December is a tough month for meeting fitness goals. Everything seems to conspire to lure us away from the things that make us feel the best about ourselves. Office parties, family gatherings, school events for our children, and a multitude of seasonal stressors tend to disrupt the routines that normally keep us sane and healthy.
It’s entirely possible to approach the holidays with a fresh perspective. You can balance all the extras coming your way. But you’ll need a plan.
One of the very first things to fall by the wayside during the holidays is the workout. It’s so easy to let that slide in response to a hectic schedule and increased demands. Keep in mind that you’ll handle everything much better if you allow yourself the 30 minutes it takes to get some form of physical activity. If you have to miss your workout one day, don’t be too hard on yourself. Resolve to stick to the plan and be vigilant the next day.
If you’re traveling during the holidays and your normal workout happens in the gym, just take a pair of walking shoes and hit the bricks in the neighborhood you’ll be visiting. Walking will get you out in the invigorating fresh air. It’s also a great way to spend some quality alone-time or to connect with family members.
Holiday gatherings will be a lot less damaging to your dietary routine if you prepare ahead of time. Eat a small snack before a party. A hand-full of nuts or some fruit will take the edge off your hunger and keep you from eating your way through the buffet table later.
Decide ahead of time how much alcohol you will consume at any event. That extra drink not only adds unwanted calories, it also saps your dietary willpower. (Later, you’ll also be glad you weren’t the one wearing the lampshade at the office party!)
If you happen to fall off the dietary or fitness wagon, don’t add to the problem by self-chastising behavior. Ditch the negative self-talk and move on. You’ll bounce back much faster if you keep a positive attitude and forgive yourself for that small (okay, maybe that big) transgression.
December, with all its extra demands, probably isn’t the best time to begin a new diet plan. With all the extras associated with the season, it’s too easy to program yourself for failure. Instead, why not strive for dietary and fitness balance throughout the holidays? You can then successfully gear up your diet plans for the New Year. The natural momentum that comes with the start of another year can act as a kick-start for getting and staying fit.