Hi! Tracy and Danielle here from Fresh Air Fitness. We are honored at the opportunity to join the other amazing women as contributors to The Her Initiative Blog. We are so inspired by the team at Her and their determination to change the world through women and clean water. At this time of year, one of the most common questions we get as fitness professionals is “How do we stay motivated and on track with our health and fitness goals when the days get shorter and the party list gets longer?” The hustle and bustle of the holidays is rapidly approaching. Like many others, we do not want the holiday season to mean that we have to watch every bite, move, or party to ensure we keep our summer bodies in check. While there are a zillion tricks to treating yourself come the Friendsgiving, office holiday party, or ringing in the New Year, it just comes down to being aware and enjoying yourself! We believe living your life with 80 percent grind and 20 percent unwind brings out the most enjoyment and balance to us all. We know that it’s getting darker earlier, colder outside, and a little too easy to pick up those extra sweet treats lying around. Motivation to keep going can be a little daunting so we are giving you:
The top 5 ways to approach and conquer the holiday gauntlet
- Plan! Plan! Plan! Scheduling and preparing your workouts and food for the week are just as important as work meetings and social commitments. Putting your yoga class on your schedule and prepping your healthy snacks and meals are a safe bet to success. While it may be more convenient to grab a bite to eat after a busy day of holiday shopping, studies have shown that those that eat out are often consuming more calories including sugar, fat, and sodium. Stash a healthy snack in your bag for those hangry moments. Dining out is inevitable, but you can make healthy choices. We suggest filling up on veggies, soups, or salads first. At parties avoid the appetizers or finger foods such as cheeses, dips, and desserts. Go for the veggies, hummus, lean meats, and maybe only ONE piece of apple pie/cocktail/indulgence.
- Eat breakfast. Whether you wake up and workout, or have your cup of lemon tea, it’s a good idea to eat breakfast promptly after. We’ve all heard nutrient dense foods are what we need to eat, but what does that mean? Nutrient dense foods give you the most nutrients for the fewest amount of calories. In other words, nutrient dense foods give you the “biggest bang for the buck.” You get lots of nutrients, and it doesn’t cost you much in terms of calories. Eating eggs any style is much more nutrient dense than having a leftover slice of pumpkin pie. If it’s pumpkin pie that you’re craving, then make your meal healthier by whipping up a Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie (recipe linked to it). Some other examples of nutrient dense foods are fatty fishes such as salmon, blueberries, potatoes, egg YOLKS, and even dark chocolate. Since mini Snickers Bars, tootsie rolls, and candy corn are on the naughty list, we challenge you to donate your kid’s Halloween candy. We are pretty sure your kiddos won’t miss it since most littles we know try to hoard their candy for as long as possible like it’s the only time they will EVER get it!
- Get your sweat on. Exercise is a sure way to stave off some sugary goblins! When you work out, endorphins are released and your stress levels are reduced. When stress is reduced, you have a more clear state of mind to tackle sticky situations with a better attitude. Not to mention, your post workout fat burn lasts much longer than if you didn’t exercise at all. Make sure you are performing exercise in ways that you love. If you hate running, then don’t say to yourself that you’re going to run every morning or night. Try new classes around your area. Find local deals to new gyms, classes, and events on discount coupon sites such Groupon, Living Social, and Eventbrite. Spending money may hold you accountable. Grab a buddy and take a nice walk to look at all of the decorations in your neighborhood. When it’s dark and cold, being outside is rough. Have someone to share the accountability with to get out before or after your workday. More often than not, you won’t want to let that person down and showing up will only motivate the BOTH of you.
- Join a challenge. Signing for a weekly or monthly challenge can test your limits and keep you on track. There are several challenges online, such as our awesome monthly challenges for November and December. Click here to get access to our Challenge Calendars.
- Give yourself some grace. If you mess up, eat too much, eat unhealthy, and/or miss a workout, just remember that you are worth jumping back on the bandwagon to a healthy and balanced you! Staying active and nutritious eating is the foundation needed to make your life healthy, and not just during the holiday season. There will always be something going on somewhere to go that may deter your healthy habit track, but stay positive and remember the 80/20 rule. Have a lot fun, eat a little pumpkin pie, and get outside!
For more motivation, clean recipes, and tricks to treating yourself, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Visit www.freshairfitnessco.com to learn how to plan a fun mountain fitness experience with your closest pals, and join our email list (insert link) and be first to know of upcoming events!