Tis the season, I suppose. But it doesn’t have to end with adding a bunch of those extra holiday pounds. These next few months are littered with distraction. School activities, long lines in every store, holiday parties, and family coming to town, all jam packed in these next few weeks can really mess with your routine. Instead of being overwhelmed and stressed out, here are a few strategies that can be easily incorporated into your busy day to keep your health in check over the holidays.
First don’t worry about needing to spend a full hour at the gym. This time of year there never seems to be enough time in the day, and certainly not an hour to waste. Sometimes just getting a quick 20 minute workout is good enough. This could be going for a quick run, doing a quick circuit on the machines at the gym, or even taking the dog for an extra-long walk, can help give you that daily dose of exercise. Ideally we would want you to do an activity that will elevate the heart rate, but something is better than nothing! This short duration, efficient workout, only a few days out of the week can help manage your weight over this busy time of year.
We have to remember that most of the weight loss and weight gain comes down to portion control (or during this holiday season “portion out-of-control”). Unfortunately it is so easy to overeat while we are with family, friends, and colleagues, so to help combat these extra calories get up and walk for 10 minutes after eating a meal. This may be taking a quick walk around the block after breakfast, walking around the office during lunch, or taking a family stroll after dinner. This few minute walk can potentially reduce cholesterol levels, aid in digestion, and maintain a healthy weight. It is so simple but that 30 minutes of low intensity activity, split up over the course of the day, may just help keep those extra pounds at bay during the holidays.
Find a good training partner. Unfortunately with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday you may need to find someone to help you stay accountable. This may mean finding someone to go to the gym with you or find a good trainer that can keep you on track and prevent any bad habits from taking over. Even if it is simply getting to the gym for just a day or two out of the week, make sure you take some time for yourself. Get out and have fun over the holidays, enjoy the family, eat some great food. Here’s to your health!