This time of year is my favorite. There’s always something going on, there never seems to be enough days in the week or hours in a day. Yet, for some reason, I embrace that type of crazy. With less time, there’s an added pressure to make sure you use your time a bit more wisely. You always know the holidays are coming, but they somehow “creep up on you”. I invite you to use the power of limited time to make some serious progress in your health and fitness.
Listen – you know the next month is going to be filled with a bit more pressure at work, a lot more social expectations and very few opportunities to make decent exercise or nutritional decisions. I’m not here to tell you to outwork your poor diet or to avoid holiday festivities in order to keep your health in check. But, here are a few things to keep in mind over the next few month.
- You don’t need to eat until you explode. Sure, you might indulge and enjoy foods and cocktails you only see once a year. That’s no reason to eat yourself into a food coma. It simply feels pretty terrible. Think of it this way; if you overdo it with stuffing at Thanksgiving, you’ve left very little room for that homemade apple pie. You might just be shoving that extra slice in there, not actually enjoying it.
- Don’t forget your workouts. Whether it’s March, June or November, remember how important making time to move feels. It’s not only helpful in your avoidance of excess holiday bloat, it’s exceptionally vital for your sanity. This is the time of year where you could probably use a bit more positive endorphins for that reason alone!
- Maximize your time in the gym. You can either join an awesome class like kickboxing or Cyclebar and take all the “thinking” out, or you can head in with a plan. (Scroll through my Instagram for some quick workout ideas!) 15-30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise will get a ton of work done. Bonus: using weights keeps your calories burning and metabolism cranked for a long time after your workout, too!
- Exercise isn’t punishment for poor food choices. Exercise is fun. It’s challenging. It’s what keeps your body healthy, safe and mobile. If you find your choice of exercise to be one that brings you pain or feelings of failure – move on to something else!
- Make sure your water and food intake benefits your lifestyle. You probably already have an entire calendar filled with friends, family, fun…. and booze. No problem! Just be sure to get a good amount of water in and make great food choices (healthy carbs, fats and proteins) throughout your normal business day. Water is your BEST friend this time of year. Well, any time of year, really.
- Packing up some snacks or meals ahead of time may feel like a project, but if you just use an hour or so a week you can really save yourself some time and frustration when you’re holiday shopping. When hunger sets in you’re likely to convince yourself that there’s nothing that can save you but a giant cinnabun and a creamy vanilla latte. Nuts, fruits, deli meat and water are forever accessible to me. At this point, it takes zero effort to make sure I have something on me so I can keep the ball rolling as I murder my “to-do” list.
- Enjoy your family and friends. The holidays are not about presents or dessert. They are about memories with your loved ones. You shouldn’t break the bank buying unnecessary presents for people or feel a sense of guilt when eating Christmas cookies on a Wednesday night. If these things bring you any physical or mental stress, take a step back and remember why this time of year is so important. Grab your coat, turn on your favorite playlist and take a walk. Chances are you will feel much better when you get back inside and warm up.
Short on time? Can’t get to the gym? No problem – here’s your Thanksgiving morning workout. Heck – do it 2 or 3 times on Black Friday to regulate your blood pressure and patience before heading out to the mall. Good luck out there.