The holiday season often means indulging in turkey, eggnog, festive cookies, and more. You may also cut back on your fitness routine, or even abandon it entirely as the weather cools. You probably have more demands on your time with shopping, parties, and other holiday activities, so fitting in a workout can be more difficult.
Instead of falling off the fitness wagon, there are several ways to stay on track. The following tips can help you keep up your fitness routine and avoid overeating during the holiday season:
How to stay fit
- Take your exercise inside: If you’re used to running, walking, or biking outside, you can take your fitness routine indoors. Try a treadmill or stationary bike, or visit a gym that has an indoor track or pool.
- Set a goal: Setting a mid-winter goal can help keep you focused and on track during the holidays. Try finding a winter-themed 5k or fun run to train for, or join a group fitness class you’ve always wanted to try.
- Take part in a cold-weather sport: Winter sports can provide a great cardiovascular workout while also working on your core or leg muscles. Balance can also be improved when you try skiing, skating, or another winter sport.
- Do a short workout when necessary: Consistency is key when it comes to fitness, so if you have only a few minutes, devote that time to a quick workout instead of giving up your exercise routine entirely.
- Invite your guests to join in: If you’re hosting guests, invite them to bring comfortable workout clothes and join you for a brisk walk or other activity.
How to avoid overeating
- Watch what you drink: Mixed cocktails, eggnog, and sugary sodas add a lot of empty calories to your diet, and they don’t fill you up as much as food does.
- Eat some protein before a party: Starving yourself before a party just sets you up for overeating. Instead, eat a healthy snack with plenty of protein – such as Greek yogurt with fruit – before the party so you’ll feel fuller when you arrive and will be less likely to make poor food choices.
- Stay hydrated: If you think you’re hungry, you may actually be thirsty. Drink plenty of water each day, and if you’re about to be tempted by a huge holiday meal, drink a glass or two beforehand to help fill you up.
- Splurge on special days – but not the entire season: You can eat more on Thanksgiving and on a few other special holidays, and you probably won’t ruin your healthy eating habits. Avoid overindulging over into the weeks and months ahead.
- Bring a healthy dish: If you’ve been invited to a meal at a friend’s or relative’s home, bring a healthy dish you love so you have something guilt-free to indulge in.