More leisure time, social events, family gatherings and definitely more food! It's not surprising that between the treats and the presents that many women find the holidays a stressful time when they battle weight gain and start New Year feeling as if they need an exercise and diet overhaul. However, with the right attitude and approach you can turn a potentially fattening festive season into a fruitful fitness season instead! Here's how!
These days the festive holidays are celebrated in many ways, but the classic formula of food, family and indulgence still holds sway with many. It is easy to understand why so many women greet New Year feeling a little out of condition with a hope that they can lose weight, turn their fitness regime around and get fit, as well as inspire a new lifestyle and a balanced way of life. No pressure then!
However, seeing the holidays as indulgence beyond your control followed by the requisite diet and fitness frenzy is not set in stone, so use the break in routine to create a healthier alternative.
- Plan healthy leisure pursuits - What is great about the holidays is that although it is a busy time there are lots of opportunities to take time off too and spend time with family and friends. Instead of organizing big meals or housebound get-togethers, think about what you can all do that is going to keep you fit, active and feeling energized. Be wary that plans change so allow for some flexibility and a feeling of being able to go with the flow too.
- Enjoy family walks and embrace the holiday season outdoors - With mealtimes becoming more of an event over the holidays, you maybe have some extra calories to burn. A good pre- or post-feasting stroll can really work up a healthy appetite and also stop you feeling drowsy after a big meal. Whatever the weather, it is not only great to get some fresh air but the space can work wonders on everyone getting along too.
- Cut down on consumerism - It is easy to get caught up in the hubbub of festive buying, often under the pressure of creating a picture-perfect ideal of what the holidays should be about. By actively resisting this you can also move the focus away from the concept of indulgence and excess and instead enjoy a peaceful, simple holiday where you take time to connect with yourself and others.
- Welcome the break in routine to be different - Whenever there is a break from the norm, there is an opportunity to create change. The festive holiday can give you this same freedom and you can choose to use this time to pursue interesting, healthy lifestyle choices, whether it's what you eat for lunch or how often you walk to the local park.
- Understand the benefits of your personal fitness routine - Keeping fit is not a punishment or an ordeal, just as eating to excess and lounging around is not a treat. If your mindset tells you differently then you are not really appreciating how beneficial a healthy, active lifestyle is. Keep in mind that during the holidays you need this benefit perhaps more than ever.
- Get active for charity or to help others in the community - This time of year is really about giving and kindness, which makes it a perfect opportunity to help others through charitable, fitness-related pursuits. You can also be active in your local area too, which can help keep you healthy in your body and satisfied in your mind. Think active altruism!
- Don't stick to your usual menu but cook healthy recipes - It is lovely to eat some different foods in December and leading up to New Year. If you are watching your weight then you can still enjoy variety and it might be time to explore new foods which are nourishing and healthy too.
How you celebrate the holidays is up to you, but there is nothing in the festive rulebook that says you cannot look after yourself and enjoy a healthy start to 2015. Put getting fit with us on your New Year wish-list too!