Or as I voted to name it… “How to Eat Christmas Cookies for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Without Gaining 100 pounds and Dying Of A Sugar Coma”. This is the second year in a row I’m sharing this post… and for a good reason! My handsome hubby (the Assistant Director of S&C at UDM) shared his best tips to keep you feeling your best through the holidays and into the new year I asked him if we could do a similar post again this year, and he told me ”honestly, I still have the exact same tips and tricks.” SO today I’m reposting our original post for all of you! Enjoy! PS… if you read it last year, I highly recommened reading again! It’s always great to get a little refresher before all the holiday treats start coming your way!
Hey guys, it’s been a long time! I hope all is well and you’ve been kicking 2018’s ass! This year has been quite honestly a little ridiculous and I’m ready for some relaxing and taking in the New Year with family and friends. Today, I’m bringing you some Helpful (and Healthy) Holiday Tips to make the most out of your trips to see loved ones and celebrate.
As we approach this time of year, we tend to say “F*** It” (I know I certainly do) and sort of give up on our health and fitness goals because in just a few weeks we can make New Year’s resolutions and get back on the horse of gym memberships, eating better (whatever that means), and giving our goals another crack. As our patience has dwindled, and motivation has taken a vacation, it’s important to make sure we don’t dig ourselves too deep of a hole. That way, when we make those SMART goals (learn more about these here) for the New Year, we can hit the ground running! I’ve got 5 Helpful Holiday Tips for making the most of your holiday season and not falling off the sleigh!
- Make sure you PLAN! If you know you’re going to be traveling long distances in a plane, train, or automobile, make sure you take time to plan snacks (and even meals) so that you’re not stuck at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere having to choose between a chili cheese dog and a slice of pizza. Check out this post from Precision Nutrition for 25 Ways to Eat Well on the Go!
- Be sure to INDULGE! I know this sounds like a contradiction from the first tip but hear me out. Aiming for a perfect diet or meal will drive you crazy and ultimately lead to failure. Instead of avoiding the delicious cut-outs and pies, have a cookie or 2, and eat that slice of pie, because we know they’re so damn good! As long as you’ve made some better choices with your meals, its OK to enjoy a sweet or two this holiday season. For more information on what makes a balanced meal, check out this from Precision Nutrition.
- You’ve got to HYDRATE! And by hydrate, I don’t mean downing a bunch of those Christmas Cocktails… Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to balance out those adult beverages. Although tasty, alcoholic beverages have elevated calorie counts, especially if they’re mixed with a pop (it’s pop, not soda), or some sort of syrup. And please remember, don’t drink and drive. Find a ride, call an UBER, or just crash on the couch if you get too Blitzened (see what I did there?)
- Find time to EXERCISE! Being on the road doesn’t make for ideal exercising conditions but with a little creativity, I’m confident you can figure something out. You might not be able to continue your normal routine but substituting some different workouts can make a huge difference in staying on track. I even find that changing up my routine can help to keep my workouts from becoming too stale. If you’re still wondering what you can do even without access to your normal equipment, I’ve got a few ideas for you.
- Go for a walk (or a jog). Requires nothing but you bundling up (if you decide to stay or travel somewhere chilly) and heading out for a few laps around the block. Shoot for 25-30 minutes or more if you’re in better shape. Invite the family to tag along, this can make a boring walk more enjoyable for you AND you still get to spend time with the people you love!
- Don’t like to run like me? Then try this at-home workout. All you’ll need are a weighted object (like a medicine ball or heavy book) or some dumbbells (no dumbbells? Grab some soup cans). ALWAYS focus on form over how many reps you get. It’s more important to do these exercises properly than how many reps you get in.
- Do each of the following exercises for 30 seconds, trying to get as many repetitions as you can, then rest for 30 seconds, moving onto the next exercise. Rest for 2-3 minutes after you complete all the exercises. Repeat the circuit for 2-4 rounds.
- Push Ups (go to your knees or elevate your hands on a couch if needed)
- Box Squats (begin by starting to sit onto the couch but before your buns are resting on the cushion, stand back up, use that med ball if you’ve got one)
- Sit Ups (you can hold a weight to make it a little more challenging)
- Side Raises (hold the dumbbells or soup cans in your hand and lift your arms out to the side, keeping your arms straight)
- Lunges (these can be forward, backward, or to the side, use the med ball or dumbbells if possible)
- Walk Around the House (just walk around the house for your 30 seconds that would be working and for the 30 seconds of rest, 1-minute total, then take your 2-3-minute rest before starting over)
- Have access to a Hotel Gym? Try doing a machine circuit. If the gym was set up well, there is usually row or section of the gym that has several machines that work various parts of your body (chest, back, quads, hamstrings, abs, etc.). Simply hop on a machine and carefully follow the directions for how to use that particular machine and perform 6-10 repetitions of each machine for 2-3 rounds. Once you finish your 2-3 rounds hop on the treadmill (or cardio piece of your choice) and walk/jog/pedal/etc. for 15-20 minutes. Remember to properly warm up your muscles before beginning any exercise and take some time to cool down afterward.
- As with anything, please be smart and listen to your body while working out. Please see a medical professional before starting any exercise program and make sure you’re physically able to begin working out if you aren’t already.
- SLEEP! More and more research is coming out about the importance of sleep on your health and well-being. Especially since we’re going to be traveling, around a bunch of other people, and not in our normal routine, it’s important that you get rest so you don’t come home sick. Also, try to keep the time you go to bed and the time you wake up the same as any other day. Trust me, it’s tempting to want to stay up late watching movies and sleeping in every day but it will come back to bite you in the ass when you’ve got to get to work again after the holidays. Keeping a consistent sleep schedule is one of the more important and easier ways to make sure you’re getting optimal sleep.
Well, there you have it, 5 simple tips to making the most out of your holidays trips as well as keeping up with your health and fitness goals. I wish you all a Happy Holdays!
Trevor Klump MS, RSCC, CSCS, USAW1, Pn1
Alright guys! I’m off to finish this million year week out strong. I just keep telling myself… it’s almost Friday. Praise Jesus! Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend my friends! I’ll talk to you on Sunday.