, those breathable, comfy, pretty fabrics come at a price, so put it on your gift wish list. Your friends and family will likely be happy to get a gift for you that will help encourage you to stay healthy and exercise more.
- Earn your treats: If you tend to feel guilty after having a treat, it probably does not feel like much of a treat. Instead of feeling bad about eating something a little indulgent, go for a workout earlier in the day beforehand, so you feel like you have earned it. This will help keep you from feeling guilty when you want to treat yourself over the holidays.
- Get more rest: Sleep is not only good for your mind, but for your appetite. Those who are deprived of sleep produce more ghrelin, which is essentially a hunger hormone that increases the desire to eat. If you get enough sleep, your body will regulate its hunger cues better, making it easier to eat in moderation.
- Do a weekly weigh-in: There is no sense in obsessively checking your weight every day or in fixating on a pound gained or lost. However, weighing yourself weekly can help serve as an early warning system and prevent substantial weight gain. That said, if you are doing a lot of strength training and expect to be putting on more muscle, the scale might not be a good indicator of fat gained. Instead, you can take your measurements to gauge if you have truly gained weight.
- Do not wait for January to begin exercising: People tend to try to make good on their New Year’s resolutions in January, but if you plan on making your trips to the gym, a better time to start will actually be in December, when frequent exercise drops to its lowest point. Gyms sometimes give a discount on memberships around this time of year and, when gym attendance at a low, you likely will not have to wait to use certain pieces of equipment.
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