Tips and tricks for maintaining your fitness throughout the holidays

As the holidays approach we are all faced with office parties, family parties and gatherings with close friends. Although these celebrations can make staying on track with fitness and nutrition a challenge, the key is to map out a plan before the holidays arrive. With all the additional stresses this time of year can bring, it is more important than ever to keep up with your workouts, not only to zap the extra calories from calorically dense foods, but also to burn off holiday stress.

If you are someone who typically takes the time 2-3 days per week to get your workouts in, perhaps the first thing you may want to do in your planning is to sit down with your calendar and look at other obligations and actually write in your workouts. Once they are in ink, your workouts should hold as much presidente as your holiday party. Treat these like a dentist appointment and make sure they are not missed. The workouts that are written in your calendar should also serve as a reminder to fuel your body with proper nutrients to support your activity. 

If you find that making it to the gym is not the issue, but making the most of what little time you have is, consider condensing your workouts and adding 1-3 minute cardio intervals to make the most out of your calorie burning time. Full body circuits or those that include at least three muscle groups will allow a complete workout and the added intervals will keep your heart rate up and equate to increased calorie burn. This can eliminate the need for a separate cardiovascular workout when you are in a time crunch.

In addition to maintaining a fitness program during the holidays, nutrition is the other piece that will help keep you fit in spite of the celebrations. Although this time of year does center largely around social eating and drinking there are a few strategies that you may want to consider before attending your next holiday function. Going in with a plan will help you avoid overeating that results in weight gain. The following are a few tips for enjoying the spread without paying for it later…

  • About 1-1 1/2 hours before your party plan to have a small healthy snack such as yogurt & fruit, or a piece of fruit and a small serving of cheese, so that you do not go into the party starving.
  • When you approach a buffet select a few small indulgences, but reserve 3/4 of the plate for healthy options such as shrimp cocktail, fresh fruit & cheese.
  • Do not take more than one trip to the buffet.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption & drink a glass of water in between cocktails if you have more than one. (Remember the nutrient sparing effects of alcohol)
  • If there is a traditional dish or dessert that only comes around this time of year that you look forward to do not pass it over, but sacrifice other treats that may be around throughout the year.
  • Remember this is not going to be the last meal you ever eat. You do not have to stuff yourself to the point of a “food coma”!
  • On Thanksgiving & Christmas morning get out for a nice long walk or jog with friends and family. If there is snow on the ground get out and play with the kids or go ice skating. Make memories that center around an activity together rather than just a meal.

Enjoy this coming Holiday Season, but don’t give yourself extra pounds for weeks/months to come to remember them by. Happy Holidays from Evolution Fitness!

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