It’s that time of year when folks start eating, drinking and being merry . . . as we all should! However, I have already overheard more than one person say something like, “Oh, what the heck, it’s the Holidays. I’ll just blow it.” or other things to that affect. I’m saying, whoa, stop and think about it. Yes, it is that wonderful, magical time of year when we can all enjoy parties, festivities, celebrations and good food. But, no, that doesn’t mean it is a free for all until January 1. There is a smart way to enjoy this month and not roll, literally, into the new year feeling yucky, carrying an extra five pounds.
Let’s enjoy this time of year while still keeping our fitness and health goals in check so that we begin 2016 feeling strong, fit and well!
I’ve got 8 Tips to get you through the month and out on the other side still feeling your best self. I also have a workout you can do at home, anytime and anywhere. This is a busy time so sometimes the best we can do is not our typical gym workout. That’s okay. Some days it might be smarter to exercise at home and skip the travel time to and from the gym. Today I will give you Workout #1 for December and follow up with a new workout that can be done at home or at the gym for each week of the month. These will be quick, in and out, get it done, workouts.
So, let’s jump on this month with a plan to enjoy, share, and celebrate, but feel our very best when all the parties are over and the presents unwrapped.
8 Tips to Keeping Fit and Strong During December
1. EAT PROTEIN
Protein is the best food to keep you satiated and satisfied longer. Eat lean meats, nuts, eggs, beans and low fat Greek yogurt. I’m sure you can find some of these protein filled foods at your Holiday party. Reach for these first.
2. DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF
Do NOT go to a party hungry. Let me repeat, do NOT go to a party hungry. You will surely wolf down more cheese and pigs in a blanket than you need. Eat normal, healthy meals and snacks beforehand and decide what is worth the splurge.
3. STAY HYDRATED
Drink lots of water all during the day, every single day. At a party, go easy on the alcohol so you’ll feel great the next day AND to avoid the unnecessary calories AND the temptation to finish off the potatoes, and more cheese, and then some more potatoes, and maybe some chips . . . .
4. STICK TO YOUR PLAN
Have you had a plan all year long as to how to tackle certain dinners, parties and situations? Treat the Holiday parties just the same. Decide what your food limits are and what your triggers are and HOW you will handle them. You can stay IN CONTROL and not let the food control you. Remember how I talked about empowered eating over Thanksgiving? Well, it is the same here. If something is served that you absolutely love, then go for it! Enjoy the heck out of it! If you are nibbling just to nibble, find something else to do with your hands. Make your plan and stick to it.
5. STAY AWAY FROM THE BUFFET TABLE
LOTS of parties are centered around the buffet table. How easy it is to park yourself right there and never leave. I’m saying, don’t be that person! Work the room and find somewhere else to park yourself.
6. DO WHAT YOU CAN WHEN YOU CAN
This is not the time to beat yourself up for skipping that 6 am Spin class or to beat yourself up for having that piece of red velvet cake. It is what it is, right? Treat every day like a Monday, as I’ve said before, and start over with your healthy habits. If you can’t get to the gym, get in a home workout, park at the back of the parking lot, take the stairs, just do what you can when you can. DO NOT think that just because it is the Holidays that you can GIVE UP and throw in the towel until the new year. Try to keep up with your workout schedule as much as possible. Check in with me for weekly Home Workouts to keep you moving during the month. Your stress level will also appreciate it!
Now on to a workout. I did this workout this morning at home because I really didn’t have time to waste getting to and from the gym, then spending time chatting, loitering, and you know all that other stuff that can get in the way. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing people and oftentimes I need that for extra motivation, but when you are time crunched it is not the best use of time. I have an elliptical in my home gym, but you can do your own warm up and cardio in between. Get creative – jump rope, run stairs, up and down the driveway, do jumping jacks, high knees or anything to get your heart pumping and breathing hard. I used a 12 lb medicine ball for the squat and overhead press and russian twists, but feel free to use what you have or just your bodyweight. I was in and out in 40 minutes – and that included a quick stretch. If you only have 20 minutes, then go through the circuit only twice, or even just once is better than nothing!
What is your plan for the Holiday? Do you normally stick to your routine or throw in the towel? What is your best Holiday fitness/health tip?
Enjoy Your Day!
*Always check with your physician before beginning a new exercise program*