It’s that time of the year – holiday season!. While everyone enjoys the feasting, shopping, and parties, it can be difficult to keep up a regular workout routine during this time. Studies show that taking just a week or two off from workout can erase months of positive metabolic gains and gain just 1% of your body weight can have the serious health impact.
Luckily, it doesn’t take a lot of activity to stop both of those things from happening. So by boosting these small but effective habits, you can happily survive the holidays with your health and fitness intact. Take a look at our tips for keeping your health on the right track during the holiday season.
- Plan Ahead. Holidays are often the most joyful time of the year, but sometimes it can feel like the most stressful. There are endless to-do lists, traveling, chaotic schedules, and also family tensions to deal with. We may be left anxious and irritated, leading us to grab for a piece of pie rather than a fresh apple. One of the easiest ways to avoid stress eating is to plan your daily and weekly schedules. Map out when you plan to shop for gifts, clothes, baking or anything else you may have to do. The moment you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a look at the calendar to quiet your nerves to remind yourself how you have everything under control.
- Keep a Regular Eating Schedule. This piece of advice is just as important as the one above, especially when you’ll be surrounded by delicious and unhealthy treats. Start the day with a protein smoothie or a vegetable omelet that will keep you satisfied for longer. Have soup or a salad for lunch and always add a side of greens to your dinner. Whenever you’re at a holiday party, try to follow the same rules. Eat slowly, but don’t graze. Never show up to a party famished – it’s best to actually eat a light meal before a party so you don’t overeat.
- Nourish Your Body with Healing Foods. The holiday season unfortunately overlaps with the cough, cold, and flu season, and with so many activities, energy levels can become depleted. That’s why it’s so important to feed your body with healing and healthy foods. It’s an excellent time of the year for nutrient-dense soups & bone food, which is full of minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and glucosamine in a form that the body can digest easily.
- Get Ahead of Stress. We all recognize stress comes with the holiday season, so it’s best to get ahead of it with some simple daily exercises. Take five to ten minutes at the start and end of your day to meditate. This practice will help keep you stay centered and remind you what the holidays are really about. If you can find the time, try a mid-afternoon session of restorative yoga, a brisk walk, or a short run. Any of this simple exercises will actually give your body the ability to rest, recover, and recalibrate. Try a dose of nootropics if you need a little extra boost of energy and stress relief.
- Relax. Most of us get to have a couple days off from the job to relax…so enjoy it! Set the time aside from the busy workdays and enjoy yourself. There’s no need to feel sinful after one large meal every week or so – as long as you’re realistic about your goals and get back on track first thing in the morning!
- Focus on Your Breath. We underestimate the ability of our breath. In just moments, it can completely quiet the nervous system. When you start to become anxious or overwhelmed, take a few moments to sit down. Take a deep breath through the nose and ensure that the diaphragm inflates with enough air to build a stretch in the lungs. Take six to ten deep, slow breaths per minute until you feel better. Just a few deep breaths will lower your blood pressure, clear your mind, and make you feel in control again.
- Live in the Moment. During such a special time of the year, don’t be too busy that you miss all the small, significant moments. Happiness is admiring what you have and living in the moment to enjoy the people, places, and events in your life. Make it a rule not to miss any of the holiday magic!
I hope you all enjoy this holiday season with great food, company, and gratitude!