Ester Marsh: Staying active through the holidays
The Holidays are sometimes a scary time of the year, and not just for Halloween. It is difficult to have a normal schedule due to holiday parties, holiday shopping and holiday travel. Time management is even more important during the holiday season than it is any other time. Any time you have more on your plate than usual, scheduling your time efficiently will help you get through the holidays fit and healthy. I am not sure what your workout schedule is, but your chance of missing a workout through the holidays is pretty much a given. Don’t get discouraged. On the days you can’t work out, you just have to be aware of your calorie intake. If it’s because of a dinner party, you are not only missing your workout (not burning the calories you normally would), holiday dinner parties pack lots of calories. Do you want to be on a diet through the holidays? I know I don’t. Do you want to gain the average of 7-10 pounds? I don’t. So, how can we stay active and not gain a bunch of weight through the holidays?
Even if you only have time for a ten minute workout. It is worth it.
Schedule some second (maybe third) workout back up times each day. This way if your first time slot didn’t work, your second (or third) time slot might save your workout.
If you don’t have 30 minutes a day, three ten minute sessions will work too.
Join programs which will encourage healthy behavior through the holidays like Weight watchers or 12 Days of Fitness. (Starts the Friday after Thanksgiving)
Get a workout buddy. Promise each other to stick with the plan you and your buddy put together. Have a reward when you stick to the plan.
When traveling, stay at hotels with fitness centers or bring a workout DVD (And use it)
Go on before dinner and/or after dinner walks. Include your family and friends.
All in all, be aware of what you are doing and what you are eating. Try to remember how good you feel when you exercise. Not only will it keep you in shape through the holidays, you will be able to deal with holiday stress much better. And, if you do have a bad week, shake it off and get back at it.
Ester H Marsh ACSM Cpt