Disclaimer :: Jamie Zacharias, co-founder of MASHUP, sponsored and created this post providing FWMB readers fitness tips based on her expertise.
It’s no coincidence that many people depend on New Year’s resolutions every January to restart their health and fitness goals. The holiday season is usually a time where we allow ourselves to spend less time getting outdoors for a walk or jog, fall short in the gym, or just slack in general from our typical routine. Many times, this leads to accumulated stress and anxiety, illness, and potentially weight gain that we convince ourselves is tolerable until January gets here. This is easily understandable, given all of the parties, traveling, family obligations, and tasty food we are surrounded with.
If you are wondering whether or not you will survive the holidays and if you will really start off on the right foot in January, let’s rethink your strategy. Right now is actually one of the best times to start a fitness regimen if you haven’t already. One reason is that kids are in school, and you have somewhat of a predictable schedule. Routine paired with a little commitment makes it easier to predict when and how we can sneak in some physical activity.
So, get a jumpstart on the holiday season. Usually, when someone starts doing something beforehand, there is more momentum making it easier to continue through the holiday season, resulting in better overall health and a head start on a new year resolution that is on the list. By planning ahead and having the right strategy in place, you can start working on your goals or maintain your current fitness level while still enjoying time with the family.
Here are a few ideas to get started!
1. Plan out your physical activity for at least one week in advance. This is especially important when you know you have a holiday vacation or family trip just around the corner. If you know you’ll be out of town for a few days, plan on using those days as an active recovery time (get out for a short brisk walk or do a few yoga poses in your hotel room), and then really ramp up your workout intensity on the days before and after your trip.
2. Use this holiday season to spend with your friends and family while staying active. Include others by going to a class at the gym with them, playing a game outside with the family, or inviting friends to sign up for your local 5k. This way, you can stay connected and hold each other accountable to be active.
3. While school and work commitments fluctuate over the holidays, family commitments can increase. Try changing your schedule a little to get in your workout before anyone wakes up. This way, you can fit it in and have plenty of time for getting all the busy holiday stuff done during the day.
4. Instead of leaving your schedule vulnerable to get squashed, set aside dedicated time to go for a run, make it to an exercise class, or hit play on your DVD workout at home.
5. With all of the tempting treats you will be surrounded by, think 80/20. It’s 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise and other healthy lifestyle factors to achieve a healthy body composition. Don’t deprive yourself from enjoying your favorite foods, but be picky and try to only indulge in the ones that are really worth it. When you do, limit yourself to one serving, and put the rest away. It is less likely that you will overdo it if it is out of sight.
6. Even if you can’t go to your favorite class or get outside during the holiday season, you can still get a great workout in your living room. This can be done anywhere using little to no equipment and in as little as 15 minutes. Focusing on shorter, more intense workouts, such as Variable-intensity Interval Training (VIIT), is where you can save time and get in a full body workout. For example, I invite you to try either this 15-minute digital or this written sample workout. Live MASHUP™ classes and digital/ DVD workouts demonstrate three fitness levels for each exercise.
Jamie Zacharias, CPT, RN, MSN, NP-C is married with three children. She also works as a nurse practitioner at MEDI Weightloss Clinics of Fort Worth and is co-founder of MASHUP™. MASHUP™ offers several options for individuals of ALL fitness levels to achieve their goals through its VIIT program (usually 30- or 45-minute classes) that can be found at various gyms in Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas, including YMCAs, as well as corporate and hospital fitness facilities. MASHUP™ also offers 15-minute digital workouts via the Booya Fitness app, 15-minute DVD workouts, and a 45-Day Fitness and Nutrition Online Challenge. For more information, visit www.mashupconditioning.com.