Guest writer Bobbi Pavlak
Some of us find that it is a challenge to fit the gym into our lives when little is going on. Add the holidays into it and suddenly finding time to exercise is at the bottom of our “to do” list. Staying active, however, will give you energy, help lessen the holiday stress, and of course, help with the extra calories you may be eating.
Dealing with your stress is a priority if you want to enjoy the holidays. Make sure you make it to the gym. Even if you have to modify your workouts to fit the time you have; just plan a few simple workouts. It is proven that people eat healthier when they exercise. Here are a few ways that exercise can help reduce the holiday stress.
Lift weights. Resistance training helps build stronger bones and raises your metabolism.
Take a walk or run. Any type of cardio has many benefits. It is proven to provide those feel good hormones which will help reduce stress. It will also help maintain or minimize your weight gain from eating some treats you would not normally have.
Relax with mind/body exercise. Try Yoga which is great for your flexibility, and to escape from the hustle and bustle.
Try to avoid eating out frequently. Eating out may be the easy way out, but the extra calories will add up and will leave you feeling guilt and stress. Try to plan simple, healthy meals that don’t require much time to prepare, for those shopping days.
Keep yourself hydrated. This time of year we usually find ourselves drinking more alcohol than usual, which leads to weight gain. Add that to dry, cold weather and you have dehydration. When you are dehydrated you will have less energy and you will find it difficult to concentrate. Carry a water bottle with you all day. Try having a glass of water after each drink which will keep you sober and hydrated. It will also help avoid a hangover. Drinking also tends to make it harder to resist tempting foods. Eggnog with or without alcohol is one of the highest calorie beverages you could drink. Try a wine spritzer or seltzer.
“NO” is the hardest words to use during the holidays. Your first priority should be taking care of yourself. Make priorities and decide which functions you must attend and what activities you could decline that only add more stress. The holidays are about enjoying yourself, and your family. We are not superheroes that can do it all.
When the holidays are over, reward yourself. There is always a little let down when the holidays are over, so lift your spirits with a little self-care to get your mind and body ready for the NEW YEAR!