How to Survive and Thrive the 2018 Holidays

The holiday season is a wonderful and magical time for many! For many it means family and friends gathering together and holiday foods to enjoy. Anticipation of the holidays… can bring joy and trepidation especially if you are on a diet or exercise plan.

If you are on a weight loss or exercise plan you may be afraid of being derailed. You do not have to disappoint yourself. Planning and flexibility can ensure that you stay on course, and still enjoy your traditional holiday celebrations.
In this article I will discuss how to enjoy the holidays and not undo what you have accomplished.

Identify Your Challenges

Identification of the troublesome times is the first step. The additional parties and holiday foods along with the schedule changes are what cause the most problems. Planning can circumvent any disasters. Make Plans Not Excuses. Plan ahead and don’t go to the gatherings hungry. Offer to bring healthy fare, and pay attention to serving size.

Plan to participate in an even or a race immediately after the holidays can make it easier to not make excuses to skip the work out.

Incorporate more intentional activity (NEAT) during your work day. This can free up your evenings to attend evening functions.

Be Flexible

Change your focus to a “maintain not gain” mentality rather than a “weight loss” focus will help. Balance is the key to maintaining. On the days you know you will be indulging in your favorite pie, have a lighter lunch. You can’t out exercise bad food choices, but you can ensure that you stay active.

One easy change that you can make involves the type of exercise you choose. Consider adding some HIIT to your week. HIIT is high intensity interval training. You can do this by warming up for 3-5 minutes, then running, or doing squats, or performing jumping jacks, as fast as you can for 30-60 seconds with a 60-90 second recovery. Perform this burst and recovery 5-6 times with a 3-5 min warm down. Each burst should leave you breathless. Each recovery should result in breathing ease. Make it a goal to perform HIIT 1-2 times a week. It is a short and fantastic addition to your regular work out, or as a substitute. HIIT work outs are time savers.

Other ideas to simply increase your activity would be to take the stairs, choose the farthest parking space, and use a shopping basket rather than a cart at the grocery store. Organize standing meetings at work by removing all of the chairs from the conference room. Choose to use the farthest restroom at work to increase your steps. Be creative.

Another option would be to purchase a gym membership. This may be the way to stay engaged in your exercise routine. Or a new home gym can also be an option. If you don’t want to invest in expensive home gym equipment, then even just a set of dumbbells and a yoga mat would be a perfect start. It doesn’t have to break the bank. A mini trampoline is available at Academy for under $50. Did you know a 20 minute rebounder workout has been shown to be equivalent to an hour run? Having the equipment at home could mean the difference between no work out and a 20 minute work out!

Safety Measures are in Order

Cooler weather makes it easier to spend more time outside. Walking is the simplest and easiest form of exercise there is. A brisk 10 minute walk after each meal is a great alternative, this is 30 minutes total.

As the weather gets cooler, running and walking can more easily be done outside. Being outside in the fall means a few safety precautions will be needed. With fall comes the time change which means it gets darker earlier and extra precaution should be taken. Reflective clothing, running in lighted areas and even wearable lights are great additions to your safety gear.

Here’s Your Plan

1. Don’t make excuses make plans
2. Plan a run or event to participate in AFTER the holidays
3. Don’t go to Thanksgiving or Christmas functions hungry
4. Focus on “MAINTAIN DON’T GAIN” rather than losing weight during this time
5. Give yourself options
a. Change the type or duration of your work outs
b. Increase intentional daily movement
c. Purchase a winter gym membership
d. Organize a home gym
6. Make your health a priority

Holiday schedules and feasting do not have to derail your efforts. Stay focused, don’t make excuses and continue to give your health high priority. No one else can make your choices for you. The holiday season does not have to be a time that causes worry and dread. Keep your focus, plan and maintain your weight this 2018 holiday season. Be kind to yourself and keep your health a priority all year long!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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