It’s the holiday season and that means that your calendar is probably jam-packed with various Christmas parties and family reunions. During these times, it is easy to get caught in the celebration that you forget the fitness program you have been following. It is especially hard here in the Philippines, where Christmas is a month-long celebration.
In order to not waste the hard work you have put in throughout the year, it is important to stay disciplined, watch what you eat, and stay active. You can also follow these tips to keep your body in tiptop shape even during the holidays:
Fitness Program During the Holidays
Eat Before Heading Out
Every holiday celebration – whether it be with workmates, friends, or family members- involves food. To avoid overeating in these gatherings, it will help if you eat something before going, because you will no longer be tempted to eat more than you should.
Eat Less and More Often
During the holidays, you might have the urge to eat more than you usually do. It will help you if you distribute your meals throughout the day. It is okay to eat 5 meals in one day, as long as you keep the portions small. If it is possible, eat dinner early and have a walk before sleeping.
Avoid Skipping Meals
At some point during the holidays, you might consider skipping a meal to make up for the big one you ate the day before. It does not work as well as you might be thinking. In fact, skipping meals makes you consume more food when you eat. Also, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” still works during the holidays, to refrain your body from feeling hungry.
Enjoy the Holidays
You don’t have to restrain yourself from enjoying meals during the holidays just to stay fit. Just make sure you are consuming food in moderation. It is also crucial to keep in mind to indulge yourself for a night, not the whole season. Even though Christmas is a month-long celebration, it doesn’t mean you should indulge for that long. For sure there will be a lot of leftovers; you can still enjoy them in small portions.
Select What You Eat
There are certain types of food that we cannot wait for the holidays just to eat them, such as Christmas ham, Queso De Bola, or even Lechon. It is okay to enjoy these things in moderation. Also, choose food that you can only enjoy during the holiday season, not something that you can easily eat anytime in the year; that way you are lessening your food consumption while enjoying seasonal treats.
Drink in Moderation
Any celebration normally includes drinking. It might be hard, but make sure to regulate your drinking this holiday season. Regulate not only your alcohol intake but also refrain from drinking soft drinks and other juices, as they add more calories to the food you are already eating.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is still, if not more, important during the holidays. Water can help you control your eating and satisfy your appetite. A large glass of water before a meal, especially a big and calorie-rich one, can lessen the amount of food you consume. In times where you can’t help but drink a little too much, water can get you through a bad hangover and flush off some of the alcohol out of your system.
Due to the amount of food you might be consuming over the holidays, it is important to keep moving. It is still possible to squeeze in small parts of your fitness program in your busy schedule; you just have to be creative. It can be simple squat exercises or even just walking and pacing around. You can also incorporate your holiday activities into your fitness program. Shopping for gifts or playing with a younger member of your family can be a form of exercise.
Set Realistic Goals
Christmas is a hectic time for anyone. It is filled with preparations and festivities, which makes it difficult to have a set fitness program that you usually do. So, it is important to adapt your routine to your schedule and set realistic objectives. Achieving at least half an hour exercise every day can be fulfilling considering your packed schedule. Also, you need to be self-aware of the things that can derail you from your routine and consider them when setting your goals.
Plan Your Workout
More or less, you now have an idea of how your schedule during the holidays will be. Start planning your fitness program throughout the season, and squeeze exercise whenever you can. More importantly, do not leave your strength workouts behind, so that you can maintain the muscle mass you worked hard getting. Still, expect last-minute changes to your plan to make way for other Christmas activities. However, no matter how busy you might be, make sure to have ample time of sleep to get you through all the festivities.
Of course, staying fit and planning a fitness program during the holiday season is easier said than done. At the end of the day, it is Christmas, and if there is a time in the year that you can have a pass on not thinking about your diet and workout, it’s now. So if you find yourself being too caught up in the spirit of the holidays, there are still ways to get back in shape after. Follow these tips to bring back that pre-December body you had:
Fitness Program After the Holidays
Create an Exercise Plan
After taking a break from working out, your body needs time to adjust to get back to a routine. No matter how intense your fitness program was before the holidays begin with shorter and lighter exercises, increasing time and intensity later on. If you don’t have a specific regimen before, this is a perfect time to start. Create a workout plan that suits your schedule, goals, and, most importantly, your overall health.
Alter Eating Habits
Just like your workout routine, slowly change your diet into a healthier one. You might have not followed your usual eating patterns during the holidays; eating fiber-rich foods can get your digestion back on track. Include foods rich in good carbohydrates, fats, and protein into your diet, to aid your body while working out. Also, refrain from eating out; making your own meals gives you more control of the nutrients your body is getting.
It is still important to set objectives for your fitness program. Set small and attainable goals that can help you stay motivated to continue working out. If you meet a goal, you can reward yourself with a rest day to avoid overexertion. It is important to keep a regular sleeping pattern to recharge your body. Though, avoid cheat days early on to your plan, and stick to your diet for a period of time.
Stretch and Hydrate
When you are returning to working out from a period of inactivity, it is crucial to prepare your body first. Stretching can help to loosen up your muscles and avoid injuries from the exercise. Also, stay hydrated to help your body’s system to function properly.
Listen to Your Body
Before planning any fitness program, it is crucial to know your body’s limits. Base your workout routine and diet to what your body can handle, and don’t push yourself too hard.