If you are like most folks out there, staying fit and healthy around the holidays is quite difficult. If you are like me, then staying fit and healthy around the holidays is REALLY difficult.
At Thanksgiving, we eat turkey. Christmas, grandma serves…well…turkey. Halloween, we eat our kids’ leftover candies and chocolate. There’s usually chocolate involved during Valentines. And of course, what would be Easter like without chocolate bunnies?
Notice a trend? We are so creative with our choice of food eh? When will there be a holiday centered around carrots and spinach? I’ll tell you when. Never. Because as tempting as it is to eat vegetables on your day off, they just don’t taste as good as pizzas or burgers. Period. We crave things like salt and butter. And even better, salted butter.
The point is, around the holidays, we tend to let ourselves go. We say to ourselves, just one more piece. This won’t affect my weight. I’ll burn off the calories later.
This is good for neither your physical nor mental health. Your body craves consistency and balance. Too much of something and your balance will tip in the wrong direction.
Let me ask you a question. For those of you who’ve made New Year’s Resolution goals on health and fitness, have you followed through with them? If so, good for you. You are gonna go somewhere in life.
For the rest of us, here’s a statistic:
More than 70% of people who set health and fitness related goals give up before they see any progress.
You think it may be too late this year because Easter has just passed and a quarter of the year has flown by. But fear not! Because it’s never too late to get back into shape, or even start it! When it comes to well-being, I break it down into two categories. Physical and Mental. And trust me, you don’t have to revolve your diet around carrots and spinach for either of these!
Mental health does not always equal to meditation.
There are so many other ways to calm your mind, balance your mental state, and focus on your goals. I personally love to spend a day in the woods with my Lab. He gets to chase squirrels and I get to watch him chase squirrels. (Don’t worry, his lack of turning skills while running full speed has hindered him from harming any tiny animals).
But if hiking in the woods on a chilly day isn’t for you, spend time doing what you love and you’ll feel like this Easter has been a productive and fun holiday. Read, garden, play with your kids, go to the spa, pick up that dusty guitar. Keep your mind calm and in turn, your mind will take care of your body.
Still need a little boost?
Turn on your favorite music. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, unclear in direction, stressed, or just a little lost, I turn on my favorite Pink Floyd album to steer my mind back towards the right path. This and along with a few blasts of essential oil (Tea Tree and Bergamot), I am ready to face the world again.
Sugar-free food and treats.
Holidays are not an excuse for you to stuff your face with unhealthy food. Easy to say though right?! It’s hard to keep a distance from that piece of pie or that bowl of ice cream for dessert after you’ve already had two plates of the main course. Because what’s another few calories? Well let me put it straight for you, that’s how you get fat. First, you can’t stop eating, then you just let go. But we don’t have to come to this stage in the first place. Many food and snacks are bad for you because of the sugar content, not the fat. This Easter, try some sugar-free food and snacks. Just Google “sugar-free food for Easter” and you’ll get thousands of results! Sure, you’ll inevitably have that huge family dinner where your grandma cooks the best food ever, but for the rest of the holidays, you’ll have control over what you eat.
And once you have control over your mind, you’ll have control over your body.
Okay, this is the hard one. But it’s only hard to start. Think of it like momentum. Once you start it, it’s easy to keep it going. BUT, if you stop, it’s hard to start again.
When it comes to physical health, it’s a progression. You don’t want to go to a full sprint right away when you haven’t even jogged for years. Go out for a walk on Easter morning. Hunt for those eggs with your kids instead of gnawing on that second hotdog. Make a goal to achieve that BEACH BODY for the summer in a few months.
Here’s something to get you started on Easter. Increase the number and progress through the program and you’ll see improvement eventually. I stressed that word because no matter what “experts” or advertisements tell you, it’s impossible to see physical results immediately or fast when you start exercising. Trust me on this, I didn’t see my 6 pack abs until a year into my strenuous training program. Okay, it’s only 2 pack right now, but it’s a step forward right?
- Morning: Go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Bonus if you have a pet. That way you can do squats while picking up their poop.
- Before lunch: Do 3 sets of 5-10 pushups. If you can’t do a pushup, leave your knees on the floor and use only your upper body
- Before dinner: Do 3 sets of 5-10 situps.
- Before bedtime: Do 10-20 minutes of stretches and yoga. This will get your body ready for bed and refreshed for the next day.
Before you know it, your walks will become jogs. Your pushups will turn into presses at the gym, and your body will be more flexible than your 2 year old’s. Commit to your body, and you’ll be rewarded.
And that’s it! Tell us how do you stay healthy around the holidays? Share some of your tips and tricks to balance your diet and mind!