How To Maintain Your Fitness During The Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! …Or is it?

The holiday season is upon us, which means the next few weeks will be busy with family, get-togethers, holiday parties and more. While this time is typically full of holiday cheer, gifts, snow, and joy, it can also mean a lot of food, alcohol, and sweet treats. You’ll also likely be busy running around Christmas shopping, last minute gifts, planning for events, dealing with visiting family, figuring out what to cook, etc, there’s not a lot of time in your schedule to accommodate fitness. Combined with the fact that it’s colder and gets darker faster this time of year, evening gym sessions are harder to get to.

So how can we enjoy the holidays without losing out on all the previous months of hard work we have been putting into our fitness? As our schedules become more packed, it gets easier to let things go and skip the gym. Here are 4 tips to help you maintain your fitness plan around the holidays.

1. Cook At Home As Much As Possible

Chances are, you’ll be eating out a lot this month. Chances also are that the food you’ll eat at these restaurants and holiday parties may not be the most healthy. Try to offset this by cooking healthy meals at home as much as possible. By eating well at home, you won’t feel as guilty about having a little extra or eating more decadently than usual when you go out. As a bonus, you’ll also likely end up saving a bit more money by cooking at home too.

It’ll be a good idea to hit the grocery stores and stock up on healthy foods and snacks. There will be many times when you feel too tired or worn out to cook a full meal. By having a stash of fruits, vegetables, and healthy snacks, you can still maintain a healthy nutrient intake during this healthy season.

2. Portion Control

It’s definitely okay to let loose a little and indulge in some holiday treats. But be careful not to overindulge! These holiday treats, while often delicious, are typically not very nutritious. Practice portion control to prevent going overboard. At social events, try to pace yourself when enjoying holiday goodies. Seek out healthier options, like fruit or the veggie platter in between. Enjoy the more delectable treats in moderation. Take small portions, and take your time to savor each bite. The slower you eat, the fuller and more satisfied you will feel.

3. Drink Wisely

It’s important to watch your alcohol intake during this time. As with the food, pace your consumption of drinks at parties. Make sure you’ve had enough to eat before having your first drink so you’re not drinking on an empty stomach. Having food in your stomach will slow the effects of alcohol intoxication. You may also want to wait an hour between drinks, or alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Watch out for sugary cocktails and punch bowls, which may be loaded with unnecessary calories. And make sure to stay hydrated with water!

4. Maintain a Modified Routine

While it may be difficult to maintain your usual routine, you can still find other options to keep your fitness in check. Some alternative could be to take what you’ve learned at the gym or training sessions and work out at home. Or you could plan events with friends or family that involve a little bit of exercise, like taking a short hike or walking around to look at Christmas decorations. Many cities have holiday-themed events like races or mini marathons you can participate in. If you’re in an area with snow, you could plan an outdoor play day with snow-related games and activities. Try to plan these workouts or activities ahead of time and make it a priority.