Tips to Get Back in Shape After the Holidays
The holidays are a great time for us to connect with family and friends, catch up on things we’ve been avoiding, and enjoy rest and relaxation. Although they bring joy and excitement, holiday breaks can throw us off the routines we follow to remain healthy and active. Traveling, visiting family, attending parties, and entertaining friends consumes each day, leaving little time for exercise. Additionally, many of our holiday plans revolve around food and drink, and a lot of of it!
Enjoyable as they may be, the holidays can disrupt our schedules, mess with our diets, and derail us from our efforts to be active. Don’t let the holidays get the best of you! Here are three useful tips to consider as you work to get back in shape and back on track after the holidays.
1. Set A Routine
Many of us don’t like to admit it, but we are creatures of habit. A variety of bad habits form or resurface during the holidays and can stay with us for weeks following. Fortunately, we can also establish habits that are good for us. Try to set a consistent schedule that allows you to incorporate healthy choices and physical activity. Map out your week and see where you can find some free time each day. Routine schedules can be used for practically anything: eating, exercise, sleep, work and play. You’ll be amazed at how much much you can accomplish if you simply plan in advance.
2. Cut Out Overeating
Over the holidays we tend to skip meals and overindulge in food. Try to get back to a consistent diet and eliminate binge eating. If you find yourself hungry between meals, curve your appetite with a light snack. Another tip is to avoid meals that aren’t portioned. Unnecessary serving sizes or buffet-style meals make it easy for us to eat until we’re stuffed, rather than until we’re satisfied. Plan to cook only enough food for yourself and those eating with you. When eating out, seek to order the regular, “smaller” portion; you’ll still get plenty of food in your system. Buffets should be avoided, but if you do go, be selective and make an effort to eat only your favorite foods, not one of everything. And if you happen to overeat one meal, try to eat lighter the next meal.
3. Be Active Daily
This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym hard for several hours each day. A daily activity can be as simple as going for a walk. In fact, it is recommended we take 10,000 steps each day. Most of us don’t even come close to that! This number can be easily achieved by walking around the neighborhood, spending time at the mall, or walking during work breaks. Once you become comfortable with doing something active every day, consider increasing your activity. Pick a few days out of the week to do some form of exercise that is a bit more challenging. Again, this doesn’t have to be grueling physical activity, just something that requires a little more effort and discipline than you’re used to. Sign up for a 5k, go to the gym a few days a week, or register for a fitness class. This method allows for a steady progression of your physical capabilities and will serve as the base for your next challenge.
Getting back on track doesn’t have to be complicated. Stick to simple goals that are attainable and easy to build upon. Keep in mind that doing something is better than nothing. Before you know it, you’ll be where you want to be: ready to take on the next holiday!