Trick or Treat Move Your Feet - 10 Ways to Stay Fit & Healthy Over the Holidays
Halloween marks the beginning of a long, yet fun-filled holiday season for many. Pumpkin spice and peppermint fill the air as baking gets underway, parties are planned, and the cool weather is a refreshing change from the hot summer. The downside of this is that as we enjoy the holiday feasts and treats, we might inadvertently hide the results of weight gain under the heavier clothing.
Make this year different by keeping fitness and health as part of your family plans. Embrace the holiday season as a time to teach your children that health can fit in with family traditions. While most people add pounds, incorporating your fitness routine into the holiday season doesn’t have to interfere with your fun. Just use a little planning, practice and flexibility and you can enjoy your holiday without falling into the fat trap. Here are 10 ways to stay fit and healthy from Halloween to Christmas.
1. Adjust your workout schedule and stick with it. One of the reasons people stop working out is they just get too busy. The kids want to bake, the boss wants a holiday party and your spouse wants you to join his or her party. And of course, there’s shopping. Planning head will help you navigate through the extra activities so you can stay on schedule. Shoot for morning workouts so you finish before the rest of the day begins. You won’t have time for excuses that arise, and you will feel more energy and less stress the rest of your day. If this isn’t possible, plan your workout at lunch or after work; which is a great time to involve the whole family and make sure they stay healthy, too.
2. Fill up on fruits and vegetables with each meal. The holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, bring many flavors and foods that are not normally available. For this reason, it’s easy to indulge with treats that can slow you down. But don’t fall for it, because the heavier food can make you feel too sluggish to work out.
Counteract this mistake by filling up on more fruits and vegetables any chance you get. Some ideas to help are to begin each day with fresh fruit and begin each meal with a small salad. Choose at least two vegetables to accompany each meal. Fresh produce will help rev your metabolism and digestion, so you feel energetic and healthy, and less likely to overindulge.
3. Eat plenty of protein and healthy fats. Eating too little protein is easy to do when you fill up on high carb sweets like pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies. This can easily drag down energy levels leading to muscle and mental fatigue. Counteract the carb desserts by including a small amount of healthy, lean protein with each meal. Include healthy fats like avocado or coconut oil at least once each day. The right nutrition will naturally help you feel fuller longer, so you don’t make a meal out of treats.
4. Ease up on the alcohol. It’s easy to pack on the calories and carbs with the holiday parties, and to make matters worse, alcohol impairs inhibitory control. This leads to a higher chance of overeating and succumbing to cravings of less-than-healthy food. Plan ahead by committing to having healthy snacks with your drinks and be sure to limit yourself so you stay in control of your calories.
5. Stay active with the entire family. Incorporate activities like ice skating, sledding, or holiday light walks, and they will turn into a welcome part of your family’s holiday tradition. The more fun you have, the more likely you’ll do more of it. If shopping gets in the way, use that time to walk, too. Malls are big enough to get in at least a couple miles with plenty of room to split up and buy gifts while nobody’s looking.
6. Sign up for a Turkey Trot or other Holiday Run/Walk. The entire family can enjoy these events, and once you decide on the race or run/walk you’d like to join, plan training time that you can do together. Make it more fun with family team shirts and when the big day comes, you’ll find that fitness might be your family’s favorite gift. Yes.Fit has some magical holiday virtual races to choose from.
7. Eat less food, more often. Holiday parties and get togethers always come with fun foods. Even healthy treats can add up, and too much of a good thing can still lead to weight gain. To counteract, try snacking on smaller meals more often throughout the day. This practice can help you mentally stay on track, and including a fruit or fresh vegetables into each meal will help you fill up on the good stuff.
8. Indulge in buying fitness gifts for the whole family, and give them early. Home gym equipment is always a novelty, so invest in a treadmill or elliptical and set up family competitions leading up to a big winner at the end of the holiday season. Reward the winner with a fitness outfit, new headphones or gym shoes. The holidays are a time when gym memberships lag, so prices go down. Take advantage of this and find a holiday deal at the local gym; family memberships are often on sale and they make great gifts.
9. Plan activities if you travel. Traveling is fun, but can make it difficult to find time for exercise. Try researching the city you’ll be visiting and arrange a family walk to some historic sights. Find out if any neighborhoods go big with holiday lights and enjoy an evening walk. If you’re traveling alone, many hotels and resorts have gyms onsite, so look for a hotel with a fitness room or even an indoor pool for a little active fun.
10. Reduce Stress. Stress interferes with health and can lead to weight gain. Make this year different and plan ways to help reduce stress for yourself and family members. Partaking in a yoga or stretching class at the gym can make it interesting, or you could simply plan relaxing walks after dinner. Try listening to relaxing music during meals and treat yourself to a massage at least once during the busy shopping season. Reducing stress will help reduce cortisol levels, a hormone that can contribute to accumulated abdominal fat and fatigue.
Adding family activities that engage in fitness and health can be a fun addition to your holiday traditions. So, relax, enjoy your season and stay fit this year, and you’ll go into the New Year feeling better than ever.
Click Below For Healthy Halloween Treats That Are Our Faves.