The holiday season is well underway. There will be plenty of family time, celebration, and reflecting on the past year, whether that be in person or virtually. Inevitably, there will also be some challenges, maybe even more so this year than usual, to your fitness and health routine.
Here are a few simple tips to help you enjoy the holidays and continue to progress towards your goals!
THE BASIC LIFESTYLE GUIDELINES: HOLIDAY EDITION
1) BREATHE MORE
With family possibly coming into town and holiday parties…real or virtual, your balance of work and rest will not be ideal over the next month! Take time throughout the day to take some deep belly breaths and calm down your nervous system.
Deep breathing exercises stimulate the “rest and digest” nervous system to reduce the harmful effects of stress and anxiety, keeping your immune system working at full capacity and making it easier to stay jolly! And we all know having a strong immune system, during flu season, during a pandemic, is a good thing.
2) GET MORE SUN EXPOSURE (WHERE POSSIBLE)
Tis the season for late nights which can have a negative effect on your circadian rhythm and therefore, energy levels. A great way to lessen the damage from those later nights is to ensure that you get adequate sun exposure. This sun exposure can come in the form of going for an afternoon walk or having those evening drinks outside and watching the sunset (weather and time zone permitting). We know, easier said than done in the Northern Hemisphere. If this is you, try a Happy Light and chat with your doctor about Vitamin D to help keep energy levels stable.
3) REFLECT ON YOUR GOALS
With hopefully having a bit of downtime during the holiday season, we can’t think of better time to reflect on your progress and capitalize on new motivation!
Reflect on the year–what worked, what didn’t, and how can this be improved in 2021? With all the unknowns we are currently facing, it would be good to prepare a few different options for how you are going to make 2021 a year to celebrate!
4) ENJOY IN MODERATION
The holidays are all too often synonymous with indulgence and while some like to deploy some complicated diet strategy in order to avoid those extra calories, the best approach is often the simplest.
Enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, be sure to chew thoroughly, and take a post-meal walk!
Chewing each bite thoroughly will increase the chance that your body can digest the food properly and the post-meal walks will help balance blood sugar and boost your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). (Be sure to check out the blogs from our friends over at OPEX Fitness to learn more on those topics.) Bring along your family members for both accountability and quality time!
5) SHARE THE GIFT OF HEALTH
There’s no need to be “that guy,” oversharing about your fitness or nutrition regime. But some small actions can have a big influence on the health of your loved ones. Incorporating movement into your family traditions, providing some healthier options at the dinner table, and teaching a friend about the importance of sleep and hydration are a few ways to share health these holidays.