Six Holiday Workout Tips
Don't let the holidays ruin your body.
[updated] The holidays are notorious for adding pounds to your weight and inches to your waistline. What with the turkeys, hams, fruitcakes, potatoes, pies, and other traditional holiday foods, keeping to your normal health routine or diet may be a bit difficult. Here are some easy tips to help counteract that holiday grubbing.
1. Make a schedule and stick to it.
This is a great workout tip in general, but with family and friends coming to visit it’s that much harder to stick with your workout schedule. Early mornings tend to be the easiest time to fit in a workout, as most family plans happen in the afternoon and evening. It’s very crucial that you stick to the schedule, as consistency will improve your body’s ability to deal with the extra savory holiday meals.
2. Go to bed earlier.
Sleep is essential to help us digest our food. An early bedtime will lead to an early wake-up, giving you plenty of room to fit into that morning workout routine. We also tend to eat more unhealthy foods the later it gets, so the less time we have to be tempted, the better. One late night can throw your whole orderly routine into chaos, so make sure you don’t budge on your bedtime if you want to keep those holiday pounds off.
3. Work out with a friend or family member.
Why not combine visiting friends or family with your workout routine? It will help you stick to your schedule and get to bed early if someone else is depending on you to stay with the planned workout times. You and your friend or family member can also push each other, whether it be getting those faster running times, spotting heavier weight at the gym, or squeezing out that extra set of sit-ups.
4. Try healthy holiday alternatives.
Are you hosting a holiday dinner or are bringing something to a holiday potluck? If you end up in charge of a dish, why not make it a healthy one? Not only will you be helping your own diet, but you’ll also be helping your family members or friends. Inspire others to bring something healthy or make your dinner “healthy-themed.” There’s a bunch of great healthy holiday alternatives out there, from appetizers to main courses to desserts, you’re sure to find something delicious that won’t increase your pant size.
5. Eat smaller portion sizes.
One crucial part of why we gain so much weight over the holidays is that the food tastes so good, we end up eating more than we should. Maybe we don’t need that third helping of mashed potatoes with gravy, or that second piece of pie. Even if the food isn’t a “healthy alternative” holiday dish, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily bad for you - as long as you eat the appropriate portion. Over-indulgence one night will lead to a tough workout the next morning.
6. Limit your alcohol intake.
Yes, alcohol and the holidays make a great combination, but it’s really not good for your body. Beer may taste great, but it’s all empty calories. Hard alcohol can lead to intense holiday hangovers the day, and your chances of skipping your workout the next morning goes up. If you have to drink something, a glass of wine is probably your best choice, but make sure you don’t drink the whole bottle.
Use these six-holiday workout tips to keep yourself in shape this December. Your friends and family will understand if you have to cut the night short, bring a gluten-free apple crisp to the potluck, or pass on the shots of whiskey for a glass of wine instead. Who knows? Maybe you will inspire someone to get healthy over the holidays too, and that’s a gift you can’t fit in a box or wrap up with a bow.