The end of November is here, and that is the start of holiday season!
Family obligations and party invitations start to roll in and juggling everything can become overwhelming. Throw in a boss that needs you to put out the same amount of work and tie up the end of the year and something must give. Most people tend to fall off the wagon with their gym schedule and dietary planning. Do you find it hard to stay motivated during the holiday season?
Staying on a schedule and making better choices take a little determination, tricks and motivation techniques to make this your most successful holiday season yet! Check out these proven tips to keep up with a set routine this year so you stay motivated during the holiday season and end the year with success and set up next year ahead of the game!
Extra Steps Can Make All the Difference
Use errands or shopping as a time to sneak in a bunch of extra steps and stay motivated during the holiday season. Shopping at the mall can be turned into an opportunity to burn extra calories. Remember to try and park farther away from the doors, take stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Make sure have your step counter on you as a way of tracking your steps and motivating yourself with visual feedback.
Going for a walk is also essential for burning off those huge holiday meals and killing of calories from all the special sugary delights. It is important to get the body back in proper hormonal balance and reduce the sugar in the blood back to more normal levels. Going for a walk can also put sugary treats out of harm’s way and helps you to stay motivated during the holiday season.
Keep Workouts Short and Intensity High
When time is short because you are over scheduled, HIIT training is going to be your best friend. The metabolic benefits of HIIT training are unparalleled when done correctly under the guidance of an elite certified personal trainer and really help you stay motivated during the holiday season.
The whole reason to do HIIT training is to create EPOC or the afterburn which means the body’s metabolism is elevated for an extended period after your workout. It is important to note that to be effective you must be working at an intensity of 80% or 8/10 for your RPE. Physically that means you should not be able to speak more than 1 to 2 words during intervals and the max you should be able to sustain a burst is 20 to 30 seconds. These workouts need to be kept to no more than 30 minutes which is perfect for staying on track during the holidays.
Rise and Grind
Shorter days and longer hours make it necessary to get up early and do your workout then. Don’t put off your workouts until the evening as work events or spontaneous shopping sprees come up all the time. Plan your workout before the day starts to guarantee successful completion.
When starting early morning workouts, it is always best to have someone who will hold you accountable for showing up. Book appointments with your personal trainer, join a class or get a workout buddy. It is always easier to get there when you know someone is waiting for you.
Make It a Family Affair
People often make working out a solitary affair which leaves them feeling like they are missing out on holiday family time by going to the gym. Exercise a great way to bring the family together with group activities and to stay motivated during the holiday season. Go for a nature walk, sign up for a “fun” run, go skiing, do yoga at home or go skating. There are thousands of outdoor and indoor activities you can do with one another for fun. Start a family tradition with an annual holiday race and challenge each other to get a better time than the year before.
Use your workout time to connect with your partner. Family time and work obligations can make it difficult to spend time with your spouse. Getting outside to exercise is a time when you are free of devices such as cell phone and computers. Therefore, it means you can focus on one another without interruptions. Dedicate some time to one another while staying active and enjoying some alone time with your loved one.
Always Be Prepared
Often, people use the excuse of not having their workout gear with them as a reason to skip the gym. Make sure you pack your gym bag the night before and put it in the trunk of your car and you will stay motivated during the holiday season.
Plan an Event or Challenge for Next Year
Check out next year’s fitness calendar of events and sign up for one. Most people push harder to stay in shape if they are working towards a set goal. The event doesn’t have to be running if you aren’t into marathons. Try signing up for other types of challenges such as Tough Mudder or the ladies out there could try Femsport!
Fitness lovers could also sign up to become a personal trainer! Infofit has courses starting in January in the full time and part time programs. There is nothing like motivating yourself by motivating others.
Whatever you do make sure to set a goal and make the goal specific so you can measure if you are falling behind. Don’t just plan on going for some runs or to the gym. Plan on going to the gym 4 x a week for 30 minutes during the holiday season at a specific time (mornings would be best). Plan on how many miles or kilometers you want to run a week and make sure it adds up to that by Sunday night. Keeping on track of your schedule for the event you signed up to do.
We Live in a Beautiful World – Go Outside
I know when the weather gets cold and dreary, the first thought is to snuggle up on the couch under the blankets and hibernate until the weather improves. However, sitting on the sofa with bonbons and chips won’t help to improve your fitness level or your waistline.
Dress for the weather and get outside! There are millions of activities you could do outside. Find an outdoor skating rink, go snowboarding or skiing, try tobogganing and snowshoeing during a snowfall can be both invigorating and cathartic. Connect with nature and explore your region with family and friends.
Pick a Healthy Treat for Yourself and Stay Motivated During the Holiday Season
Put down the cookies and other holiday baking, indulging in sugary treats will not only make you gain weight but leave you feeling fatigued. Choose something you want such as a fitness related piece of clothing or something you can use to help you with your goals such as a Fitbit.
Look Out for Holiday Specials
December quickly rolls into January which means gyms, personal training facilities and yoga or Pilates studios, will be offering New Year’s specials. Search around and try some classes, most gyms will give you a free pass for a week to try out what they have to offer. Dig around and find the gym that has the most to offer for your particular interests. Join the gym, hire a personal trainer and smash your goals!
During the holidays it might be better to focus on staying active and maintaining your weight instead of losing weight. Don’t stress out or beat yourself up if you have a moment of weakness! Pick yourself, dust yourself off and remember work on the moment.
Above all remember the holidays are time to enjoy your family and spending time with them!
Cathie Glennon – BCRPA/SFL