6 steps for success over the holidays

Hello Fitness Friends!

Today I want to discuss 6 steps to create a map for success. With the Holiday Season upon us, I figured this would be a good time to come up with a plan to stay on track to feel energized and great over the holidays. Let’s be honest, the holidays are a time for happy cheer, family time and giving thanks, however too many people experience stress, low energy and anxiety. So let’s come up with a plan to experience the first list of emotions rather than the later.

  1. MOVE YOUR BODY: You need movement in your life to give you energy. Taking time to exercise is important to feeling great! I hear way too often from people that say, “I am too tired to exercise” or “I have no energy.” Being sedentary and lack of movement are creating these feelings of tiredness and poor energy. Have you heard the phrase, ” you are only one workout away from a good mood…”? There is so much truth behind this statement. The hardest part is getting to the gym or starting that workout program…but once you have completed your workout, YOU WILL FEEL BETTER! Have you ever finished a workout and said to yourself, “I wish I never completed that workout…??” Chances are NO! When we workout and move our body we produce and release a hormone called endorphins. These endorphins are our happy hormones, which is why you feel better after our workouts. So cut the excuses and JUST DO IT! Even if you set aside just 20-30mins every other day to complete a high intensity workout (HIIT) or go for a brisk walk or jog, something is better than nothing.
  2. BREATH AND TAKE SOME ALONE TIME: What do we tell children when they get upset?? BREATH!! So as adults we need to take our own advice and just take a moment to breath. Take this time, whether you take a few minutes to just step aside and breath, or participate in a yoga class where you are focused on your breath. Holidays are often times when we gather with many friends and family….all the hustle of being around groups of people that require more of your energy can be exhausting and overwhelming. It is important to take that alone time, to breath and re-coop. Don’t feel badly or guilt yourself for taking this time, you and everyone else will thank you for taking this alone time.
  3. DRINK WATER: Drinking enough water is ALWAYS important, but often times seems to be even more neglected over the holidays…maybe, because of all the festive drinks that are served?! Not only do we need to stay hydrated for proper bodily functions, but also because you may find yourself consuming more foods and treats with higher sodium. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help you flush out the inflammation. My tip for you is to always have a water bottle with you, no matter what holiday party or family gathering you attend. This way the water bottle is a trigger point to you that you should be drinking water. Drinking lots of water will also help keep you full, and in return eat less empty calories.
  4. WATCH YOUR SUGAR AND ALCOHOL INTAKE: We all know there are more sugary temptations over the holidays, from co-workers bringing treats to the office, to the endless amounts of holiday parties, to baking cookies with loved ones, and the list goes on….let’s be honest, IT IS HARD TO HAVE SELF CONTROL!! BUT, these temptations are not excuses to go overboard and binge, we all have the temptations. I am not saying you can’t have any treats at all, because that is no fun, but I am saying be mindful of what you are consuming. Always remember the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you are really watching what you are eating and 20% of the time you have that treat or holiday meal. Plan ahead, if you know you have a holiday party that evening, then make sure you are eating healthy throughout the day and get those calories in. If you don’t eat anything throughout the day, your blood sugar will drop and by the time you get to the party you will have no self control at all and end up eating more empty calories than you should. Is it worth it to gain 5+ pounds over the holidays to start over at the New Year??
  5. SLEEP: Get your ZZZZZZZs in. This may seem like an obvious way to beat exhaustion, but it is often the one thing we neglect the most.  When we sleep, our body is able to properly recover. It is important to get quality rest, 7-8 hours every night. When we neglect our sleep we put our body into an overworking mode which can lead to producing more cortisol, a stress hormone. Having too much of this hormone in our body will create excessive storage of belly fat.
  6. GIVE BACK AND REMEMBER WHAT THE HOLIDAYS ARE ABOUT: The holidays are for being grateful for all you have in life, your health, your family, a job, your house, food on the table, pets, etc. Giving back and volunteering feeds our spirit, lifts your mood and can fight off depression or negative feelings.

 

So there you have it folks, give these 6 tips a try and let me know how you do!?

 

Cheers to the upcoming Holidays!

In health and love,

Alex Andrea Wellness

 

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