The holiday season is a time of family celebration, delicious food, and relaxation. However, it can also be challenging to stay active and maintain your weight amidst all the festivities. By incorporating mindful strategies and making physical activity a priority, you can enjoy the holidays while keeping your health goals intact. This article explores effective ways to stay active and prevent the dreaded holiday weight gain.
1. Make Exercise a Priority: Commit to regular exercise throughout the holiday season by scheduling it into your daily routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity most days of the week. Find activities you enjoy such as walking, jogging, dancing, strength training, or attending fitness classes.
2. Embrace Outdoor Activity: Take advantage of the Northwoods beauty, and activities that promote physical movement. Depending on the temperatures in the Northwoods, ice skating could be an option, or cross-country skiing. Just going outside for a walk in the woods or in your neighborhood before or after your holiday indulgences will help you burn those holiday calories. Engaging in these activities not only burns calories but also adds fun to your holiday experience.
3. Incorporate HIIT Workouts: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are efficient and effective for maintaining weight during busy times like holidays. These workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. They can be done at home, require minimal equipment, and provide maximum calorie burn within a short amount of time. There are many online options to choose from. You could even do 5-15 minutes at work as a mental health break. Your concentration and memory will benefit as well.
4. Buddy Up: Find an accountability partner who shares similar health goals during the holidays. Exercise with your buddy virtually or in person for walks or workouts. Having someone to support and motivate you can make staying active more enjoyable and increase your commitment to regular exercise.
5. Be Creative with Time Management: If your schedule becomes busier during the holidays, find creative ways to fit in with physical activity. Break up workouts into shorter sessions throughout the day if needed. Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators whenever possible. Look for opportunities to move your body even in small increments.
6. Stay Mindful of Your Eating Habits: While physical activity is crucial for weight maintenance, it is equally important to be mindful of your eating habits during the holidays. Practice portion control with a salad plate, choose healthier options when available, and savor each bite mindfully. Balancing exercise with a nutritious diet will help you maintain a healthy weight.
7. Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water throughout the day not only keeps you hydrated but also helps control appetite and prevent overeating. Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go as a reminder to stay hydrated. Start drinking water upon rising and continue through late afternoon. Remember to consume at least half of your body weight in ounces of water daily.
8. Prioritize Self-Care: Taking care of yourself is essential during busy times like the holidays. Get enough sleep, manage your stress through relaxation techniques like deep breathing exercises or meditation, and practice self-compassion. When you prioritize self-care, maintaining an active lifestyle becomes easier.
The holiday season does not have to equal holiday weight gain. You can enjoy everything about the holidays and maintain your weight by making exercise and self-care a priority. Remember, it is never too late to make a Shift in Health.