Christmas is right around the corner, and that means celebrating, eating and drinking – and maybe a halt in your health and fitness plan. Along with the celebrations will come headlines and media news stories highlighting the weight gain that thousands of people experience every year.
Don’t think about weight gain this Christmas, think about celebrating with friends at family while simultaneously enjoying the sensation of living in a body that’s healthy.
Follow our top 10 tips to change how you think at this time of year & we’ll help you make the right choices – even when a lot of people around you aren’t
1. It’s not about the actual break…
What you do on Christmas Day isn’t your major concern. It’s all the other days in between that will determine if your Christmas break is healthy. You may encounter treats at random at work or lunch dates with friends or school mums bringing you a home-baked gifts. These situations are more frequent than a binge at home. Overeating on Christmas Day isn’t going to get you out of shape. Just like doing things right one day isn’t going to get you FIT. It’s all the little things on a daily, basis that determine if you are moving toward fitness or away from it.
2. List your top 2-3 favourite treats over Christmas and commit to having only those.
We’ve all got our favourites. List them, and stick to them so you can enjoy your favourites without consuming any “accidental” junk food you weren’t planning on.
3. Don’t try an be PERFECT
We don’t expect it in other areas of life – school, work or with our family members. So why do we expect “perfect” when we think about our fitness routines? You may miss a workout, we all will at some point. It’s not the end of the world. Just make sure you get the next one done.
4. Forget your workout routine; just challenge yourself.
If you don’t have time for a full workout routine, don’t do it! Just, exert yourself for 10 minutes if that’s all you have. Your body responds to the challenge of exercise and anything is better than nothing.
5. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t
Every year I hear an endless parade of, “I’ve just been so busy with Christmas and family visits, that I couldn’t workout.” This year, focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t. Look for ways to fit something in instead of repeatedly dwelling on why you can’t do it.
6. Ask yourself, “Do I really have to _________ ?”
There is likely something that you tell yourself you “have to” do that you don’t. Maybe it’s sending out Christmas cards to everyone in your address book or catching up with Sue before Christmas. You don’t have to squeeze everything in – you have options, think of yourself and your health and don’t sideline your exercise for another coffee and cake meet up before the big day!
7. Pick your top 5 favourite exercises
Write down your 5 favourite exercises, I’m sure lunges, squats and press ups will be on everyone’s list this year! Then when you need a blast of movement, do all of them for 30 seconds each. It will be easier if they are bodyweight exercises, but you can use anything as long as they are your favourites.
8. Explore fun ways to get the family moving.
Family gatherings usually involve too much food and too much sitting around. Get everyone outside any way you can. Reinvent old traditions in movement-based ways. Instead of sitting around playing monopoly or Trivial pursuit, get everyone out on a walk together. Be creative. Too cold? Wrap up warm, once you’re out and moving, you’ll warm up.
9. Keep sugar off of your vegetables.
Let there be no glazing of carrots this year. Sugar has no place on vegetables. There will be enough sugar in your favourite dessert. Glazing is for doughnuts. This year, find ways to make side dishes that are both delicious and nutritious.
10. Remember that Christmas comes at the same time every year
The annual celebrations don’t catch us by surprise, so there’s no reason why you can’t plan for them. Unknown interruptions to your fitness program like car trouble or sick children can’t always be avoided, but when celebrations come every year there’s no excuse. Use your smarts and creativity combined with some of the tips above to come up with a plan for celebrating that will allow you to enjoy the festivities without wrecking your fitness plan in the process. Keep at it and you’ll get a little better each year!