Happy Monday! Have you started celebrating Christmas yet? You know what I mean by celebrating, right? Have you had your favorite peppermint chip shake, your gingerbread spice latte, or a big mug of hot cocoa with marshmallows? Have you nibbled on Christmas cookies, whipped up a batch of fudge (and licked the pan???) or enjoyed a warm cranberry orange muffin with your tea? Yeah, that kind of celebrating! That’s what I thought. Me, too. So I thought this would be a good day to share some tips for staying fit through the holidays…while modeling a cute outfit, of course. Ha!
Not only do treats abound during the holidays, but it also gets seasonably cold and wet outside. Add to that the stress of decorating and shopping – and social distancing & sanitizing & masking! – and it’s especially challenging to stay fit and healthy at this time of year. Yes, our stress level really does play a major role in our ability lose or maintain weight.
But it’s not impossible to stay fit this time of year. Let’s see if we can get through the holidays this year and still feel good about our health, our waistline and our fitness level.
Tip #1 – Grab the green every chance you get.
I’m learning to opt for a side salad instead of the customary fries, a side of steamed broccoli instead of the creamy casserole or an apple instead of the baguette at Panera. Yeah, I’d rather have the heavy starch, but if I can give a little here and eat the green vegetable or fresh fruit instead, I can enjoy the other yummy things at the appropriate times without guilt.
Tip #2 – Drink a lot. A lot of water, that is!
With so many more merry options during the holidays, it’s easy to slack up on our H2O consumption. But drinking plenty of water helps keep our bodies well hydrated so we can fight illness, digest our food more easily, keep our joints and muscles healthy and keep our skin more vibrant. Make a plan to drink at least half an ounce of water for each pound you weigh. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should try to drink about 75 ounces of water each day.
Tip #3 – Plan ahead to treat yourself…and wait for it.
There are certain goodies I just “have to have” to feel like I’ve celebrated the holidays. I want some rich, chocolatey fudge, something spiked with cranberries and oranges, a few traditional Christmas cookies and my favorite sausage and cheese balls. If I plan ahead to treat myself to each of these in moderation I don’t feel like I have grab all the things every chance I get. Instead I can exercise a little self-discipline each day in anticipation of the well-deserved and hard-earned treats. I generally spread the indulgences out over the course of the holidays so I don’t feel sluggish and stuffed from too much all at once.
Tip #4 – Hold on tight to healthy habits.
Undoubtedly you, like me, have worked hard to establish some healthy habits like exercising regularly, awaking at the same time each day, going for a walk each evening or ceasing from eating at a certain time. I encourage us to cling to those cultivated habits even as the days become less predictable. Yes, we can give ourselves some grace when we diverge from them a little. But let’s just get right back on the wagon if we fall off.
Tip #5 – Sleep it off.
Quality sleep is so important to our health. In fact, if you don’t get the sleep your body needs, it will begin to hold onto fat instead of burning it. Plus, sleep helps us to handle stress and fight infection. Make an effort to go to bed and arise at your regular times whenever possible. And don’t forget to settle in for a long winter’s nap occasionally, too.
Tip #6 – Pick a number and hit it daily.
Goals help us to reach our ideals more frequently and consistently. Pick your number and aim to hit it every day. Each day you could aim to achieve one or more of these:
- take a 30 minute walk
- get in 10,000 steps
- dance to 5 songs
- crank out 100 crunches
- jog 2 miles
- pump out 50 push-ups
- jump rope for 15 minutes
Tip #7 – Take a walk!
If you don’t have time to get to the gym or take a full class, you can still get in a good workout with a simple walk around the neighborhood. And if you don’t feel up to a jog, it’s quite okay to walk instead. A 30 minute brisk walk is enough to keep your joints more limber, work out your heart and even change your perspective.
Tip #8 – Team up.
I’m a firm believer in the benefits of accountability. Be forthcoming and invite a friend or family member to help you stay on track. Check in with each other each day or once a week, encouraging each other with exercise, good nutrition and other healthy habits.
Tip #9 – Get outside, even if it’s cold.
Well that sounds simple enough. But as the weather gets colder and wetter the idea becomes a little more daunting. But a daily walk of just 30 minutes could be enough to keep weight gain at bay and your immune system in check. So purchase the cold-weather garments and accessories you’ll need to get out there in the elements. It’s worth 30 minutes to breathe fresh air and get your legs moving.
Tip #10 – Make a plan and work the plan.
Even if you need to adapt your current fitness plan to work a little better for you during the holiday season, it’s important to keep working a plan. Otherwise, one day off the plan turns into two turns into four turns into a week. (I know because it happened to me last week!)
The FASTer Way to Fat Loss has helped me develop personal plans in the areas of nutrition and fitness that work for me. Plus it provides the accountability I need. I got back on the wagon this weekend, and I’ll be sticking to my plan from here on out. I encourage you to have some sort of plan in place, especially as we approach the new year. And if you’d like to know more about the FASTer Way, just ask me or check out their website here.
Bonus Tip – Have fun!
Forget “exercise” and go have some fun instead. Take a hike in the snow. Try ice skating or cross country skiing. Dance to the oldies in your living room. Invite a friend to join you for a walk in a nearby park. Take a thermos of hot cocoa to enjoy midway. And then have some more fun the next day!
Thanks so much for stopping in today. I hope you got a little fitness and fashion inspiration. And I wish you a healthy and safe holiday season. Christmas blessings!
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Blessed for My Day
Zechariah blessed his newborn son John with a commissioning and a prayer of praise for what God was going to do through him. I love that He praised “the tender mercy of our God.” Indeed, it was out of mercy that God sent His only Son to “visit us.” And as the Scripture says, He shines His light on those who sin in darkness and the shadow of death, and He guides our feet into the way of peace.
That’s exactly what this world is desperate for, don’t you think? We need the Light of the world to enlighten the dark crevices of our world, giving hope to those who sit in the shadow of death, separated from their Creator by their sin. Also we need Him to light the way to true peace. We may try to placate and pander peace, but only Jesus, the Prince of Peace, can give people true peace – within, with their God and with their fellow man. This Christmas let’s celebrate the hope and peace and joy that Jesus brings.
“Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.” ~ Luke 1:78-79