Tis’ the season for sweet treats, massive meals and a plethora of excuses to stop moving so much! Research suggests most U.S. adults will only gain a pound between mid-November and mid-January, but most will never lose that extra baggage, which can trigger a slippery slope heading into the new year.
The holiday season should be an enjoyable time, filled with family, friends and core memories. So while obsessing over diet and exercise should NOT be on anyone’s to-do list, here are five simple ways from TruHIT Fitness to keep your health and fitness goals on track this time of year.
Consider the 80/20 rule
Let’s be honest, the temptation is REAL this time of year. Vowing to eliminate all sweets and treats is probably not realistic, so consider using the 80/20 rule as a guide. You eat nutritious foods 80% of the time, and can indulge a bit with the other 20%. Now for some people, even just indulging that 20% can trigger a longer stretch of unhealthy habits, so do what works best for your mind and body. The important takeaway here is that it’s not “all or nothing.” Don’t give up because you went a little overboard at that holiday party or neighborhood potluck. Each day, and even each meal, is a new chance to get on track and keep moving forward.
Make it easy
Life is busy. There are always places to be, things to get done and a million excuses to skip that early workout or hit the drive-thru for dinner. Those facts of life go into overdrive during the holidays. This is where a bit of planning can go a long way in making your goals easier to achieve. If you want to eat healthier, cut up and bag some fresh veggies ahead of time so they’re an easy grab when you start feeling hungry. Keep a protein bar or trail mix in your bag so you have something to snack on while out and about. For those looking to exercise more, set out your clothes or pack a gym bag the night before. Throw some walking shoes in the car if you think you’ll have some down time during the work day, or plan a walk to catch up with a friend instead of dinner or happy hour. You will be much more likely to stay on track doing something you enjoy, that you don’t have to think much about.
Move your body
Just MOVE. You don’t have to train for a marathon or hit the elliptical twice a day to see and feel the benefits of regular movement. Some modern Americans sit for up to 15 hours per day and our bodies are simply not designed to be that sedentary. Unless you work or live in an environment that requires a lot of physical labor or movement, you will likely have to get creative to work in more chances to move throughout the day. But it can be done! For example, use your smart watch or other devices to set step goals or set regular reminders to stand up and move. Take a walk on your lunch break or (if possible) during conference calls. Park further from store entrances, take the stairs, or do some extra yard work. It sounds simple and almost negligible, but I assure you the extra movement will only benefit your physical and mental health.
Plan ahead when traveling
I don’t know about you but for me, going to the airport or taking a long road trip always feels like an excuse to indulge. From overpriced candy and chips at the terminal newsstand, to $1 sodas bigger than your head at a roadside gas station, there is no shortage of opportunities to throw caution to the wind! Again, this is where planning ahead can be your best ally. Pack your own snacks or make a list of healthier food options you can find on the go. When possible, keep water on hand to make hydrating constant and easy. Have walking shoes, comfortable clothing and some portable exercise equipment like bands or inflatable weights with you, to encourage movement even while you’re away.
Start prepping for 2023
Each year, nearly half of the people who make New Year’s resolutions say they want to exercise more, improve their fitness and lose weight. We’ve all been there. It’s incredibly easy to just throw in the towel come December and vow to start fresh January 1. However, 80% of resolutions also fail within the first year and I know we’ve all been there before too. This year, instead of making a resolution to start 2023, why not put your plans into action NOW? Making positive modifications to your diet and exercise routine sooner rather than later gives them more time to become habit, and can help prevent the last-minute binging that often accompanies the end of the year.
TruHIT Fitness has locations in Arizona and Idaho, to learn more visit: www.truhitfitness.com.