Keeping Up With Healthy Habits During The Holidays
The last month of the year is a great time to reflect on both the victories and the challenges of the past year. If your fitness level has improved, take a well-deserved victory lap, perhaps by looking at some before-and-after photographs. On the other hand, if progress is lacking, target some habits to revise in the new year.
But first things first. For many people, this time of year is pretty crazy. Sleep and dining patterns go out the window to make room for children’s concerts and holiday parties, many of which may be out of town. Here are some ways to survive and thrive in the year’s stretch run.
Don’t Lose Perspective
Metabolism slows with age, so it is often harder to lose weight and keep it off. For that reason, many people are afraid that it will be difficult or impossible to get back on track if there is even a slight disruption. The ease of breaking a good habit multiplies this fear.
But, in most cases, an extra slice of pound cake is not ruinous, and if you miss a day or two in your normal fitness routine, that’s okay too. You are the same person you were yesterday, and you still have the same amount of willpower as you had before. The key is to not let fear dictate your exercise routine. Your desire to be a healthier person should fill that role.
Besides, it is usually easy to double up and make up for lost time. Your body has become accustomed to a good diet and regular fitness, so it will let you know that something is amiss and give you the chance to make things right.
Holiday events are generally not last-minute affairs. Instead, that concert or dinner is usually on the calendar for several weeks, giving you ample time to bend your schedule and accommodate your needs.
If you’re normally a very early riser, an evening kids’ orchestra concert will probably derail your exercise plans for that next day. It’s normally easy to juggle your schedule because most people have at least one or two off days every week. And, if you cannot say no to Aunt Sally’s chocolate chip pecan pie, shave a little off of meal portions for the day or so leading up to the big dinner. You can even splurge at the party and add a dollop of whipped cream.
Exercise on The Go
If you leave the comfort of your own home, do not fret. Most hotels have fitness rooms, so take advantage of the opportunity. Furthermore, most hosts are also accommodating when it comes to sharing a home gym or setting up a workout space. The change may even do some good because there are only so many miles you can go on that same treadmill.
If you stray away from your neighborhood gym, take simply exercise equipment with you. There are a lot of great resistance exercises that you can do with just bands. Furthermore, many free weights are relatively easy to pack. If you must sacrifice some of the weight, do a few extra reps. Getting out of your comfort zone may do some good in this area as well, so your routine does not become too predictable or blase. It’s much harder to stay motivated in these circumstances.
Losing weight is almost always a long-term proposition, so do not let a minor interruption prevent you from enjoying time with family and friends, and more importantly, do not let it discourage you.
These tips came from my friend Joe, Co-Founder of Vive Health. It’s not always easy to keep up with healthy habits during the holiday season but it is worth it. I know I’m going to try my best!