The holidays are soon to be upon us and when they arrive, chances are they’re going to do their best to wreak havoc with the healthy habits we’ve worked so hard all year to cultivate. Our diets will change. Our workout routines will change. And our mindsets will change.
Healthy eating will become a distant memory and social obligations will supersede personal promises. We’ll eat more and exercise less for the sake of attending holiday parties and pageants, and partaking in family feasts and religious rituals. But is it really worth sacrificing a year’s worth of hard work for one month of indulgence?
Staying active during the holiday season will keep you from backsliding into a fitness deficit as you start the New Year. Exercise will give you energy to accomplish everything on your never-ending to-do list. And most importantly, it will help reduce the stress and weight gain that are synonymous with the season.
All you have to do is go into the holiday season with a plan. At the very least you’ll survive; at best, you’ll thrive!
Here are some ways to keep a balance between naughty and nice this holiday season:
This is not the season to drop 10 pounds or train for a marathon. Your goals this time of year should be as simple as fending off the fat, sustaining your strength, and maintaining your endurance.
If you’re getting to the gym, congratulations – you’re already winning the battle! But if time is at a premium, this is a great time to try interval training. A 30-minute High Intensity Interval Training class can be as – or more – effective than 50 minutes on a cardio machine at a steady pace. And it will help you burn calories and fat faster than exercising at a steady state. (Insert link to HIIT post here.) Check out the ½-hour Small Group Cardio (Insert link here) classes to get the most bang for your time buck.
The days get shorter this time of year – that can make it hard to stay motivated. But changing your workout can change your perspective. Try a different piece of cardio equipment. Schedule an appointment with a Welcyon fitness coach to assess and revamp your strength training program. Take a Small Group Cardio class. When you try something new, it will wake you up – mentally and physically. More importantly, it will reawaken your motivation!
In the spirit of the season, why invite a friend to exercise with you? When you buddy up with a workout pal, the combination of accountability and companionship will be compelling enough to keep you on track and at the club.
The holiday season is the hardest time of year to stay on track, so if you’re getting into the gym, you deserve more than a pat on the back! You deserve some positive reinforcement! How about a new workout outfit, a fresh pair of sneakers, or a tricked out gym bag?
Stop doing your holiday shopping online – get to the mall instead. Park your car as far away from the door as possible to get in a good walk before you shop. Power walk as you move from store to store. And as you make purchases, make trips back to your car to drop them off – you’ll burn extra calories that way.
If you have a few slips along the way, be sure to cut yourself some slack. This isn’t an all or nothing proposition – if you overindulge one day, you can start fresh the next. Remember, right now it’s not about making great strides (you can do that in January!). This is about preserving – and protecting – the great health and fitness level you’ve worked so hard to attain. Cheers to a happy, healthy holiday season!
Our 30-minute Small Group Cardio classes are an optional add-on to your membership and a great way to experience the benefits of high intensity interval training. Work out on the cardio equipment of your choice while a fitness coach offers cues to accelerate and recover, and tips for improving performance. And don’t worry about keeping up – each participant works within his or her own capacity. Class size is limited to ensure individual attention, and the small group environment fosters teamwork and camaraderie.