How to Stay Fit and Healthy Through the Holidays
From now until the clock strokes midnight on New Year's Eve, your daily schedule will be filled with family obligations, traveling, shopping and loads of tempting treats. Of course, we start seeing our waistband start to expand because it’s that time of year where being too full to eat is just unacceptable. Leading experts have given lots of thought to how we can stay fit this holiday season. They’ve discovered many ways to help us enjoy our tempting treats without having to buy a new belt this holiday season. Some of these ways are listed below:
Keep Moving Stay active, try to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time, such as when watching football games or eating. Remember: Too much sitting is hazardous to your health. Research shows that getting up for just five minutes every 30 to 60 minutes and performing light activity (say, pacing around the house or going for a light walk after your meal) reduces the risk of diabetes and other heart disease risk factors.
Make a Game Plan and Hydrate The holidays can make it really easy to forget that exercise and weight-control plan you had going. So start each day with a game plan, just like a great coach going into a big game. First, track your food and water intake. Which will make you aware of the amount of calories in certain foods. If you decide to eat higher-calorie options, you should probably eat smaller portions and make other adjustments to stay within your daily caloric goals.
Also, stay hydrated. Your brain can sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. A large glass of water before a meal can actually help lessen the amount of food you consume. Drink six to eight glasses of water per day, and be sure to have two big glasses of water before large high calorie meals.
De-clutter Your Brain, Exercise Early, and Sleep The holidays are a great time of year but they do tend to pose the most stress on the body .To alleviate the potential negative impacts of the season, I recommend making sure workouts are in the morning so you don't get distracted later in the day by parties, events or other holiday festivities. I’d also recommend getting plenty of rest and maintaining lists to stay organized and stress-free.
Be Creative, Make it a Family Affair The holidays are a hectic time, but do your best to avoid the 'all or nothing' mentality when it comes to healthful eating and physical activity. In reality, there is more than just one way to live healthfully and be active. During the holidays, get a bit creative with exercise and opt for fun ways that make physical activity a family affair. Explore new group fitness classes to build physical activity into holiday traditions – like taking a family walk around the neighborhood after Thanksgiving Dinner– think outside the box when it comes to ways to have quality time with family and friends while also prioritizing your health.
There’s Always Enough Time for a Workout Plan your workouts for the week and note them in your schedule to assure they are a part of your day. Most people have some sort of smartphone these days so set up a reminder in your calendar to keep you on track with your workout goals. Also, remember that some exercise is better than none. Rather than skipping the gym altogether, make time for a quick workout. If your schedule keeps you from a long workout at the gym, find at least 15 minutes to do body-weight exercises or kettlebell swings in the evening. It may not be your normal weight lifting workout, but you will sweat and feel a lot better when you're done.
Some Easy Ways to Stay Active During the Holidays:
Park Far Away:
If you're headed to the mall to do some holiday shopping, avoid those fiercely fought over prime parking spots and park far away from the entrance. If you park five minutes away from the mall and walk at a pace of 4 miles per hour (6.4 kilometers per hour), you could burn about 25 calories.
Play with Your Kids, Cousins, Nieces or Nephews:
During the holiday season, you're likely to be around more small children than usual. Take advantage of having the little ones around, and try to feed off of their holiday excitement. Instead of being burdened by the extra responsibilities of having tiny tots around, play with your nieces and nephews. You can chase the active toddlers around the house or take the older kids on a stroll around the neighborhood to check out holiday decorations.
Take up some pilates, yoga or a new workout tape and get the whole family involved.
A perfect way to bond with family and get a workout could be a trip to the ice rink. For every hour you ice skate, you can burn about 600 calories, the same number of calories burned when you run 5 miles (8 kilometers). Take the family skiing or snowboarding. A perfect activity to burn some calories and have fun with the whole family.