The holidays often bring gifts you didn’t ask for: carbs, calories, and a whole bunch of downtime. Between turkey dinners and movie marathons, eating right and exercising can quickly take a back seat to a not-so-active lifestyle this time of year.
If you’re looking to enjoy the festivities without completely abandoning your healthy routine, read on for a step-by-step guide to staying on track with your fitness goals this holiday season!
Find a Balance of Nutrition and Holiday Treats
Sticking to your fitness goals doesn’t have to mean passing on mom’s famous sugar cookies.
Structured nutrition, with a few helpful guidelines, is the key to enjoying this time of year without doing something you’ll regret later (like maybe having ten of mom’s famous sugar cookies). Below are some helpful tips for staying on track the right way:
- Listen to cravings – If you’re craving a treat you wouldn’t normally eat, let yourself indulge a little! The holidays are a time to relax and denying your body a single piece of pie may result in binging later on. A good rule of thumb for this festive time of year is everything in moderation.
- Watch your liquid calories – It can be tempting to put back drink after drink during the holidays. Eggnog is one of the most popular winter beverages, but it can come with a high calorie count. You don’t have to steer clear of these seasonal sips altogether, just be aware that calories can come in a liquid form, too.
- Build your own plate – Holiday meals usually have about ten different sides. While this can cause panic for some fitness buffs, the variety can actually be a blessing in disguise. Build your own plate when mealtime comes around, and focus on proteins and vegetables for a healthier meal. Feel free to enjoy carbs, like stuffing and potatoes, just make sure you’re also getting enough of the more nutritious foods as well.
Don’t Let the Season Stress You Out
The holidays are meant to be a holly jolly time, but what happens when festivities induce more fretting than fun?
Find ways to relieve seasonal stress so you can stay on track with your fitness goals. Not only does the cortisol produced by stress cause your body to pack on the pounds, but worrying about a lack of healthy choices could also lead you to give up on your goals altogether.
Try some of these helpful tips for winding down this holiday season:
- Enjoy some alone time – The pressure to spend every moment with your loved ones can be strong during the holidays. Quality time with friends and family is important, but taking some time for yourself to exercise, or just find some peace and quiet is important to combating seasonal stress, too.
- Try natural supplements – Sometimes, you can only handle so much on your own. If you’re in need of additional stress relief, put CBD at the top of your wishlist this year. Some of the very best CBD tincture can be found online at affordable prices, and a few drops in your morning coffee is a great way to set yourself up for a relaxing day of holiday fun.
- Seek help, if necessary – Many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months. Combine this with family obligations and changes in your daily schedule, and you may be at risk for some serious seasonal-blues. The mind and body have a strong connection, so these worries might impact your physical health, too. To nurture your overall well-being, reach out to a trusted friend or professional to talk through the experiences you’re having.
Get Family and Friends to Join You
Staying healthy doesn’t have to be a solo mission. This holiday season, try getting your loved ones to join you on your fitness journey!
This doesn’t mean forcing your family and friends to change their entire routine, but rather encouraging them to add a little activity into their day. This may include:
- Taking a walk together
- Playing a game, like basketball, tennis, or catch
- Going on a bike ride
- Doing some group yoga at home
Not everyone will say yes to this request, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. You’d be surprised how willing people may be to get a little exercise during the holidays.
Healthy Choices Can Be Festive
Enjoying the holidays while maintaining your fitness goals can be tough, but if you’re truly passionate about staying healthy, you’ll find a proper balance.
Listen to your body, get some exercise when you can, and fit a few vegetables between festive feasts (if you can) and you’re sure to stay on track. Remember that everyone’s fitness journey is going to look a little different, so don’t be too hard on yourself!