Thriving Through the Holidays: A Guide to Staying Active and Energized
December 26, 20234 min read
The holiday season stretches from November into December and beyond. It is a time for celebration, joy, and spending quality moments with loved ones. However, it can also be a challenging time to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. With tempting treats, festive feasts, and a busy schedule, staying active during the holidays may seem like a daunting task. This guide will provide you with practical tips and creative ideas to keep you moving, energized, and feeling your best throughout the holiday season.
Embrace Festive Fitness:
Turn holiday gatherings into active events by incorporating fun physical activities. Organize a family walk, a friendly game of touch football, a snowball fight, or a holiday-themed dance party. This not only keeps you active but also creates memorable moments with your loved ones. Partake in holiday runs and races; this can include turkey races around Thanksgiving and polar runs in December. These events are a fun way to get in the holiday spirit and stay healthy during the festive season.
Plan Outdoor Adventures:
Take advantage of the winter weather by engaging in outdoor activities. Whether it's ice skating, skiing, sledding, or a brisk winter hike, there are numerous ways to enjoy the season while staying active. Invite friends and family to join in the fun. It's a great way to bond and create lasting memories.
The holiday season is busy, so it's essential to set achievable fitness goals. Whether it's committing to a certain number of workouts per week or aiming for a specific step count, having realistic goals will help you stay on track without feeling overwhelmed. This may include how many parties you can attend while still looking after your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. It is important to prioritize self-care and make choices that align with your overall well-being. This may include setting boundaries and knowing when to say no. It's okay to put yourself first and prioritize your own needs over the holidays. This can mean pockets of solitude and alone time to recharge and take care of yourself amidst the busyness and demands of the holiday season.
Incorporate Quick Workouts:
Time can be short during the holidays, and working out may be the first thing that you eliminate from your schedule. Incorporate quick and effective workouts into your daily routine. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions, bodyweight exercises, and quick cardio bursts can be done in as little as 15-20 minutes, making it easier to stay active even on the busiest days. You may find it helpful to plan your workouts in advance and usebands, towels, or body weight as resistance for added intensity while travelling. Consistency is key, so make sure to schedule regular workout sessions and stick to them.
Make It a Family Affair:
Encourage your family to join you in staying active. Plan group activities, such as nature walks, bike rides, building snowmen, snowshoeing, sledding, or even a friendly competition. Not only does this promote a healthy lifestyle, but it also fosters a sense of togetherness during the holiday season. You could also play board games, build puzzles, or participate in activities that don't revolve around eating and drinking over the holidays. This can bring everyone closer and create new core memories.
Mindful Eating Habits:
While staying active is crucial, maintaining healthy eating habits is equally important. Practice mindful eating by savouring each bite, choosing smaller portions, and being conscious of your food choices. This balance will help you enjoy holiday treats without feeling guilty. Try to focus on balance and moderation in everything. It is not uncommon for the average American to gain seven to ten pounds over the holiday season. Being mindful of the solid and liquid calories you consume in addition to partaking in some form of physical activity regularly can help reduce the creep that can happen over the holiday season.
Amidst the festivities, it's easy to forget to stay hydrated. Make a conscious effort to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated not only supports overall health but also helps control appetite and maintain energy levels. Water is important for hydration, and depending on what activities you are engaging in, it may be beneficial to include electrolytes in your daily routine. Including electrolytes in your daily routine can help replenish the minerals lost through sweating and other physical activities. This can help maintain proper hydration and support optimal energy levels.
A well-rested body is more likely to stay active. Ensure you prioritize sleep during the holiday season, aiming for seven to nine hours each night. Quality sleep contributes to a better mood, increased energy, and improved overall well-being. This can help you keep your energy up during the day. Sleep is important to help regulate mood and hunger signals and to give the body an opportunity to recover and heal from the day. There are studies that suggest that not getting sufficient quality sleep can cause memory issues and impair cognitive function. In fact, chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher risk of developing various health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Work to ensure that you are getting enough quality sleep during the busy holiday season.
Navigating the holiday season while staying active is not only possible but can also enhance your overall enjoyment of this special time of year. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you'll find a balance between indulging in festive delights and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. Remember, it's all about making mindful choices and creating a holiday season that nourishes both your body and spirit. Cheers to a joyful and active holiday season!
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