Fitness Tips for the Holiday Season

It’s well known that exercise and a balanced diet will keep a person healthy and fit. Unfortunately, as fun as the holidays are, the season from Halloween to New Years gives us plenty of opportunities to forfeit the proper execution of exercise and diet. Parties, relatives in town, and elaborate meals of celebration all lead to a different schedule and way of eating. In preparation for this time of year, I thought it appropriate to share some helpful tips on managing your healthy habits during such a traditionally unhealthy time of year.

1. Beware of sweets!
There is an abundance of cookies, cakes and other sugary snacks at home and work during the holidays. We all crave something sweet now and again but with so many counter-productive treats sitting within arm’s reach, you need to make a conscious effort to control that urge. Try fulfilling that sweet tooth with fruit!

2. Get enough sleep!
Add holiday shopping and parties onto your already busy schedule and sleep is even harder to come by. Help yourself (and those who will be around you) by having a solid time management system. This means you might have to set up your own curfew for late night parties or do more shopping online, but getting as close to eight hours of sleep a night as you can is important for your fitness and overall health.

3. Hydrate!
Cooler weather means dryer weather and we become dehydrated far faster. Make sure to drink plenty of water (especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol).

4. Stay away from the break room!
Co-workers have a tendency to bring in baked goods to share during the holidays. The longer you hang out in the break room and graze the goodies, the more times just “half a cookie” will add up. Do yourself the favor and just avoid being around them at all. Or if you must, already have a healthy snack in hand to keep your taste buds distracted!

5. Stay consistent with your workout routine!
Again, our schedules can get overwhelmed over the holidays with parties and other special activities. It’s vital you keep as close to your normal workouts as possible to keep your body in a regular state. Keeping your endorphins pumped up will keep your mood positive and help get through the stress of the season that could otherwise lead to poor choices.

6. Watch your alcohol intake!
Don’t let all the holiday parties be an excuse to drink more than you usually do. A drink or two spread out over a couple hours is OK for an adult of legal age, but be careful not to get caught up in the holiday spirit in a way that’s going to mess with the other items on this list (good sleep, hydration, healthy eating, consistent workouts).

7. Portion control!
The sight of a buffet style meal has the ability to throw our plate loading skills into overdrive. Be careful to keep healthy portion sizes even if there are triple the amount of choices to choose from.

8. Careful about couch time!
Without question, some of the greatest sporting events are held in the Fall and Winter. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones in attendance you will likely end up watching from the couch or at a sports bar. Consider watching your favorite team while walking on the treadmill or if you end up at a bar, skipping the beers for water and wings for salad. Remember the key is to stay consistent with your regular routine and not over indulge with food or excessive lounging.

9. Wash your hands!
The only thing worse than feeling stressed during the holidays is to get sick in the middle of this time of year. Make sure you wash your hands often… it doesn’t make you weird, it keeps you healthy.

10. Take advantage of the time of year!
Fitness centers and gyms know how to capitalize on the New Year’s goals people will be making, you should too! Check into different places and programs to find the best deals of the year.

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