By Dan Romand
It’s the holiday season, a time when we all look forward to spending time with our family and friends, having fun and just relaxing.
It’s also the time we tend to pack on the pounds. Trust me, as a trainer, I get it. Heck, sometimes I succumb to it myself.
Let’s face it, the days are getting shorter, it’s cold out and we have a lot of things to get done to prepare for Christmas.
Add to that, for many of us, stress goes up both at home and at work. The last thing many of us want to do is get to the gym and workout, or worse, pass up those holiday treats that always seem to be lying around.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t need to pack on those five or ten extra pounds that so many of us do.
Here are some tips you can follow to help you navigate around the holidays.
Schedule your workouts: Whether you work out at home, in the office or at the gym, put your workouts on the calendar and stick to them. Rather than leave it to chance, be proactive and set aside dedicated times when you will do your workouts.
Get your workouts in before your brain wakes up: Yep, you heard it right. Set the alarm clock a bit earlier and get your workout in before everyone else wakes up. Not only will you have more energy throughout the day, you’ll be less inclined to blow off your workout due to things that come up during the day.
Get a partner or work with a trainer: As personal trainers, this is where we see the biggest benefit for our clients. They know if they don’t’ show up, we will hold them accountable. You’ll be less inclined to skip a workout if you know someone is waiting for you.
Change up your workout routine: Boredom can be a killer when it comes to motivation. What better time to shake things up than now? Do you only do cardio workouts then try resistance training. Need to work on flexibility? How about some yoga? It’s a great time to get out of your usual routine and incorporate something new. Not only will it help motivate you, but you’ll confuse the body and force it to react to the new workout which can help you break through plateaus.
MODERATION: Don’t just say I’m not going to eat any of the tasty treats. Hell most of the time at some point you’ll get so tempted you’ll go crazy and eat ALL of them. Instead say I’ll enjoy them but within reason. Let’s say you love Christmas cookies. Well instead of saying I’m not going to have ANY and next thing you know you’ve eaten the entire tray in one sitting say I’m going to allow myself to have one or two each day. This way you won’t feel deprived you’ll get more enjoyment out of them and you’ll feel less guilty. One cookie a day isn’t going to pack on a ton of weight eating the entire tray; well, that’s another story.
Set a very specific goal(s). We all know about the New Year’s resolutions to get fit and lose weight. Many times it’s because we’ve gained weight over the holidays and feel guilty. Why wait? Start now by setting goals. It can be as simple as I won’t gain any weight during the holidays or I will work out 4 times a week. Whatever your goal is hold yourself accountable to it and if you can’t have someone else do it for you (hello that’s what we personal trainers do!) This way instead of digging a hole for yourself before the New Year you’ll already be raring to go!
We all know how busy we get during the holiday season but incorporating these suggestions, even just a few of them, can go a long way towards getting through the holidays without gaining those unwanted pounds.
Dan Romand is co-owner and operator of Full Circle Fitness-NY in Colonie, where he is also a certified personal trainer. You can often read Romand’s Health & Fitness column here in TheSpot518 and online at TheSpot518.com.