The Holiday Season is upon us, and with it plenty of good times, cheer… and temptation. What’s the best way to get through the Holidays as healthy as possible?
You are in luck! We asked 17 fitness and nutrition experts to tell us the tips they follow to make it through the season without overdoing it or stressing so much that they miss out on the festive fun.
Allison is the owner/founder of Allison Jackson Fitness, as well as a pro figure competitor and full-time working mom. She helps corporate moms get lean eating foods they love. She’s a certified personal trainer (NASM) and a Precision Nutrition Coach.
Everything in moderation.
When you have a social event or party, try to eat a little less throughout the day so you can enjoy some holiday indulgences. It can be hard to be strict throughout the holiday season. Instead of trying to lose weight, try to maintain.
Keep doing your regular workouts.
Even though you may be traveling, attending parties and staying out later than usual, keep your regular fitness routines going. Now is not the time to take a break from your fitness routine.
Look for healthy alternatives to holiday treats.
For example, instead of candied yams, try roasted sweet potatoes or make a lighter version of your favorite cookie or cake.
CPT, Equinox Group Fitness Instructor
Sylvia Nasser is a 13-year fitness professional, certified personal trainer, and creator of the national #irockthesportsbra body positive campaign. Sylvia currently teaches boxing, cycling, strength and conditioning, and is certified in Pilates and Yoga. A boxing enthusiast, influencer, mother and self-proclaimed badass, Sylvia strives to empower women to face their fears, let go of judgements, and celebrate every step of their personal fitness journey.
1) Try and maintain a consistency in an exercise routine, even it is needs to be abbreviated
2) Exercise for fitness maintenance and for the “jolly” feeling!
3) Find your favorite classes and mark them as your “me time”
4) Have a trainer for accountability, or workout with a friend who also wants to stay fit for holidays.
5) Use Meditation as a way to cope with stresses of holiday.
6) Treat yourself to time at the spa with a massage or take warm Epsom salt baths to relieve stress.
7) Stay hydrated- especially with holiday alcoholic consumption!
8) If you don’t have time to make it to the gym in between shopping, traveling or family gatherings do short quick workouts at home. Something is always better than nothing!
9) Ask Santa for new workout clothes. A great new outfit is sometimes all you need to feel refreshed and ready to hit the gym
10) And there is always room for “skinny” cocktails! Happy Holidays!
Sylvia will be launching her new site in the new year. You can find her currently on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/thefitfem/
ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Owner of Three60Fit
Christian believes it’s possible to enjoy most (if not all) of what the holidays have to offer and still look and feel your best.
Mix up your everyday fitness routine.
There are so many exercise options that can give you a better workout than boring yourself on a treadmill or elliptical. Look into classes like kettlebell flow and cardio kickboxing. You can’t beat the fitness benefits of these whole-body approaches, plus they’re fun and the time flies!
Balance out the holiday fun.
Fight off holiday weight gain by balancing out your diet. Not every night is filled with peppermint bark and hot cocoa, take advantage of opportunities to prepare your own healthy food. Look into Paleo and WHOLE30 recipes while introducing anti-inflammatory foods like berries, nuts and ginger into your diet. Then you can indulge a bit more when plans call for holiday celebrations.
Set goals, but don’t stress.
It might not be realistic to hit the gym every day, so try to set achievable goals, like going three times a week. It’s easy to get caught up in life and forget about health this time of year, so if you can’t find time to go to the gym, don’t stress about it. It’s amazing how easy it is to find a full-body workout to do in the comfort of your own living room. Even if you miss a goal here or there, you’re still a month ahead of everyone who is waiting until New Year’s to start paying attention to their health!
Personal Trainer, Weight Loss/Wellness Coach and Powerlifter
Robert is a 19 time World Champion, 34 time National Champion, member of the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame. He also supervised the drug testing at the Rio Olympics. He is quoted frequently in national publications and have done numerous radio interviews and podcasts, including a best of 2017 one for Reebok Spartan.
The best way to stay fit and motivated during the holidays is to realize that it is a festive time of year and take advantage of that as an opportunity to recharge and reload for training hard in the New Year. It is not the best time to go for maxes or personal records unless you are psyched up to test your year’s progress. Instead, one should set goals that will enable them to emerge from the holidays rested and ready but still in decent shape. One should still train, but go lighter and with less intensity. That way their body will get a break so they can gear up again in January.
Also, their mind will get a break so they can enjoy socializing and the holiday spirit and become rejuvenated. If a party or holiday falls on a gym night, it is no big deal and they can just hit the gym the next day. They should still enjoy holiday food, but do so in moderation. Before a party they should eat some protein so that they will feel fuller and then won’t over indulge. Also, if they train hard leading up to Thanksgiving, they can afford a few big meals and sweets here and there and their metabolism will be elevated. Anyone can follow these guidelines and enjoy a fit and festive holiday season. They can then hunker down and train like an animal during the long dark winter.
Pilates Instructor and Wellness Coach
Melanie holds a Pilates Mat Certificate from Equinox’s Pilates Teacher Training Institute and an Advanced Diploma in Coaching from the New York University School of Professional Studies. Her approach is practical, time-efficient, highly-effective, and most importantly, personal.
Choose foods wisely.
Pre-party snacking can help keep you fuller for longer so you don’t over-indulge on the main meal. When choosing your foods throughout the event, focus on filling your plate with tons of veggies and lean proteins (limiting your carb and sugar intake). Filling up on low-calorie, nutritious foods will still allow you to treat yourself in moderation when it comes to desserts and alcoholic beverages.
Get the family in on fitness.
Grab a few of your closest family members and friends and choose a time before and/or after the big holiday event to exercise – whether it’s working out with an at-home on demand class or physically going to a gym or studio. Planning with family and friends makes the activity more fun and keeps you accountable so you don’t feel as guilty if you happen to indulge a little more than you expected.
Control your surroundings and keep busy.
Surround yourself with other health-conscious family members so you can motivate each other to stay on track. If you feel sweet cravings kick in, maybe take a break to go play a game with the kids so you’re keeping busy. Another tip is to chew on a piece of gum so you can limit your alcohol intake as well (alcohol contains empty calories and reduces the amount of fat your body burns for energy).
MD, Diet and Nutrition Expert
Carolyn is a the author of “The Magnesium Miracle” and “The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health”.
1) Travel by plane, train or automobile can be very stressful on the body. New places, family especially during the holidays can also be emotionally stressful. The mineral “magnesium” is known as the anti-stress, anti-anxiety mineral or the original chill pill. Serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical that is boosted artificially by some medications, depends on magnesium for its production and function. Studies have shown that when magnesium is depleted that stress and anxiety are heightened so making sure that your magnesium levels are high is a way to avoid feelings of stress and anxiety while traveling and during the holidays.
It is important to note that not forms of magnesium are easily absorbed by the body. Magnesium citrate powder is highly absorbed and mixed with water is easy to take. Prepare a water bottle with a teaspoon or two of magnesium citrate powder and sip this throughout the day, while traveling and/or have it available at your bedside. In this form, it is fast acting and highly absorbable. It will help you get restful, rejuvenating sleep and lower stress levels during holiday travel and celebrations. A best selling magnesium that I have used successfully and is easily absorbed is called “Natural Calm” made by Natural Vitality.
2) Sufficient sleep is important for overall health and is especially challenging during the holidays. Electrical appliances and electro-magnetic radiation in the bedroom is a factor to be aware of that makes falling asleep and staying asleep more difficult. Keep these to a minimum, do not sleep next to your cell phone, computers, tv, etc.
3)Room temperature – 68 degrees is ideal, any warmer and it can disrupt sleep and make it harder to fall asleep…
Improving air quality in the bedroom by using an air filtration system or a humidifier.
Darkness of the bedroom also helps, the darker the better. Eating before sleep affects sleep quality, avoid sugar, alcohol and simple carbs, all of these affect sleep quality. Exercise just before sleep can also disrupt sleep.
It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep without enough of the mineral magnesium because magnesium facilitates sleep regulating melatonin (sleep hormone) production. Studies have shown that magnesium helps you get a deep and restful sleep. Magnesium also relieves the muscle tension that can prevent restful sleep and activates GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, and activation of GABA(A) receptors favors sleep.
Cat is a successful certified personal trainer in San Diego, a gym owner, and entrepreneur of an at-home workout solution, Studio SWEAT onDemand. With 15+ years in the fitness industry she has some experience with keeping fit even when you feel like you don’t have the time!
Be mindful of what you’re eating.
Try to stay on top of portion sizes this holiday season! Do you really need a third helping of mashed potatoes? Probably not. If you had an extremely heavy meal maybe skip out on the 3 different flavors of pies and choose fruit with whipped cream instead. If you do eat something you feel badly about, put in extra workout time after. Handle it and put it in the past.
Have a support system!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, find friends or family to work out with! Even encourage your friends and family to do something active! Instead of watching hours and hours of basketball on Christmas, get your family to play your own game outside! Or after opening gifts with your kids, go outside a put the new hula hoops and jump ropes to use!
Do your workouts even when you don’t feel like it
During the holidays it can be difficult to find time to exercise especially with things always coming up like family in town, cooking, shopping, etc. but do your workouts even when you don’t feel like it! Once you start allowing yourself ‘days off’ you will lose the motivation to hold yourself accountable and most likely give up all together. Exercise during the times you are the least busy for example early mornings, that way you have nothing preventing you from working out! But the best time to workout is the time that YOU WILL! The reason those who exercise in the morning are proven to be in better shape is because they don’t let things that happen to them throughout the day get in their way. If you wait until later in the evening you probably will push it off with excuses that you’re too tired or have too much to do. That being said, some people really prefer to workout in the afternoons and evenings. If you’re one of them, just schedule it and don’t make it optional to move or cancel..
Anything is possible with dedication, motivation and moderation!
A fitness blog that focuses on sharing simple and clear workout tips and reviews.
Workout Twice a Day
The #1 reason for working out twice a day during the holidays is that it will reduce the amount of sedentary time you have. With the extra food and drinks you consume during the holidays, it’s important to carve out time to move around, even if it’s going for a 15 minute walk around the neighborhood. Workout in the morning to get your metabolism going, and it will help you burn calories throughout the whole day. Then, plan an aerobic workout before 1-2 hours before your dinner or main meal.
Have an Accountability Buddy
If you’re spending the holidays with family, recruit a family member (or multiple) to workout with you. According to studies, working out with someone else increases the amount of exercise you do (and this can increase even more if your partner is emotionally supportive of you). Create a schedule, and hold each other accountable to it!
Wear Formfitting Clothes
Leave the clothes with elastic waistbands and stretchy material in your closet this holiday season. While they might be comfortable, they also make it simple to eat more because you don’t notice your stomach expanding as easily. Instead, wear a belt or opt for clothes that are more formfitting, as this will help you sooner realize when you’re full and should stop eating.
Dr. Lisa N. Folden
Licensed Physical Therapist and Naturopathic Lifestyle Coach
She owns and operates Healthy Phit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants in Charlotte, NC where she works with clients of all ages recovering from orthopedic and neurological injuries. She also helps people seeking a healthier lifestyle by guiding their food, exercise and wellness choices.
Exercise whenever (& however) you can!
With holidays parties, gatherings, performances, activities and everything else, it’s easy loose your normal workout or gym routine. And that’s totally okay. Life should be fun, spontaneous and exciting. So, falling off of your normal schedule for a while is fine.. What isn’t fine is going without a workout for a month. Your body needs to move, so make time for that movement whenever and however you can. If it’s 15 minutes in the morning before work, 20 minutes during a lunch break or a quick strength training circuit right before bed in your pjs, it’s better than nothing. So just do it. Get creative. Multitask a workout while you’re at your kid’s sporting event. Double exercise time as a family or friend outing like rock climbing, laser tag or hiking. Make it happen, however you can.
Meal prep SMART & EASY
The holidays may not be the time of year to begin or even continue massive meal planning and prepping all weekend! But, to keep your eating on track, you absolutely need to meal prep. But there’s no rule against doing it the smart and easy way. Utilize your local grocery store resources, like healthy (low-sodium) frozen sides and dinner options. In addition to frozen options, consider meals for the week that use many of the same ingredients to keep your grocery bill low and labor to a minimum. This time of year, with so many extra sweets lying around at work, local business and friends and family houses, it’s a great opportunity to eat a bit lighter. So maybe instead of a multi-step lunch for the week, do a simple protein shake. This requires little to no prep so it will save tons of time. Whatever you do, continue to plan and prep your meals, but make a point to think light, easy and smart.
STEAL away and have some quiet time
This time of year, “peace and quiet” might seem like a far fetched dream with visitors in town, holiday parties and other events. That is why it’s even more important to steal your quiet time. Yes, that may mean going into a closet for 5 minutes, but that’s okay. We can all agree that counting your macros and working out two hours a day will have little impact if your mental sanity is not intact. Ultimate health and wellness begins and ends with your state of mind. If you are sad, depressed, anxious, stressed or confused, your health is STILL lacking. You absolutely have to address your mental well-being. Do that by taking time away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Sit alone in your bedroom. Take a late evening drive and watch the sunset. Go for a quiet walk. And seriously, if all else fails, sit in a dark closet and take 10 deep cleansing breaths. Whatever you feel you need to do, do it. And make no apologies for it. Period.
Certified Yoga Instructor and Certified Mindfulness Educator.
She is the founder of Ganjasana Yoga Alliance school, and offer various classes, workshops, trainings and retreats specializing in plant medicine use with yoga.
The ancient science of Ayurvedic medicine, which yoga stems from offers guidelines for staying healthy during the winter months including building a daily ritual that you can practice every morning. This ritual should be practiced at the same time every single day so that your brain can build new neuronal pathways, and form new healthy habits.
Daily Routine – Dinacharya:
A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity. Most of the recommended practices are done upon waking and are completed before breakfast..
Sankalpa: Affirmation: I am vibrantly healthy (I am alive and well)
Write on beautiful paper to view in room/bathroom/ or place you will see every day. Write multiple times and place around your home to reinforce message. Repeat during morning ritual three times.
Hydrate: Drink a glass of water. It is recommended to put a glass of water next to your bed in preparation for the next morning. You may add some lemon or lemon oil drops, or have water in a copper mug (keeps dosha in balance, and stabilize GI tract).
Nadi Shodhana (also known as alternate nostril breathing) balances our energies throughout the system, and is highly effective at calming the nervous system while pacifying excess vata during winter. Practice 1 minute a day. (we can slowly increase time week by week as you feel fit).
Breath Retention. Practice 1 minute a day:
Inhale for 4
Abhyengha: Ayurvedic Self-Massage.
This ancient practice of self-massage with oil calms the nervous system, lubricates and rejuvenates the tissues, and promotes healthy circulation throughout the body. The Sanskrit word for oil, sneha, also means love. Abhyanga is a profound practice of rejuvenation and loving self-care that benefits both the physical body and the subtler realms of consciousness. Each morning, before a shower or bath, massage about 1/4 cup warm coconut oil.
Begin at feet, starting at heels, dig your thumbs up and T out at the top of the foot 3 times. Massage oil into sole of foot, top of foot, and pull at each toe.
Rub circles around ankles, at all joint, rub in circular motion to move synovial fluids.
Massage the oil up and down the shin and calf, then circle around the knees. Move up the leg towards the heart. Always move from the limbs towards heart center making broad strokes on limbs and circling around the joints.
Rub entire body with love.
If you have time, wear a warm rob over the oil for 10 minutes before showering.
Nutrients: Balanced three meals a day.
Incorporate breakfast into your morning routine with CBD oil and any other vitamin applications.
Bedtime: Honor your bedtime!
Try to go to sleep by 11pm to avoid the activation of cortisol at night.
Get a calorie tracker and use that baby meticulously. We need to be cognizant of what we are eating. We can do this by using a tracker that will help us stay mindful of how much we are eating instead of going in blind.
Set your intentions before the meal. For example you will only have a portion meat the size of your fist, one piece of pie, and two scoops of mash potatoes. That way you are going in with a plan to your meal and it will be in your head how much you are going to eat. Instead of simply going after it like everyone else does, and ends up eating too much,
Have a bigger goal for the New Year that will inspire you enough to not want to eat the extra calories. Decide to get back to your fighting weight and have a vision for it so intense and so meaningful to you that it means more to you to start on that vision now, instead of stuffing yourself. Putting you one step ahead of all the people who wait until New Years for change.
Make a pact with people family or friends you are going to parties with that you will all keep each other accountable for eating less food. This will create a support system to where you are all in it together.
Drink water or low calorie drinks. Trade the sodas out for these. If you are going to be drinking, do so with liquor to where you ad diet soda or soda water to them instead of soda. This will save you some extra calories.
Keep healthy snacks nearby.
During the holidays, there always seems to be a plate of fresh baked cookies or bread around, and when you get hungry, you’ll go for anything. Keep healthy snacks around so you’re not tempted to go for the “less-than-great” options all the time. Things like cut apples + nut butter, persimmons, fresh veggies + tzatziki, etc can be great to keep on hand and help you stay on track!
Get the family to join in on workouts.
Holidays are about spending time with the ones you love. What better way to do this than with a group workout? Whether it’s a Christmas morning hike (hi, Californian’s), or a group yoga session by the fire, motivating other family members to join in on your workouts can be fun and rewarding.
Focus on spending time with family.
Sometimes during the holidays, we find ourselves hovering around the food table and can overindulge in the holiday snacks. Separating yourself from this and focusing on having a conversation with a family member or starting a group board game can be a great way to distance yourself from the food table and really enjoy the holidays for what they’re about.
1) “Make every other drink at a party a bottle of water. It’ll cut your alcohol calories in half, keep you hydrated, and that much more likely not to skip tomorrow’s workout from a hangover!!
2) “Move your body EVERY day! It is not optional. Choose something you enjoy for a “rest” day like a long walk, hike, short swim, dance class – it doesn’t have to be a full hour. Get 5, 10, 20 minutes in, and your body (and mind) will thank you. Got family in town? Make it a group activity!
Founder of plantbasedscotty.com, a plant-based health and wellness website.
I stay motivated using two rules. They’re easy to follow and help eliminate poor health decisions.
The first rule is fasting everyday, for a minimum 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. That means if your last meal is at 9pm, breakfast isn’t until 9am the following day.
It’s an easy rule to follow that also specifically discourages late night eating. Additionally, fasting teaches you to listen to your body’s hunger signals. So instead of eating because “it’s time”, you eat when you’re actually hungry.
The second rule is to exercise daily for a minimum of 30 minutes. That could be a full workout or a simple walk around the neighborhood.
By making time for exercise, I feel more motivated to engage in other healthy activities..
Healthy eating becomes the default choice and sleep, a priority.
This makes the New Year more enjoyable because I come out ahead, instead of playing catch-up.
I’ve been in the fitness industry for 13 years. Here are some of my biggest fit tips for the season.
Eliminate the diet
Don’t get caught up in dieting. You’ll enjoy the holiday season much more. Instead focus on lifestyle change. There’s less pressure that way. Choose healthy options 90% of the time and enjoy those festive treats the other 10%. Diets don’t allow room for treats. Lifestyle changes do.
Keep yourself a priority
You don’t need to hit the gym 7 days a week for hours at a time. Take the pressure off yourself. This time of year is busy but at the same time we may get more time off work due to the holidays. Use that time off to focus on you. Don’t worry, hitting the gym 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes each session is just fine.
Drink a glass of water upon weakening is a good way to jump start your metabolism and flush toxins. Before a big meal drink a glass of water and continue to drink water during your meal. Your brain can sometimes confuse thirst with hunger so by not staying hydrated you’re more likely to consume more calories via food And lastly
The holidays are all about enjoying your time with family and friends. It only comes around once a year. Enjoy yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself. Remember it’s a lifestyle change and you can get back into the groove of things the next week.
PhD, MSW, LMT, RYT
Director of the Complex Trauma Research Institute, Co-Founder of Yomassage
Licensed Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Instructor
Take 5 minutes to focus on your breath:
The breath is directly related to the nervous system and can calm the mind and body to enter into rest, relaxation and digestion. When we are anxious we often breath into the chest. When we are sleeping or deeply relaxed we often breath into the belly. You might notice when you are stressed your neck muscles feel tight or sore. This is because your neck muscles are secondary respiratory muscles – they help move the rib cage up for respiration. When we breath into the low belly, filling up our lungs completely, the neck muscles aren’t being used and therefore won’t be as sore. When we inhale the heart rate actually increases and when we exhale it decreases. So when you are trying to calm the body down, it’s important to take a longer exhale than inhale.
Here is a simple breathing exercise you can try: close your eyes and get into a comfortable seated or reclined position. Begin to notice your breath without judgement. Notice the rate and depth at which you’re breathing, if you are breathing into your chest or low belly. Slowly begin to elongate your breath, maybe to a count of 5 on your inhale and 8 on your exhale. Check in with your low belly and relax it if needed to allow for a full inhalation. Do this for 5 minutes.
Take 5 minutes for self-massage:
Massage allows you to get in touch with your body. Feel good touch decreases stress hormones (like cortisol) and increases feel good happiness hormones (like oxytocin). It’s best to have a trusted person of your choice (partner, friend, sibling, even child) give you a quick hand, foot, or head massage with lotion or your favorite oil. If you don’t have someone to enlist in your massage self-care, using lacrosse, massage, or tennis balls (whatever you have access to) can provide immense tension relief and feel good stimulation of your muscles while improving circulation. Massage balls can be used easily on the feet, hands, and back. Massage allows your body to enter into the parasympathetic nervous system mode, and when combined with slowly breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth it can be an extremely effective relaxation method.
Take 5 minutes to stretch:
Stretching is thought to be similar to self-massage because when we stretch we are accessing the same sensory receptors in our muscles. It also gives you just a few minutes to connect with your body and be in the moment. When we are connected to our body and are aware of the sensations we’re feeling, it’s easier to stay in the present. Taking 5 minutes to do three gentle stretches, combined with slow, deep breathing can be hugely beneficial. Here are a few suggested stretches: Twist: lay on the ground with bent knees and arms in cactus position. Gently lower the knees to one side and take your gaze in the opposite direction. Place a pillow under the knees if your opposing should comes off of the ground. Reclined butterfly: with a pillow or bolster vertical next to your sacrum, gently roll back onto the pillow. Take soles of your feet together and gently let knees fall towards the floor. You may want blocks or pillows under your knees to support them. V-leg forward fold: From a seated position take legs wide. You may want a pillow or bolster in front of you. With a straight spine, hinge at the hips and bring your torso forward until you rest on your forearms or pillow. Knees can be bent if needed.
CSCS-certified trainer and owner of Pat’s Gym.
Plan ahead with the workouts.
If you work out in the morning, it’s a bit easier to stay consistent. Make sure that you work out, and don’t wait for later. If you work out later in the day, it’s a bit trickier. Things will come up, and the unpredictability of your schedule is always an excuse not to work out.
With regard to food, plan ahead.
You don’t want to go into a holiday party famished. If you do, then the result is surely to be disastrous. So, when you’re planning on attending a holiday meal, or party, eat something healthy before you go. That way, you can nibble on healthy food and not go for the least unhealthy items on the table. If you can’t plan ahead, make sure you drink of ton of water before going to the holiday get together. It will make you feel fuller.
Try to avoid it, or pace yourself.
With regard to alcohol which is everywhere during the holidays. Try to avoid it, or pace yourself. Alcohol not only contains a lot of dead calories, but it also causes spikes in insulin in your body which is not great, and works against your fitness goals. In addition, alcohol also puts you in a frame of mind where your will power about food is compromised. So, if you do want to drink, be smart about it.
George Veater & Jenn Zerling
Stay fit with 3 exercises and 15 mins (You can do these anywhere!)
Slow motion burpees: Slow burpees actively engage your muscles in a precise way to yield full-body results.
Works: arms, chest, back, quads, glutes, hamstrings, core and heck, the whole dang body all in one move. Can you get better than that?
Half get-ups: This is a compound movement without the lower body. This exercise will teach you to recruit all of your core muscles while your lower extremities anchor your upper body. And in turn, this one move can strengthen your core muscles, spinal stabilizers, and prevent injury when executed correctly.
Works: core, shoulders, backs, total trunk muscles and hip flexors.
Ground to press or ground to upright row with a squat: Activates the total kinetic chain in one movement: foot and ankle, all the way to hips, shoulders, and back. All of these muscles are being worked in one movement by going against gravity which puts a strong metabolic demand on your muscles and bones.
Works: Full leg activation (glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings), shoulders, biceps,
Stay sane by trying these 3 tactics with friends & family
Set boundaries: Set clear boundaries, then voice and stick to them. (ex. maybe politics are off limits) Layout where the line is and be clear so everyone understands your position.
Go in without expectations: You need to understand that you aren’t going to change people. Accept them for who they are and remember you are only going to be in their presence for a short time.
Practice gratitude: Write down three things you are grateful for every morning and repeat it when you start to feel stressed out. Or better yet, write down one thing you are grateful for about each family member and repeat them when needed.
Try Mindful Eating to Avoid Overeating
The one thing you need for a healthier and happier holiday season, that will keep you from gaining holiday weight…mindful eating. There is a constant connection between your gut and brain that can make-or-break optimal health.
Everything stems from gut health (your stomach is like your second brain). In order for digestion to work, you need to be a mindful eater, meaning you are eating only. Being disconnected and distracted while eating can lead to overeating and weight gain; eliminate all distractors and you will set yourself up for better results overall.
Why: Digestion happens best only when you are in a relaxed or parasympathetic state when your body works to fuel your digestive track instead of fueling your muscles as it does in a sympathetic state which prepares the body for intense physical activity. (If you think about it, you wouldn’t run on a treadmill right after eating, would you?)
Try this: This holiday ditch the computer and your social media accounts when you are eating and engage in the now so that your body can be in harmony with your mind and do the work needed for digestion.
When you are gathered around your table with friends and family be in conversation with people but discuss what is on the table. Talk about the food, the way it was prepared, the tasty aromas, and taste each individual ingredient as you eat it. Chew your food well, close your eyes to taste the flavor of your food. Have your mind wrap around the act of eating while you eat, you will slow the pace of eating and feel a larger sense of satisfaction!
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