Getting in Shape for the Holidays
Christmas is a million years away, right? Well, no. It’s really not. Now that summer is behind us, the nights are drawing in, the weather is starting to turn, and Halloween is just around the corner, it won’t be long at all. You might have already noticed shops selling Christmas cards and bloggers publishing holiday gift guides. You might have even started thinking about your own shopping. But, one thing that you might not have thought about is your health and fitness.
So many of us are guilty of saying, “there’s no point now, I’ll wait until after the holidays” or “I’ll start my diet in January.” We stop going to the gym because we’re so busy preparing, and we don’t bother watching what we eat, because we’re going to gain a few pounds over the festive period anyway. This would be alright if the bad habits set in on Christmas Eve and were behind us by the New Year. But, this isn’t often the case. If you are already using Christmas as an excuse, you won’t just gain a few pounds. You’ll lose fitness, and your overindulgence could have a real impact on your health and well-being.
So, why not prepare your body for the holidays instead of using them as an excuse? Make some healthy changes now, get into shape before any seasonal indulgence and you’ll look fantastic in your Christmas party outfits. You won’t have any guilt when you eat all of those mince pies, and you won’t lose any fitness levels that you have built up. You’ll look and feel fantastic, and your confidence will sore.
One of the best ways to get into shape is to exercise. But, you don’t have to make massive changes to burn more calories and use your muscles more. Just walking to and from work instead of driving could make a huge difference.
If you don’t do any kind of regular exercise, this is a great time to start. For the best effects, you should try to do at least three 30 minute cardio workouts a week and some strength training. But, that cardio work is anything that makes your heart beat faster, so a brisk walk counts. Likewise, strength work doesn’t have to mean lifting weights – although weight lifting has many benefits – it could be yoga or Pilates workouts at home.
Then, focus on movements. Stand up, walk to the shops, jog on the spot while you are waiting for the coffee to brew. Take the stairs at work instead of waiting for the lift, get off the bus a stop earlier, or park further from the door. These things sound small, but they all add up.
Eating well doesn’t necessarily mean eating less. In fact, if you cut sugars and unhealthy fats, and eat more healthy proteins and complex carbs, you might find that you actually eat more and feel fuller. While losing weight and improving your health.
Eating well doesn’t have to mean counting calories or following an extreme diet. You don’t need to skip whole food groups or massively limit yourself. You just have to find a balance. Enjoy food, eat healthily, make the right choices, and enjoy treats in moderation. Start eating well now, and you’ll really enjoy any Christmas treats that you indulge in later on.
Set Some Goals
Where do you want to be? Do you want to lose weight? Tone up? Increase your stamina? Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle to decrease your stress-levels or improve your sleep quality? Having goals is a great way to stay on track and motivate yourself. But, when it comes to getting into shape for the holidays, you’ll want to give yourself a break for parties and other events. So, either set small, weekly goals and give yourself a week off, or set a big goal for the end of January so that you’ve got the room for a break.
Drop Some Bad Habits
Don’t wait for January to make a fresh start, or to set yourself some New Year’s Resolutions. If you’ve got something that you want to give up, whether it’s smoking, drinking too much caffeine, or something more serious, do it now. But, don’t try to go it alone. Get help from somewhere like a meth addiction rehab center or your doctor, or just speak to your friends and family, and try to ditch any bad habits for good.
Get into a Routine That Suits Your Lifestyle
Routines are great. They help us to stay on top of things and manage our time. Having a good routine can mean that you find it easier to take care of yourself and that you can manage your stress levels effectively. They can help you to manage your busy lifestyle, and mean that your days go well.
But your routines have to suit your lifestyle. Don’t say that you are going to go for a run every morning before work if it’s not realistic, or if doing it will make your life harder. Develop routines that suit your lifestyle, reduce stress and tension, save you time, help you to get more done, and make your life easier.
Find Exercise You Enjoy
Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you are always putting things off, finding excuses not to work out, or you dread your trips to the gym, you are doing the wrong things. If you really want to get into great shape, find things that you enjoy. Look at team sports in your local area, or set your own team up. Try new things or sports that you enjoyed at school. If you enjoy something, you’ll stick to it, even over the holidays when you’ve got lots to do.
If there’s one thing that’s going to throw all of your hard work out of the window, it’s stress. We’re all guilty of worrying over the holidays because we want everything to be perfect. Then, we panic, and we take comfort in the chocolate box or the wine bottle.
Don’t stress. Don’t just start getting into shape now, start getting organized now too. Start writing shopping lists, write to-do lists, plan ahead, and it’ll be easier. It’s also never too early to start your festive gift shopping. Shopping early means that you can find some great deals and save money. Pounding the pavements shopping will also help you to burn more calories and tone up those legs.
Yoga is a great way to tone your body and relax your mind. It can help you to chill out, release any tension, and clear your mind. Yoga can be good for your digestion, and it might help you to sleep better — practice yoga first thing in the morning to help you to start the day right. Even just a few simple stretches when you get out of bed can be a big help.
Enjoy a Pre-Festivities Detox
One of the biggest causes of weight gain over the holidays isn’t what we eat. It’s what we drink. Most of us are guilty of enjoying more alcohol over the holidays with parties, big meals, and family get-togethers. There’s nothing wrong with this. But, most of the drinks that you enjoy are full of sugar and empty calories. Have a pre-festive detox now in preparation, and your body will be ready for anything that you may throw at it.
Don’t Start Stocking Up on Food
We’ve all done it. Bought boxes of sweets, chocolate, and cookies to “put up for Christmas” only to have eaten them days later. If you want to get into shape for the holidays, don’t bring temptation home.