Tag Archives: holidays

Anything is better than nothing

27 Dec

Hello Lucky13’ers!!  I hope you all are having a wonderful, joyous holiday time!!  I had a really nice Christmas with all my loved ones.  Birthday celebrations for my parents, Christmas Eve & Day gatherings, and lots of laughs.  It was great to indulge in the company of those I love, and take a breather from the hustle and bustle of every day life.  I let myself splurge and enjoy some champagne as well as homemade desserts.  I took Christmas Day off from working out but found myself busy doing lots of other things. 

Even though Christmas is over, the spirit of the holiday season is still very much alive: holiday parties, gatherings with family and friends, New Years celebrations, etc.  There’s not a moment of this week that’s not filled with one outing or another.  As much as I appreciate having the opportunity to do so much, I also get weary that I will not have enough time to keep up with my regular workout routine.  I workout for approximately 45-90 mins per day, 6 days a week.  It takes a lot of planning and discipline to fit my workout into my routine as it is; fitting it in during the holidays seems nearly impossible.  It seems that this seems to be an issue for most people, especially at the holidays. 

Instead of having an all-or-nothing attitude I have been trying to remind myself that when it comes to exercising during the hectic holidays, anything is better than nothing.   Maintaining the routine of exercise is more important during hectic times than the duration of the exercise.  For example, this morning I only had time for a short workout so I did 30 minutes on the ARC trainer instead of my usual 45-60 minutes.  I could’ve easily rationalized that 30 minutes wasn’t worth it and scrapped the workout altogether, but I reminded myself that 30 minutes is WAY better than zero minutes and I went hard!  I got a pretty good sweatfest in that 30 minutes & felt much better at the end of my workout.  Not just physically but mentally as well; I knew I would’ve mentally felt awful if I’d skipped it.  I may not have done what I usually do but I maintained my routine of exercise and started the day off on the right foot.

I know there will be other similar situations before the holiday season comes to an end, and I will try to remind myself that anything is better than nothing.  I encourage you to do the same: keep up the routine, do as much as you have time for, and maintain as best you can!

Don’t let the Holidays turn into a Holidaze!

9 Dec

Its HERE- holiday season!!! Thanksgiving, to me, is pretty much the kick off to the Holiday season every year.  No sooner have we stuffed our faces full of turkey, trimmings, wine, pie and egg nog than we’re up and out the door at 4am for Black Friday shopping!!  Everywhere you look: Christmas decorations and lights, overflowing parking lots, long lines at stores and charitable donation solicitations galore.  Between the holiday parties, shopping for gifts, decorating, preparing for family and friends to gather & all the other NORMAL responsibilities of life, time for fitness might seem pretty sparse.  In fact, its prime time for folks to fall out of their exercise and healthy eating routines.  I have blogged about this “Holiday Workout Hiatus” before, and provided some tips on how to keep up your workout routine during the holiday season.

Today I want to focus on how to stick to healthy eating habits during the holidays.  This can be a VERY daunting task- the holidays are all about imbibing & enjoying yummy food with loved ones.  Much of the holiday food/drink is chock full o’ calories, fat and sodium.  This “comfort food” gives us the cozy feeling of wanting to curl up on the couch after eating, NOT hit the gym.  That means double trouble.  Tons of food + zero exercise = HoliDAZE.  It’s not long before you feel sluggish and cloudy; your normal alert, fit feeling goes out the door with the end of the year.  

How, then, to enjoy the holidays without sacrificing your healthy habits??

Top 5 Tips for Hanging onto Healthy Eating Habits Over the  Holidays

1.  Don’t show up to a holiday party famished.  Eat something with protein and fiber, such as an apple & peanut butter, before you arrive and you won’t be tempted to attack the finger foods with a vengeance.

2.  Keep the booze consumption under control.  Tis the season for Egg nog, Kahlua drinks and hot toddy; they will likely be offered to you over and over.  Keep in mind that they contain just as many calories as some meals!!  Instead opt for a light beer, glass of wine or vodka & soda water.  My personal favorite is to make my own wine spritzers by filling 1/2 or 3/4 of my wine glass with soda water & then filling the remaining part with red wine.  This allows me to drink 3 or 4 “glasses full” without consuming 3 or 4 glasses of wine.  AND I stay more hydrated!

3.  Eat as MANY veggies & fruits as you want.  If you fill your plate with veggies (that aren’t covered in cheese or heavy cream sauce) there will be less room on your plate & in your belly for unhealthy things!  When dessert comes around, allow yourself ONE small treat and then stick to flavored seltzer, tea, and fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth.

4.  Remember that there is always tomorrow.  Don’t treat each holiday party, gathering and meal like it’ll be your last.  Keep in mind that this is holiday SEASON and you will likely find yourself at several more similar settings in the upcoming weeks.  Don’t feel the need to try it all, splurge on dessert & have an extra drink at every party you attend.  Pick one event at which you enjoy dessert.  At another one, have a cocktail or two.  At a third, allow yourself to try a small portion of a “treat” appetizer. 

5.  Eat extra clean during the week.  It is often one weekend holiday party after another that do us in.  Inevitably there will be some level of splurging, or at least deviation from your normal eating routine.  So during the week when you have control of your meals, make them as HEALTHY and CLEAN as possible!!  Omit any treats, alcohol & dessert during your everyday meals.  Save your splurges for the times when you don’t have total control of your food/beverage selection.

The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed with family and friends.  It often revolves around eating and drinking in a group setting, which can lead to major healthy habit sabotage.  But, sticking to these tips can help you do some serious damage control and keep you on track toward your goals!

Do you have any other tips on staying healthy over the holidays?? I’d love to hear them!

Its getting COLD!!!

28 Oct

Its getting COLD in Boston!!! Last night brought the first sleet/snow of the winter of 2011.  It caused traffic to slow down, people to quicken their pace when walking outside, and created a rise in anxiety for many people.  However, the truth is that we are going to get a lot more of the cold, snow, sleet, ice, etc before we get the “75 and sunny” again.  This change of seasons always brings about a certain roadblock for those on an exercise regimen.  It’s just not as easy to pop out of bed and hit the pavement for a morning run or throw on a tank and shorts and zip to the gym.  Instead the extra steps of bundling up, scraping ice off the car, heating it up, shoveling the driveway, and driving slower to the gym often keep you in bed, ditching the workout altogether.  As daylight lessens, so does motivation and drive to keep up with a work out program.  One postponed workout turns into 3 and before you know it, it’s the week before Christmas and you haven’t been into the gym for 2 weeks.  And the week before Christmas is full of shopping, wrapping, cooking, and everything BUT working out.  The inevitable promise to yourself: I’ll jump right back on the bandwagon after the holidays- it’s just too busy right now and I don’t have any extra time.  Its a slippery slope and I’ve seen people go from a religious 3x/wk gym schedule to disappearing from the workout for 1-2 months.  DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.  How to avoid this disaster, you ask??  Here are my tips…

Top 5 tips for avoiding the “Holiday Induced Workout Hiatus”

1. Find a workout buddy.  Even if you don’t typically workout with a pal, find a friend or family member to team up with you.  Plan to meet at the gym at a certain time and either workout together, or for a certain duration of time.  Keeping your word & showing up for a friend is often easier than doing so for yourself.  Still not enough?  Keep each other accountable; if one of you ditches, (s)he owes the other $5 or coffee, etc.

2. Sign up for classes.  Most gyms offer group fitness classes (some are included in the price of membership while others cost extra) and signing up for a class at a specific date/time will allow you to “block out” that hour-ish in your schedule.  Consider it an “appointment” and you won’t miss it!

3. Register for a Turkey Trot or Jolly Jaunt.  There are 5k walk/runs ALL over the place during the holidays and they are the perfect thing to keep you on track.  Not only will you show up for the race (and have so much FUN) but you will be extra motivated to maintain a training regimen to reach your goal.

4. Make an appointment with a trainer.  Sometimes it all boils down to the fact that Money Talks.  If you make an appointment with a trainer and are paying a decent amount of money to do so, chances are you will be more motivated to actually show up and get your money’s worth.  PLUS, you have the amazing benefit of gaining knowledge, some new exercises, and a professional guide through the gym! [If this option sounds appealing to you, email me at michelle@lucky13fitness.com and we can talk training!!!]

5. Don’t make the pit stop at home.  If you’re a post-work gym goer, do NOT make that tempting stop at home to change or eat before you hit the gym.  While this may not pose a threat during the sunny, warm months, the winter brings a different scenario.  Step inside a warm house, change into comfortable clothes and I bet you’re not going to want to go ANYWHERE but the couch.  Avoid this trap by packing a bag with gym clothes and a pre-workout snack.  Bring this back to work with you and go DIRECTLY to the gym when your work day is done!

What about you? Do you have any tips/tricks for staying motivated and focused on your healthy habits during the holidays and cold winter months??