With family obligations, traveling, and delicious meals, it's no surprise that belt lines tend to expand and gyms are packed after New Year's. The holidays are typically a time when people fall short in the gym and slack off from their typical routines leading to muscle loss, weight gain, and a strong desire to get back on track in the weight room once January rolls around. Staying inspired during the holiday season can be hard. Having motivation all the time is impossible in itself, but staying inspired at least for a little while every day is very important to achieving your fitness and life goals.
The good news: You aren’t destined to gain the holiday pounds. In fact, with the right program in place and proper planning, you can maintain your fitness levels while still enjoying time with the family. Follow these steps to stay on track throughout the holiday season and avoid backtracking with your health and fitness.
1. Drink a glass of water- Drinking a full glass of water every day when you wake up will help you start the day fresh. Try to drink one before lunch and dinner, as well as throughout the day.
2. Move and Sweat- Daily exercise boosts your energy level, improves your mood, and relieves stress. Find time between shopping, traveling, and family visits to exercise. Maybe you can't keep up with your current workout during the holidays but 30 minutes of any exercise is better than none.
You may not be able to squeeze in one single workout a day, you can use smaller and shorter workouts throughout the day to get a workout in. For instance, every hour starting from 8AM until 8PM, perform 20 push-ups and 20 bodyweight squats in as few sets as possible. By the end of the day, you'll have done 260 reps of each!
3. Get some sleep- When you get enough rest, you will have more energy to do things that make you happy.
Plan Your Day
1. Top 3 Tasks List- your tasks for each day so that you can have three accomplished things each day. Now, I don't know how successful a list consisting of shopping, more shopping, and wrapping gifts will be, but maybe working out, eating a healthy dinner, and catching up at work are more realistic.
2. 50/10 Rule- This one is for your life/work goals. Work on an important task for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break to refocus.
3. Reflect Daily- End every day with a 10 minute reflection and positive self-evaluation. Try to even give yourself constructive criticism that you can build off of.
1. Reading- Reading increases your knowledge, which in turn keeps you inspired and your mind working towards creativity.
2. Browse- Find new ways to learn by watching tutorials and Youtube videos introducing new ideas and research.
3. Brainstorm- Don’t be afraid to discuss your goals and plans with others. Brainstorming may even lead you to a new workout partner or someone willing to join that new yoga class with you.
Focus on what makes you happy
1. Express Gratitude- Try to turn the negative into positive. For example, when your favorite in-law (cough cough) strikes the wrong nerve, try to find a way to see it in a positive light.
2. Indulge in your favorite things- No, I'm not talking about egg nog or all those cookies meant for Santa! Enjoy your family favorite dishes but keep your end goal in mind. Don’t eat just to eat, or because you're bored and may be procrastinating. If you have time off you can always indulge in a yoga class or take that hike you have always wanted to do.
A cornucopia of family obligations, work parties, and last-minute shopping means that hitting the gym often gets delayed or crossed off the schedule altogether. Not this year! There are 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, and we’re determined to make the most of them. So instead of crossing out the workout, cross out that extra cookie and you'll be set for the New Year!
Tesa is new to blogging, but hopes to make a big impact with her vast knowledge of athletics and experience. Tesa recently earned her bachelor's degree at the Pennsylvania State University. While majoring in Athletic Training and minoring in psychology, she worked with various division one collegiate sports teams. Tesa is continuing her education by pursuing her Master's of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in sports pedagogy at The Louisiana State University. Tesa is a board certified Athletic Trainer and a Performance Enhancement Specialist. Outside of the training room, Tesa enjoys going on runs and working out for leisure.
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