As most of us know, sticking with your exercise routine throughout the holidays is always a tough ask. All of a sudden, your schedule will be filled with family obligations, socializing activities and tempting treats. In this situation, it’s easy to come up with an excuse to stop working out – especially if you’ve already made some real progress over the year.
Unfortunately, recent studies confirm that losing your training motivation during the holidays can have a significant impact on your waistline. Approximately half the weight you gain over this time of the year will take until the summer to come off, and that’s assuming you get back to your fitness program as soon as the New Year rolls around. Of course, gaining weight has been linked to many health problems.
The good news is that staying fit through the holiday season doesn’t have to involve some gargantuan effort on your part. If you’re finding it hard to persevere with your standard exercise program, you can always try to find motivation in other ways.
Here are 4 strategies to remain fit during winters
1. Keep Moving
Holidays are often a good excuse to plop yourself on your favorite couch and spend the rest of the day watching football or just generally lazing around. Plus, you can bet there will be a lot of sitting around at those gatherings with your family and friends. An hour here, an hour there – it all adds up, and it can lead to some dangerous health problems such as diabetes and other heart diseases.
Fortunately, breaking this habit is easy enough. For every hour of sitting, you can get up and perform some light activities around your house for five minutes. Pretty much anything works: getting some house cleaning done, doing squats, dancing to music, or even just pacing around. If you’re heading outside, consider taking a little walk by parking a bit further from your favorite store. Any time you can devote to exercises should be used to full extent.
2. Plan Ahead
The holidays, as we all know, are a time of joy. Going on a shopping spree with your friends is fun and everything, but keeping your daily weight control intentions in check is also pretty important. The best way to do so is to come up with some sort of a diet and workout plan at the start of each day.
For example, if you have a party coming up, think about what you’ll be eating and build your nutrition plan around that. Tracking your food intake will make you aware of the calorie count for certain foods; high-calorie options are fine, but try to stick with smaller portions. Staying hydrated is also recommended, as a glass of water before a meal will help your digestion.
3. Don’t Overindulge
At the end of the day, we all want to enjoy the holidays. If you think you won’t be able to follow your diet plan on any particular day, feel free to break from the pattern and treat yourself to whatever you feel like without feeling guilty about it. However, keep in mind that this should be strictly a one-day thing. Many people follow up one round of treats with another, keeping up with this routine until the end of the holidays and beyond.
How to avoid overindulging? Other than keeping up with your healthy eating habits, try making smarter choices whenever you’re eating out. Foods that prevent blood sugar spikes are certainly a very good choice for you. Additionally, load your plate with vegetables, add some olive oil and lemon and ask for dressings on the side. If you’re going to a party, eat a protein-rich snack beforehand; for example, Greek yogurt with walnuts, hard-boiled eggs and peanut butter celery sticks are all fine choices.
4. Get Creative
As we’ve previously established, a busy social life can make you feel like dropping your workout routine fairly quickly. In these cases, some improvisation can go a long way. If you don’t have enough time for training a particular muscle group, you might get better results by switching from normal sets to supersets. Additionally, you can turn your workout into some high-intensity circuit training exercises.
If your holiday obligations get the better of you, you can always try to build some physical activity into old family traditions. For instance, why not take a quick walk around your neighborhood before opening Christmas presents? Start thinking outside the box, and you’ll be able to see other opportunities to stay active at all times.