How to Balance Your Health During the Holiday Season: Part 1 – Staying Active
Autumn is here, though it may not quite feel like it yet – more importantly, we’re heading into that long holiday stretch where we face two to three months of increased temptation in the form of delicious treats and family feasts. While nature is winding down for a winter rest, our lives are just ramping up as we try to balance our schedules, holiday events, and family get-togethers.
Additionally, if you’re the type of person who cares about your health and weight, the next few months pose an even bigger challenge: one that tests your commitment to healthy eating and keeping the pounds off in spite of a packed schedule with endless parties and food.
Luckily, you’re not in this alone. We’ve got your back with an assortment of tips and tactics to balance your health goals against food temptations around every corner and limited time for exercise.
Creating a Calorie Deficit
One thing that people need to understand about maintaining a healthy weight is that it’s not just about calories, it’s about the type of calories and also how you generate a calorie deficit.
Anyone can starve themselves, but that type of crash dieting only leads to bigger problems and eventual weight gain when your body throws itself into starvation mode (holding onto your fat rather than metabolizing it).
The best way to create a calorie deficit and lose weight is by burning more than you eat… burning being the key word. This is where exercise comes into the picture, which can be incredibly useful with the elevated calorie counts of the holiday season.
How to Exercise During the Holiday Season
However, this time of year leaves us with very little time for ourselves – so how in the world can you take the time to exercise while meeting all your various commitments? We’ve got three straightforward tips for you.
1. Stick to your schedule.
Yes, the holidays are jam-packed, and there are a ton of people and things demanding your precious attention. But throwing out your entire schedule in a panic will only make things worse and add to your stress levels.
Don’t let your schedule control you. You control your schedule.
Sure, there may be days where you have to cut your workout or run a little short, but stay with the routine that has gotten you where you are.
Your workout will actually help you feel more energized in the long run!
2. Get creative.
I know this is a time of year when it feels like there just isn’t enough time. There will be days you have to do a quick edit of your routine, even while largely sticking with your schedule.
How do you stay active?
Gyms are great, but honestly not necessary – especially when they mean you have to take even more time with travel just to achieve your workout routine. You can burn off plenty of calories doing other activities.
Try walking meetings.
If you spend time on the phone – but don’t have to be tethered to a computer screen – take that meeting outdoors! Not only will you get stuff done, but you’ll fit in some steps along the way. Too cold outdoors? Find a place in your office building that won’t bother others, or take the stairs.
Believe it or not, you can burn off 200+ calories with just one 30-minute walk!
Try home workouts.
There are plenty of free, simple, and effective workouts you can download on your smartphone or watch on demand. Pick a quick 20 to 30-minute routine and smash your activity goals without leaving the house.
You can also take your furry friend for a stroll. (Hey, pets need exercise too!) Why not kill two birds with one stone? Unless your pet is a bird, in which case we apologize for the wording.
3. Wear a fitness tracker.
It’s so much easier to stay on point when you have some accountability. Wearing something as simple as a fitness tracker can help you stay on top of your activity levels throughout the day. Even better, many of them will remind you when you haven’t moved enough in a set period of time.
These three simple tips should help you keep your activity levels and calorie burning up as we head into the last three months of the year. If you need even more help managing your diet, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for support!