We can all admit to overeating during holidays. This tendency to overindulge can make it seem impossible to stay healthy this winter. The holidays have resulted in the downfall of many people’s fitness goals, but it doesn’t have to be that way. At the Y, we’re here to help you stay on course with your fitness goals. Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays.
Try to squeeze in some time outdoors.
The end of the year is a hectic time, especially if you’re hosting family. But no matter how busy you are, make sure to take some time to just step outside and walk around the block. At this time of year, it is easy to get stuck indoors for hours or even days at a time. That is why it’s so important to make time for a walk, jog, or even to get down to the Y for a quick workout. Just remember to dress warm!
Keep a journal.
One way to make sure you have time to get your exercise in is to keep a journal. You can use the journal for two things. First, use it to make a to-do list. Visualization of your tasks will help you de-stress and be more productive.
Secondly, use your journal to document your calorie intake. You don’t have to starve yourself this season, but a journal will help you visualize everything you’ve eaten to keep from overeating. Ever wondered about the nutritional facts of holiday food? Learn more here.
It can be tempting to skip breakfast in order to “save room” for the big holiday meals. However, just like any other day of the year, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It will give you the energy to get going, but more importantly, it will keep you from binging later on. Even if you think skipping breakfast will curve your calorie count, studies have shown that eating breakfast lowers daily calorie count by stopping over consumption.
Get enough sleep.
With the dizzying whirlwind of tasks you need to get done around the holidays looming, getting enough sleep might seem impossible. Plan to get as much sleep as you would on a normal day. Planning and organization will help you achieve this. If you stick to your to-do list, you should have enough time to get a good night’s sleep and be ready to go. Getting enough sleep is essential to staying healthy!
Drink plenty of water.
A good way to curve your cravings this holiday is to stay hydrated. With so much good food around, you might try to trick your mind into thinking you’re hungry when you aren’t. If you get hungry, drink a glass of water first. You might find that you weren’t actually hungry at all. Good hydration is an essential part of fitness. At the Y, we try to promote this as much as possible.
Wait for second helpings.
Moderate, moderate, moderate; that’s the name of the game to stay healthy during the holidays. The holidays are a time when we help ourselves to plenty of food and then keep piling up the plates. Experts recommend that you eat your food more slowly to keep from overeating. There is a delay in the signal from your stomach to your brain when it’s full. Eating slowly will stop you from eating too much at once. If you have an urge to have seconds, that’s ok! Just wait 10 or 15 minutes before you get more and have some water. You might not need more after all! Portion control is essential to staying healthy and should be followed throughout the year.
When it comes to desserts and drinks, you don’t have to cut them out completely to stay healthy. Just have one piece of pie instead of two or two glasses of wine instead of three. Overindulging in sweets and alcohol can cause calories to add up quickly!
The most important thing we can tell you about how to stay healthy during the holidays is to just relax. It can get stressful having family over and having a million things to do. So, for your own sake and your family’s sake, just relax. Take some time to sit down and rest, mingle with your loved ones, and enjoy some good food!
If you’re health conscious, winter can be a stressful time of year, but it doesn’t have to be. Just remember, moderate what you eat, plan your time ahead, and set aside time to get in some activity. If you can make it down to your local YMCA, you only need a few minutes to get your activity in. We offer programs like GRIT, an intense workout that only takes 30 minutes! There are a lot of reasons to put your fitness goals on hold during the holidays, but we believe you can overcome them!
Looking for winter activities for the family? Learn about our winter programs offered at the Y! Learn more.
With two locations in Lafayette, Indiana, the Lafayette Family YMCA is a community committed to healthy living and social responsibility. For more fitness tips and to stay up to date about YMCA events, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website here.