The holidays are upon us and for many of us, it seems to wreak havoc with our healthy lifestyles. But, it doesn’t need to be that way. Here are some ways to navigate through the excesses of the holidays without eating and drinking our way into total upheaval:
- As much as possible, adhere to your usual workout schedule. You’ll find that that tends to anchor you in continuing to make healthy choices in food and drink throughout the day (and evening) at all the various parties and events that come during the holiday season.
- If you don’t have time for an evening workout with all the holiday family and friend commitments, try starting your day with a “mini” workout. For me that might be a brisk 20 to 30 minutes on the stationary bike or 20 minutes of swimming and 10 minutes of stretching. I notice that if I don’t do my morning mini-workout, somehow my day does not go as well. If my husband says, “I don’t have time for a real workout,” I tell him, “Just do a mini-workout.” He goes to it on the treadmill and in 30 minutes with an elevation gain of 1500 to 1600 feet, manages to burn off 500 calories.
- Or intersperse the workout between the holiday shopping and parties. So, if you are accustomed to 5 days of work outs, try doing every other day staggered between all the holiday commitments.
- Make a few compromises: drink a few spritzers at the party instead of the 100% alcohol drinks. The calories are less and you’re also less likely to overindulge overall if less alcohol is involved.
- Enjoy the food and drink! But most of all focus on the real reason for the gatherings: taking part in the great conversations with family, friends and coworkers. The more you hone in on the conversations, the less likely you will over-indulge.
- I’d be the last person to tell you to eschew the rich holiday food, the eggnog, the wonderful deserts, your mother-in-law’s amazing cooking, but eat slow and enjoy each and every bite. You’ll enjoy your food more and fill up faster.
Remember, the holidays only come once a year. We can experience the joys of the season without packing on the pounds just by following a few of these tips. Above all, don’t forget to keep working out! It will also help you keep your sanity and have a cool yule. See you at the Club!