It's the most wonderful and the most hectic time of year. Shopping, baking, cleaning and traveling seem to take over our schedules, leaving little room for health and fitness pursuits, but with just a few changes to your routine, you can navigate the holiday season successfully and start the year off on the right foot.
1. Be flexible.
A 30-minute workout may have fit neatly into your schedule a month ago, but may not be practical now. If you have 10 or 15 extra minutes in the morning before work and another 10 or 15 minutes available in the afternoon, take advantage, and break your workout into two smaller sweat sessions!
2. Plan ahead.
Schedule your workouts just like you would any other appointment, and treat them with the same priority. You don't skip out on your hairdresser, why skip out on yourself? In addition to scheduling workouts, meal planning is also key. Knowing you have a plan for dinner can help keep you and your family from reaching for the take-out menu after a long and busy day. It can also save you time and money at the grocery store.
3. Learn to manage stress.The holidays can be stressful. Enjoy the fruits of your labor this year by finding ways to manage your stress level. The good news is that a regular exercise routine can help. Those who participate in regular aerobic activity are shown to have lower levels of stress and anger. A stretching routine or yoga can be beneficial as well. Feeling especially stressed? Treat yourself to a massage!
4. Don't forget the R & R.
Going 90 mph all day long is going to leave you zapped. Make time each day for relaxation, meditation or even a nap. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night will give your body a chance to recover so you can do it all over again tomorrow.
5. Eat, drink and be merry!
The holidays are no time to be fretting over every calorie, stressing about the scale or wondering whether or not you should have that slice of pumpkin pie. It's a time for family, friends and thanksgiving; so enjoy without guilt or distraction.