What would the holidays be without some delicious desserts and endless opportunities to lounge around in the company of family and friends? Although these are staples of any great holiday, your fitness goals can get way off track if you’re not mindful.
If you need some tips for staying (somewhat!) on track during this holiday season, don’t sweat! We’ve enlisted the help of our top Fitness Educators at Youfit to bring you these healthy holidays tips:
- Make a list. Create a list of the fitness milestones you hit this year. If you see your progress written down, you will be less likely to completely fall off your routine.
- Don’t skip meals. You may be tempted to skip a meal to make up for those extra holiday party calories, but that will actually slow your metabolism. Have that glass of eggnog and then get back on track with your next meal.
- Drink up! Drink plenty of water throughout the day to fend off the sensation of thirst which we often mistake for hunger. If you are traveling – especially flying – staying hydrated is even more important! The air is very dry can make your airways more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Keep a full water bottle on you at all time to avoid getting dehydrated and sick.
- Try shorter workouts. You don’t need to workout for hours on end to see results. We know you are busy during the holidays, so try fitting in short and more intense workouts (like our Express Circuit!) for an effective calorie burn.
- Splurge on new gear. One surefire way to inspire good behavior is to get yourself something that will motivate you to continue your fitness journey. New shoes… fun leggings… or a cute tank from the Youfit Store!
- Track the Snack. Stay on point by tracking your meals and snacks on days when you don’t have a holiday event planned. Keep healthy snacks like raw veggies, greek yogurt and mixed nuts nearby so you’re not tempted by miscellaneous holiday treats. If you eat well most of the time, the bigger holiday celebrations won’t knock you too far off track! Enjoy the holidays and all the treats and sweets that go along with it.
- Indulge Responsibly. Don’t deprive yourself this holiday season. Enjoy your holiday favorites but keep it to just a taste. And whenever possible, keep the favorites out of your house. Leftover pie sitting in arm’s reach will result in over-indulging which will be harder to recover from post-holiday.
- Have honest hunger. It’s ok to have a taste of holiday goodness as long as it doesn’t turn into a buffet. Chewing gum 15 minutes before meals tricks the brain into thinking you’re eating, making you feel full faster.
- Take little breaks. Throughout the day no matter how busy you are do something good for your body like taking a walk, stretching or doing 20 squats. Staying active throughout the day keeps you in healthy mindset and committed to your goals.
- Set realistic goals. If you love the holidays as much as we do, you’ll find that setting maintenance goals are more realistic than expecting to make tremendous progress. Setting realistic goals will help keep you motivated when the holidays are over.
- Avoid lazy shopping. Although online shopping is the easiest way to tackle your gift list, it is not the most optimal way to stay fit. Take every opportunity you can to shop in brick and’ mortar shops for a added calorie burn.
- Create active traditions. Rather than going to see the latest box office hit, look for active alternatives like going to the park, playing a game outside or walking through a holiday light show.
- Meal Prep. The most common way we justify an unhealthy choice is by telling ourselves there’s no healthy alternative. Make batches of healthy meals that you can refrigerate or freeze and pull out when you’re in a time crunch.
- Don’t throw in the towel. A few small mis-steps are fairly easy to recover from. If you lose sight of your goal for weeks at a time, you will have a greater uphill battle to climb when the holidays are over. Hang in there!
- Talk to a YouCoach. Our personal trainers are experts and will help you modify your workouts to meet the demands of the holiday season. If you don’t have a YouCoach, get one! The gift of fitness is the gift that keeps on giving.
Have you tried any of our healthy holiday tips? Let us know in the comments!
Raphael Konforti is the Fitness Education Coordinator for Youfit. He has a Masters of Exercise Science and has worked in many different areas of fitness including collegiate recreation, international resorts and fitness publishing. Aside from the gym, he loves spending his time active and outdoors going surfing, diving, hiking, practicing yoga or pushing cars down the street.
Ron Merryman is the Executive Director of Fitness for Youfit.