Updated: Oct 2
The combination of colder weather and plenty of comfort food can mean that your health and fitness goals are sidelined over the holiday season. Plus, lots of people find that they put weight on too, which can be hard to shift come January. If you want to avoid this scenario, you’ll need to be a bit more diligent over the festive period and take a few extra steps to be active and eat well. Here are some tips for staying fit during the holiday season, even when you’ve got lots of plans!
It’s okay to indulge
Staying fit over the holiday season doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some "planned indulgences" and partake in a few festive treats too. Don’t beat yourself up for getting into the spirit a little bit … just as long as you’re not overindulging all the time in the name of “holidays” and just make sure that you try to eat healthy the rest of the time.
This is super important over the holiday season as any pounds you gain at this time of year can be really difficult to lose and often contribute to annual weight gain. It’s definitely a delicate balance between not restricting yourself too much but not going overboard either, even on planned indulgence days where you allow yourself a few festive treats.
Make healthier versions of holiday treats
Want a guilt free way to “cheat” at holiday parties without throwing your hard work out of the window? Try making super healthy versions of your favorite holiday treats and take them with you to any holiday events that may otherwise hinder your healthy eating plans.
Need some inspiration?
You can make healthy brownies without all the added sugars and fat with a few simple swaps of bananas, nut butter, cocoa powder and honey or maple syrup
Create healthy snack platters with fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, low fat cheeses and dips
A little spice goes a long way! Seasonal spices are a great way to add sweet and/or spicey flavor without the added calories
Want a healthier version of mulled wine? This mulled beetroot and orange juice is perfect!
There are lots of ways to make super healthy versions of the festive treats you love, without compromising on taste. And if you share them at holiday events, you’ll probably find that your friends and family love them too and won’t even notice that they’re so healthy. Visit the Healthy Eating section of our blog for a load of simple and tasty treats perfect to support your healthier holiday!
Drink plenty of water
Water is really important for keeping yourself hydrated over the holidays, especially if you’re indulging in alcoholic drinks. That’s not the only reason to make sure that you keep up with your fluids though. It’s also very useful for helping you to feel full, which can cut down on the amount of holiday snacking you do.
Workout early in the day
Got some busy days and evenings lined up over the holidays? It’s easy for fitness to slide off your to-do list completely when you’ve got lots of plans. One way around this is to squeeze your workouts in earlier in the day so that they definitely happen. First thing in the morning can work well, although this can be a big challenge if you’re not used to early workouts!
Do what you can
If you’re super busy, you might not have the time or motivation for your usual workouts. Doing something is a lot better than nothing and can help you to stay fit and avoid seeing the pounds creeping on. You may decide to switch up your usual workouts completely to fit the time you have available. For example, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions can be great for this.
Don’t sit for too long
Do you know about the dangers of sitting down a lot? Chances are, you probably spend a lot of time sitting down over the holidays. From cocktails with friends to watching holiday shows and movies, there’s a huge amount of potential for lazing around during the festive season and that can make you more likely to add a few extra pounds. Plus, it’s not good for your health either. Try to get up and move about for at least 5 minutes out of every hour you spend being inactive. This can counteract some of the downsides of sitting too much.
Get active as much as you can
Workouts aren’t your only option for being active over the holiday season. Look for different ways that you can get moving more without having to compromise on enjoying yourself. From winter walks to games and dance offs … anything goes! On a more practical note, you can fit in more steps in your day-to-day life. Going to the grocery store? Park further away than you normally would so you have to walk that little bit extra. Using the escalator? Climb up the steps as you would a staircase, rather than just waiting to get to the top.