Avoid the Holiday Fitness Slump
With the final few months of the year comes cooler weather and plenty of holiday festivities, making it twice as hard to stick to health and fitness-related goals. It can be difficult to stay motivated when holiday celebrations, opportunities for travel and delicious home-cooked meals are calling your name. Many of us end up giving into holiday temptation and ultimately fall into a cycle of only focusing on our nutrition and physique once the holidays are over and the weather is at its warmest.
What if we all ditched the “New year, new me” and #summerbody mindset and stuck to our fitness goals year-round? Find out how below:
Have a plan
Where your health and wellness are concerned, you can’t go through life simply winging it. Do yourself a favor and take the time to research healthy eating habits and workouts for all skill levels so you build a foundation of knowledge from which you can work toward your year-round goals.
Research meal plans and recipes that include foods you enjoy, as well as quick meal ideas for when you’re short on time. Keep your go-to nutritional snacks stocked at all times, especially when traveling. If you can’t resist the temptation of a holiday food spread entirely, set a goal to only serve yourself smaller portions of your favorite dishes, rather than piling on large portions of every single option.
Save your favorite workouts to your smartphone or print or write them out, so you have them as a reference. Can’t make it to the gym or you usually exercise outdoors but the weather isn’t cooperating? Not a problem, because you’ve got an at-home workout saved. Is your calendar filling up with holiday obligations, leaving you pressed for time? Don’t sweat it because you’ve saved short, 15- to 30-minute exercises that you can do anywhere. If you’re feeling unmotivated to exercise for one reason or another, not having the added mental strain of planning out your workout will make you more likely to get it done.
Throughout the year, we always seem to have to make time to take on more work, catch up on our favorite shows or see what’s trending on social media, but if our fitness routine falls off track, we simply say, “I didn’t have time.” During the holidays, we’re quick to point to social obligations and travel as the main excuse.
Your health and wellness should be a top priority year-round, as consistency is key to leading a happier, healthier life. Put some thought into your goals, but don’t just focus on what you want to look like. Think about how you want to feel and what it will take to get there. Make a plan and stick to it for 10 days, then 30 days, then 60 days, then over the holidays and see how much closer you are to what you envisioned. Before you know it, it’s no longer a diet or a fitness challenge – it’s a lifestyle; it’s your healthy, active lifestyle.
Make it fun
In order to maintain your healthy, active lifestyle, you’ve got to enjoy it, not dread it.
- Avoid making your regimen a punishment. Don’t overexercise just because you missed a workout, and, likewise, don’t skip meals because you previously overindulged. Strive for balance.
- Find a routine that works for you, enlist an accountability partner and pump each other up. As we’ve established, holidays can make it tough to stay on track, so lean on each other for support and extra motivation.
- Mix up your workouts by exercising in new locations like the beach or a park, or by trying new classes that you look forward to.
- Celebrate achievements! Acknowledge your hard work with non-food rewards like going out to see a movie, treating yourself to new workout gear or investing in a new personal blender for your healthy shakes.