The holidays are a fantastic time of the year. Christmas lights go up. Delicious foods are everywhere. Gifts are flying. It’s amazing! Yet, we all know how the story ends. January comes around, nothing fits, and it’s time to start setting new fitness goals. Things don’t have to be this way though. There are many ways to sneak fitness into the holidays with little effort. This way, when January rolls around, there’s less work to do and we can focus on other things. However, below are some of the time-tested ways to have fun but stay fitter through the festive season.
ASK FOR WORKOUT CLOTHES AS GIFTS: Everybody knows that it’s more fun to exercise in new workout clothes. So, ask for new sneakers and gym clothes for Christmas. They will help you to feel more motivated to achieve your fitness goals in the new year.
GO TO STORES TO SHOP: Instead of shopping online, physically go to shops to do all your holiday shopping. All that walking around adds up quickly! If you want to take things a step further, you can even wear a pedometer to see how many steps you’re taking. Just like that, you have a perfectly valid excuse to shop and be merry!
PICK MEAT OVER JOLLOF RICE: Here’s a little secret that fitness models and bodybuilders know. Protein is much more filling than carbohydrates. Take advantage of this by serving (and eating) your meat first. This will fill you up and force you to eat much less jollof rice (which is more likely to be stored as fat).
PLAY ROUGH WITH YOUR LITTLE COUSINS: My little cousins love nothing more than to ride on my back and play horsey. It’s the best cardio out there. If you have young cousins or little children, engage them in rough play. They’ll love you more and you’ll get your cardio in without even thinking about it.
EXPLORE THE AIRPORT – WALK AROUND: Most of us will be traveling during the holidays. Take advantage of the sprawling space at the airport or bus terminal. Walk around, browse the magazine stands, play on the escalators. All that moving around adds up fast!
SET A GOAL TO DRINK MORE WATER: By using an Apple app called Productive, you can build any habit. A good habit to work on during the holidays is the habit of drinking water. The water helps the body better deal with the sudden influx of sugar from cake and other treats.
MAKE YOUR OWN JUNK FOOD: We can all agree that it is almost impossible to avoid snacks during the holidays. So, instead of fighting a losing battle, make your own snacks. This way, you can control the sugar and make healthy substitutions. This kind of balance is helpful so you can be naughty but not too naughty.
TRAVEL WITH YOUR OWN SNACKS: Still on the travel/snack theme, travel with your own snacks. This is particularly crucial if you will be traveling by road. It’s just too easy to get sucked into the black hole of junk food on the road. You’ll feel much better about making good choices if you have your own snacks on the go. A small bag of nuts or pre-chopped fruits work well for this purpose.
ADD A 5-MINUTE WORKOUT DRILL TO YOUR PRE-PARTY ROUTINE: The best part of the holidays is definitely all the fun parties – no question about it. A good way to make sure you can turn all the way up is to do a 5-minute workout before heading out. Here are some good examples:
- 5 minutes on your treadmill
- 5 minutes of jump rope
- 5 minutes of jumping jacks
- 5 minutes of squats
Remember that every little bit counts.
LAUGH AND HAVE FUN: Laughter is not only free, but also a great stress reliever. The less stressed you are, the less stress-eating you’ll indulge in. Take the opportunity to enjoy your friends, family and life. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Armed with these super simple tips above, you’ll be ready to take on the holidays! But don’t forget my CHICKEN OOOO!!!