Top 5 Tips to Staying Fit During the Holidays

For many of us, December signifies a time in which we begin to focus more on family and friends.  Our evening and weekend schedules begin to fill up with parties and events mostly revolving around food, drinks and conversation.  As trainers there’s usually a common conversation that we have with our community revolving around a concern that they’ll loose all of their momentum and progress in the next month.  We’ve come up with 5 tips that we frequently use to keep fit during the holidays:

  1. Create activity goals for each day and stick to them.  Fitness is as much about having fun as it is about discipline.  If we set a goal of getting a minimum of 30 minutes of activity every day (from fitness classes to walking the dog) and stick to them we’ll see success throughout the season.  It’s especially important not to focus on weight loss during this time of year.  If we stress about the numbers on the scale then we fail to truly enjoy this time of year and connecting with friends and family.
  2. Create active events. If you’re meeting up with a small group of people, why not suggest an active event instead of a sit-down one?  You can catch up with people and have fun while going out for a walk, climbing, bowling and this list goes on!  As a matter of fact activity tends to create more of a stronger bond between people in comparison to sitting down.  There are far more feel good chemicals released in the brain if you’re moving and having fun with people at the same time!
  3. Short on time?  Lift weights instead of cardio.  Yes you heard it correctly!  Muscle burns more calories than just cardio exercise in the long run.  If you’re short on time, I’d sooner suggest lifting weights and then fitting cardio in if you can on those days.  You can always circuit a weight training program or use more functional exercises to increase the heart rate at the same time too.
  4. Don’t throw away your diet! I cringe when I hear someone say: “oh I might as well eat whatever I want right now because I won’t get to for the rest of the year.” Well you get the same sugary treats around Halloween, and dinners around Easter and Thanksgiving.  So that’s just a poor excuse for a lack of self control. Focus on eating similarly and in the same time intervals as your normally eat.  Don’t starve yourself for an entire day because you know you will be eating an excess in the evening at a party.  Biggest tip of all, don’t keep any of the sugary treats in the house!  Bring them to work or another event.
  5. Limit alcohol consumption. I wrote in a previous post on the effects of alcohol consumption and weight loss and it definitely applies during the holiday season.  It’s not to say that you should stop drinking it all together at social gatherings but keep it to a manageable amount that won’t destroy your goals (and your liver) during the month. 

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About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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