Don't wait until the new year. The busy holiday season is a convenient excuse to let your normal fitness routine slide, but there's no need! There's room for fitness, here are our strategies to keep moving this season.
Prioritize: We all lead busy lives, yet we still find time for those things we deem as a priority. When was the last time you skipped showering, doing your hair and brushing your teeth because work was too busy? That’s right, NEVER! You’ve worked these things into your daily schedule because they’re a priority. Start treating exercise the same way. Workouts don’t have to be an hour long, you can get everything you need to done inside of a half hour or even 20 minutes on those really busy days.
Now for Nutrition:
We know that you've probably heard these before, but each year we need a bit of a reminder on how to navigate the cocktail party season. Each night means another event and another reason to eat foods you wouldn't normally have at home. You don't have to skip the party and you don't have to say no to the good stuff! Use the tips below to plan ahead and you'll not only enjoy the party, but you'll enjoy the day after!
Never go to a party hungry! Have a pre-party satiating snack so you don’t overeat. Think: an apple with nut butter, veggie sticks with hummus or yogurt with berries.
Bring something healthy to the party that you’ll also eat* to set yourself up for success. Healthy can be delicious, too, make sure your healthy dish is one of your favs, that way you're sure to eat it! In other words, plain carrot sticks and celery may make a healthy snack but.... when faced with all of the other deliciousness, you may even skip the dish you brought! This is one of my favorite healthy holiday treats.
Be careful of drinking your calories. Drinks have calories too! Swap out your caloric drinks and mixers for club soda and sip slowly.
If drinking alcohol, have water in between drinks to keep your calories (and hangover) in check. Honestly, it's the best tip we can give. There are calories in that booze and there's a headache waiting for you tomorrow. The water or seltzer water will keep a drink in your hand, help you hydrate and slow down the consumption of excess calories from your drinks.
Don’t skip meals! This will just make you overeat later. Plan ahead by eat regularly throughout your day to avoid over eating later. The day of an event, know that you'll be indulging a bit on some of your holiday favorites and look forward to it! The key is to make smart choices before your event, like bringing your lunch to work that day (or week!) and choose good quality nutritious foods. In other words, just because you'll indulge tonight, doesn't mean it's time for muffins and cookies all day!
Take the good stuff, but just a little. YES you can enjoy everything … but be mindful of your portion. Eat slowly, savor and enjoy!
We think the key to success is getting back on track. After the party is over, get back to your normal eating and fitness routine - you didn't "ruin the week" just because you went out last night. Those same nutritious choices you made to prepare before the event are even more important once the event is over. And the workouts you were doing to ensure you looked your best in that killer outfit? Jump right back in. The fitness professional's secret is consistency.
Your mind deserves a moment, too.
For many, this season can be stressful. You're getting pulled in a million directions trying to make everyone happy. You're likely to be doing more shopping than usual and probably trying to finish up all those year-end projects.
When you start to feel a little (or a lot) scattered, stress levels rise. The thing is, sometimes we don't even notice how much stress we're carrying around! Taking time to become aware of how your body and mind are reacting to the stress your feeling can be the key to releasing that stress for good!
Breathe Just breathe, it's really that simple. When we're really stressed, we don't even realize that we've been holding our breath or clenching our jaw. Push away from your computer, shut your eyes or glance at something in the distance and take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Then, resume your day! I promise, you'll feel better.
Take a moment to slow down if your mind and your body have been running around all day, schedule a yoga class into your day. Choose a slow-flow yoga or a yin inspired relaxation class to recover from the hectic schedule. Sometimes a slower workout like this is just what your mind and body need to be able to continue your normal routine without feeling run-down.
Go for a walk -without your phone! (GASP!) You know those few moments when you don't know where your phone is or you left your house without it and it feels a little like you're naked?? Do it more often. Even if it's a simple walk around the office or a lap around your building, being free from your device for a few minutes will give your mind a chance to clear so that you come back with more focused attention to tackle the rest of your day.
Just Sit Meditating for a few minutes every day can help you focus your attention for the things that really matter. And before you say... "I can't meditate, I can't stop thinking for long enough" The idea that you 'can't think' while you're meditating is a total myth! As long as you're alive, you'll always be thinking. Here's how to get a quick meditation session into your day:
Close your eyes (or keep them open, whatever!)
Focus your attention on your breath
Notice how it feels as you breathe in through your nose and out through your nose
When you notice your mind has wandered from feeling your breath, gently bring your attention back to your breathing
If you want, set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes (or more) and continue until you hear the bell