Christmas is approaching and the holiday spirit has crept into our fitness centers. According to research, most people tend to gain extra weight during the holidays. Excessive food consumption is thought to be a major cause of additional weight gain, but a lack of physical activity and exercise also play an important role here.
Many exercisers go to the gym continuously throughout the year and then come the holidays, colder weather and lots of delicious food and – physical activity and fitness fall into the background. We are here to tell you that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay in shape at the same time. If you want to stay in shape during the holidays, especially during Christmas and New Year, we bring you as many as 20 useful tips that could help you:
1. Eat before going out
During the holidays, we often go to family gatherings, various banquets and go out to Christmas parties. It’s helpful to eat before you go to a place where you’ll have a chance to overdo it with food. If you eat something before such an occasion, you are more likely to stay on the ‘right path’.
2. Don’t skip meals
… especially breakfast! While it can be tempting to skip certain meals, believing it will make up for the treats you ate the day before, don’t do so as it will only lead to counterproductive results.
3. Watch out for alcohol
Of course you will drink a few glasses during the holidays and that is perfectly fine. However, as with everything else, be moderate and don’t overdo it with alcohol. Why? Alcohol dehydrates your body and slows your progress.
4. Eat some chocolate after a meal
We’re not kidding. A piece of chocolate after a meal in some way signals the end of the meal and will prevent you from overeating unnecessarily. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to eat a whole box of Christmas chocolates.
5. Enjoy the food
The worst thing you can do is think too much about what you can and can’t do. Food is not your enemy and you can enjoy it during the holidays. Turkey is also full of protein! 🙂
6. Train in the morning
If you want to stay true to your fitness routine, the best option is to work out in the morning. Wake up early while everyone is asleep and do your workout. Later in the day you will be overwhelmed with obligations and excuses why you don’t get to go to the gym.
7. Set realistic goals
It’s okay if you don’t go to the gym 4 but 3 times a week during the holidays. You are still active and nothing will fail. Try to make the most of those 3 trips to the gym and the results will not be lacking.
8. Don’t skip strength training
Always keep in mind that you are doing your strength training to maintain that muscle mass that you have been working hard on. You may be tempted to use light weights and just do cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all that extra protein you’ve ingested through holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. 🙂
9. Drink plenty of water
You’ve heard this a hundred times, but it’s true. Consuming enough water will alleviate some of the effects of alcohol and increase satiety and reduce cravings. When you go to a holiday gathering, always drink plenty of water first and stay hydrated throughout the evening. Not only will you feel better, but it will weaken the temptation to indulge in excessive amounts.
10. Preserve immunity
The holiday season is also the time of colds and viruses, and nothing kills motivation like a week of lying in bed with handkerchiefs and a thermometer.
11. Make a schedule
… and stick to it. If you write down the exact dates of your training within a week, the possibility that you will do these workouts is much higher.
12. Set a goal by the New Year
This goal may not be big, but if you set a deadline by the end of the year, you are more likely to try to meet it during the holiday season as well.
13. Let the gifts motivate you
When asked what you want for Christmas, say you want training equipment. Leggings, a T-shirt, a tracksuit that you will have to walk around the gym.
14. Adjust your workouts to yourself
Relax. If you can’t work out for an hour at the gym, then work out for 30 minutes. What matters is consistency of habit. Once your schedule returns to normal, you can resume your usual exercise routine.
15. Train with the Christmas playlist
It sounds a little weird, but give it a try – you’ll be active and in the holiday mood at the same time.
16. Treat yourself to an active holiday
Travel somewhere, relax and have fun, but also take the opportunity to be active. Hike, walk, enjoy nature and move your body.
17. Think less about calories and more about quality
Unless you consciously don’t want to be in a calorie surplus or deficit, counting or stressing around calories won’t help you too much. Better pay attention to the macronutrients you are ingesting and align their amount with your goal.
18. Use the 80/20 rule
80% of good decisions and 20% of ‘bad decisions’. Ah, the good old mantra ‘everything in moderation, including moderation’. If you opt for that second serving of Christmas dessert after a week of healthy choices or violate your fitness rules in 20 percent of situations, don’t stress – stay calm and move on.
19. Don’t think of training as ‘all or nothing’
And shorter or less intense training is still good training and is much better than none at all.
20. Have fun
Fitness should not be a punishment or an obligation you want to avoid. Enjoy the holidays, spend quality time with family and find time for yourself.
See you at your workout,
Your Gyms4you team