If you managed to maintain your health and fitness all year despite having a busy schedule, the approaching holidays might concern you. ‘Tis the season, as they say! And from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, social gatherings involving alcohol and high-calorie foods become frequent — and both could undo the progress you’ve made toward your fitness goal.
Learn how to stay fit during the holidays with these tips. Our guide will provide you with tricks so you can enjoy the holidays without compromising your fitness goals.
The first step to staying fit during the holidays is learning about common pitfalls. These seemingly innocuous traps are some of the most prominent destroyers of fitness. Once you know what they are, you can avoid or overcome them. Four common holiday pitfalls are alcohol, food, not having a gym membership and office treats.
This time of year is notorious for parties and family gatherings that may require some liquid courage. Whether you’re trying to survive that one chatty relative or loosen up, it’s easy to drink more than you should during the holidays. However, alcohol can cause weight gain because of its high-calorie count and due to the poor nutritional choices you might make once the late-night cravings kick in.
You can avoid alcohol if you want to, but there are other ways to prevent over-indulgence. The first is to drink a glass of water after every alcoholic beverage. This will cut back on the alcohol you consume, improve your sleep and keep you hydrated. Another solution is to socialize. When you talk and engage with others, you are less likely to down a bunch of drinks.
It’s not surprising that many people look forward to food during the holidays. Whether it’s the stuffing, turkey or delicious desserts that get your mouth watering, it should come as no surprise that these foods are more indulgent. Eating one slice of pumpkin pie won’t destroy your fitness, but eating seven might.
You can prevent yourself from overeating during the holidays with these two strategies:
Sometimes, people let their gym memberships expire during the holidays. You may feel like you won’t have the time to exercise, so you want to save money and renew your membership later. It could even be one of your New Year’s resolutions to obtain a gym membership, so you’d rather wait until then.
The biggest problem with waiting for the perfect time to get a gym membership, aside from there never being an ideal time, is that you are moving backward instead of forward with your fitness goal. To remedy this, find a workout regimen and nutrition plan that excites you and start today.
You probably had no idea that one of your coworkers loved baking until they started bringing treats to the office. Whether they want everyone to sample desserts in preparation for the holidays or spread holiday cheer, nothing can derail your muscle gain like sweets. The best way to handle office treats is by avoiding them or indulging in them occasionally.
It’s possible to enjoy the food and mingle while maintaining your fitness during the holidays. You can easily implement these four tips into your routine to stay fit.
When you have to make time for various gatherings, keeping a strict exercise routine can be challenging. Holiday exercise doesn’t have to be grueling — you can make tiny adjustments to your daily routine to keep up with your workouts. For instance, you can go for walks, park farther away, take the stairs and cut back on the number of days you exercise per week. The key to staying fit is moving because even small movement burns calories.
Sticking to a healthy diet as much as possible is crucial to staying in shape. Focus on eating vegetables and lean proteins. When you crave food that isn’t as healthy, only eat small portions of it. This allows you to enjoy holiday food and treats without ruining your diet.
Water is vital to your health. Without enough water, you can become dehydrated. Aside from preventing dehydration, water can help you stay fit in two ways. First, you can substitute water for other drinks. Since it doesn’t contain calories, it can help you manage your weight.
The second way water can help you is by keeping your stomach full. You can drink a bottle of water if you feel hungry but don’t want to take in any more calories.
A good night’s rest is essential to recovering after a busy day. Sleeping helps you feel refreshed so you begin the next day with the same level of energy. Unfortunately, one in three adults does not get enough sleep. It’s important to strive for seven hours of sleep every night. After all, you won’t want to exercise if you’re fatigued.
The most important tip is to be realistic about your workout routine and diet. Holidays are a chance to bond with family and friends, so you should relax and enjoy them. It may not be realistic for you to stick to the same diet and exercise regimen you had before. Even if you gain a few pounds over the holidays, exercising regularly and eating healthy afterward can help you bounce back quickly.
You can get a head start on your holiday fitness this winter by joining a new gym. A gym should be a supportive community that makes you feel safe and welcome. At 5 Bridge Health & Fitness, we believe community is one of the five bridges to a healthy lifestyle. The other bridges are:
We want to help you achieve your fitness goals. Our facilities provide state-of-the-art exercise equipment, personal training programs, nutrition coaching and group fitness classes. Check out our membership plans and find the right one for you. It’s never too early or too late to work on your fitness.