With the holiday season fast approaching, there is no time like the present to get your fitness routine in line.
You may be getting busier. There may be parties and temptations and excuses to slack on your healthy eating and workout routine.
You may even think to yourself, “I’ll just enjoy and get back to things in the New Year.”
But that only makes things harder. It only puts you behind once January hits.
It only provides you with excuses to not succeed in the future.
And it most definitely doesn’t help you create healthy habits that will last and get you through other rough, temptation-filled, busy times of year.
Instead of putting your health off to the New Year this year, why not start creating healthy habits and putting in place a program that will help you stay healthy and on-track through the holiday season?!
Below are 10 Tips To Help You Stay On-Track This Holiday Season and 2 Quick Bodyweight Workouts you can do anywhere when you are short on time or don’t feel like going to the gym.
10 Tips To Help You Stay On-Track This Holiday Season
There are so many things going on around the holidays that can easily derail our progress. And the last thing we want to do is stress about working out or staying on a diet.
We want to enjoy and have fun!
But that doesn’t mean we can’t find a balance.
The holidays may not be the time to do a super strict program or super long and intense workouts, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t stay on track. It doesn’t mean you can’t still keep moving forward toward your goals.
It doesn’t mean you just give up till the New Year.
Here are 10 guidelines we follow to help us stay on track around the holidays.
Tip #1 – PLAN!
Around this time of year, we know there will be parties. And long work days. But sometimes, regardless of the fact that we KNOW these things are coming up, we don’t PLAN for how to handle them.
Why don’t we decide when we should indulge and when we shouldn’t? Why don’t we PLAN to eat well around the holidays so we can indulge more at the fun events we love? Why don’t we PLAN to workout hard on days we don’t have to work late and be prepared with short home workouts on days when we can’t hit the gym?
Instead of constantly trying to forces ourselves to miss out on the parties or still workout on those long work days, why don’t we PLAN AROUND THEM.
It isn’t bad to indulge in some of the holiday cheer or to skip a workout or two. By indulging we can actually make it easier for us to stay on track for the majority of the time around the holidays.
It isn’t the occasional indulgence or the occasional missed workout that matters. You don’t need to strive for perfection.
You just need to be CONSISTENT.
So sometimes indulging isn’t bad, especially if we enjoy it and then get back on track. Because indulging and getting to enjoy can help us not feel deprived so that we stick to our plan.
If instead we don’t allow ourselves to indulge in the holiday cheer, and we start to feel deprived, we will probably end up binging even worse or eating poorly and missing more workouts than we would if we had simply indulged and gotten to enjoy when we wanted to.
Sometimes indulging actually helps keep you on track, especially if you PLAN FOR IT!
But you need to PLAN.
You need to prepare yourself and know when you will indulge so you can keep yourself on track and eating well on days between the parties. You need to PLAN so you have workouts ready for those times when you are short on time. You need to PLAN so that you know when to push through a workout even if you don’t want to because you won’t be able to get one in tomorrow.
PLAN! Map out the upcoming events. Plan and meal prep so you have healthy meals to eat between parties and events. Plan out workouts and even ways to move more throughout the day.
PLAN and prepare yourself so you can keep yourself on track. Because saying you want to stay on track isn’t enough. It won’t keep you on track when all the goodies start to invade your work.
But planning out how to handle everything will keep you on track and moving forward.
Tip #2 – Strike A Balance – Clean Eating, Working Out And Indulging
Coming up with a plan of action can help you stay on track and help you balance eating well with indulging.
Staying on track this holiday season doesn’t mean perfection – it doesn’t mean eating only chicken and broccoli or doing hour-long workouts every day. It doesn’t mean avoiding parties and forcing yourself to hit the gym.
It just means you have to strike a balance.
Maybe that means eating a bit cleaner around holiday parties so that you can indulge fully during them. Maybe it means cutting out cheat days on weekends unless there is a party so you can indulge in the occasional treat at work.
Maybe it means working out on the same schedule but doing 30 minute workouts instead of your usual hour just so you stay consistent and on track.
It is all about striking a balance (and planning out how to balance everything…ahem Tip #1).
A great way to plan and strike a balance is to write out a schedule ahead of time. Map out the events you want to indulge in and create a meal plan to keep you on track and give you guidance between the events.
Then, using that plan, meal prep. If you have healthy meals prepared, you are less likely to fall victim to those delicious treats that always seem to be around – treats that you don’t necessarily want, but will indulge in if you don’t have healthy food handy or a game plan to stick to.
And with the meal plan, plan out your workouts. Maybe these workouts won’t be the longest or hardest workouts you’ve ever done. Maybe the workouts will simply help you maintain and stay active. But plan out workouts that you know you can fit in and do. Give yourself options. If you know you won’t make it to the gym, give yourself some home options.
Something is better than nothing and keeps you on schedule and consistent even if they aren’t “ideal.”
Strike a balance and stay on track this holiday season so you aren’t staying over in the New Year even if you decide to then kick things up a notch.
Tip #3 – Learn How To Say No
It is hard to say “No” sometimes to treats and parties even when you don’t really want them. It is often easier to give into peer pressure.
But if you want to stay on track, you need to learn how to say “No.”
It is good to have goals. Wanting to eat well and workout isn’t something you should need to apologize for. It isn’t something you should be embarrassed about.
And saying, “No” to a treat if it isn’t something you want or will only hold you back from accomplishing your goals, isn’t a bad thing no matter how much friends and coworkers may try to guilt you into eating it.
You also have to remember that saying, “No” sometimes means you can say “Yes” to events, parties and treats that you actually truly want.
By learning it is ok to say, “No” you can find a balance between indulging and still working toward your goals. You can also learn how to not feel guilty about saying, “Yes” to other treats.
You can find a balance. And balance leads to consistency. And consistency leads to accomplishing your goals.
So learn how to say, “No” and not feel bad about it!
Tip #4 – Don’t Deprive Yourself
So even though you have to learn how to say, “No” and not indulge in every treat that comes your way, you also can’t completely deprive yourself.
Learning to say, “No” also means learning it is ok to sometimes say, “Yes.” You have to strike a balance because balance leads to consistency and consistency leads to your goals.
If you don’t find a balance between indulging and being dedicated, you will probably end up feeling deprived, which will lead to binging. And binging will lead to guilt. And guilt may lead to more binging. And binging will end up leading you down a path that won’t end up with you accomplishing your goals.
So if you find a way to balance indulging with staying on track, you will accomplish your goals because you won’t ever feel deprived.
Perfection isn’t important.
Depriving yourself of every food you enjoy, or constantly forcing yourself to workout when you don’t have the energy won’t lead to faster results. It may lead to results initially, but it doesn’t guarantee a true lifestyle changes that creates results that last.
Because we can’t endure constant deprivation for long.
And we don’t need to. Because consistency is key.
So during the holidays don’t feel like you need to eat perfectly and spend hours at the gym. Strive to be consistent while still enjoying the time of year.
Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy or the parties you love. Just strike a balance so you can indulge while staying consistent!
Tip #5 – Meal Prep And Keep It Simple
When we are unprepared and hungry, we are way more likely to make bad decisions and be tempted by unhealthy treats.
When we are stressed and busy at work and come home late after the gym, the last thing we want to do is have to cook.
That is why meal prep is so important.
Planning out your meals ahead of time and even prepping the food ahead of time can reduce your stress during the week and make it way easier to eat well. You’ll have healthy meals quickly and easily available so you won’t be so easily tempted by bad food or unhealthy treats.
And to make things even easier, keep your meal prep simple. Choose a few recipes that make lots of leftovers. Use your crockpot. Cook meals that use the same ingredients so you have to do less prep.
For instance, bake chicken. Then use it for salads. Use it in stir fries. Use it for chilis. Use it for lettuce wraps or stuffed bell peppers. Use recipes that overlap that allow you to keep your prep as simple as possible. And then make things taste GOOD.
Healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad. Use spices. Season everything. Find recipes you enjoy. And then prep them ahead of time so you don’t go in search of bad food when you are hungry, tired and stressed and don’t feel like cooking.
And don’t forget to prep SNACKS. Have healthy go-tos available…Like these Vanilla Almond Coffee Protein Bars.
Don’t give yourself room to fall off. Be prepared. PLAN and PREP!
And keep it simple!
Tip #6 – Have Quick Home Workouts Available
In terms of a healthy lifestyle and developing healthy habits around the holidays, everything needs to be simple. Simple keeps us on track.
And simple, when it comes to workouts, means quick home workouts that require no equipment and not much time.
These short workouts may not be what you would do if you had unlimited time and wasn’t stressed and busy around the holidays, but they will keep you on track and consistent.
Something is better than nothing. Moving for 15 minutes, even when you would rather move for an hour, is still moving. It is still working toward your goals.
And even if you would prefer to use heavy weights, you can still get in a killer workout using just your own bodyweight. You can get in both a great strength and a great cardio workout using just your own bodyweight.
Remember, something is better than nothing! And often when you start out just doing “something,” you’ll end up getting in a killer workout.
After the 10 Tips To Help You Stay On Track This Holiday Season are two great bodyweight workouts you can use at home when you are short on time and just want to get something in!
Tip #7 – Maximize The Time You Do Spend Working Out
Often with workouts we only feel like we “did enough” when we’ve spent an hour in the gym. Often we base our workouts on how destroyed we feel after or on how long we spent working out.
And honestly, neither of those reasons are really good measures of how “good” your workouts was. (Neither is how sore you are the next day, but that is a topic for another day.)
Because even if you only have 15 minutes and your own bodyweight, you can get in a great workout and make the most of the time you have.
No these quick workouts aren’t the time to bust out those bodybuilding routines. Or do isolated movements. Or take long rests between exercises or sets.
They are the time to do compound exercises or even full-body movements. They are the time to do workouts that don’t give you a lot of rest between exercises so you can get a lot of work done in the time you have.
A good way to get in a lot of work during the time you do have is to do compound exercises, or even full body moves, and try to alternate the areas you work so that one area rests as another one works. This way you can constantly keep moving.
The workouts at the bottom use compound exercises and allow you to constantly be moving, even if only for the 15 minutes. And if you do have more time, you can always do more rounds!
Tip #8 – Move More Throughout The Day
Being healthy and staying on track doesn’t mean hour-long gym workouts. Actually all you may need is to move more throughout the day.
Not only can this help you improve your posture after sitting hunched over at your desk, but it can also help keep you active and focused on healthy habits during a stressful time of year. It can even help you reduce your stress and not want to indulge in all the candy everywhere around the office.
A great way to add more movement into your day is simply to try and stand or move 1 minute every hour. Or to add in a stretch, even a simple standing doorway chest stretch, every time you get up to go to the bathroom.
Here are some great Desk Exercises you can do to keep you active and moving throughout the day.
Working out doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. Simply moving more throughout the day can really add up and keep you healthy and on track!
Tip #9 – Cut Yourself Some Slack
Consistency is key. Balance is necessary.
But perfection…Perfection isn’t important. Sometimes slip ups and unplanned for events, especially around this time of year with all of the temptations and parties, can happen.
And the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over them or let them lead to binges and guilt and giving up on your goals.
Actually, whether it is the holiday season or any other time of year, the best thing you can learn to do is cut yourself some slack when life happens.
That doesn’t mean to make excuses or to let one little slip up or unplanned for event make you give up on everything. It does mean, however, that you can indulge and enjoy and just accept that sometimes life happens.
Sometimes you are going to lack the willpower and eat something you didn’t want to eat. Sometimes you are going to be just too dang tired and skip your workout. Sometimes you are going to want to indulge at a party even when you had planned not to.
Sometimes things are going to happen and you just have to go with the flow.
And the worst thing you can do is make yourself feel bad about it.
It is best to just enjoy and accept those unplanned for event. Enjoy them and appreciate them and use them to help keep you on track the rest of the time.
Often it is good to even realize that you are eating well and working out so that you are healthy enough to enjoy those life events.
Plus reaching your goals is about consistency not perfection. So don’t make excuses and let this be a reason for you to give up on your goals, but do cut yourself some slack when life does interfere.
Tip #10 – Set Small Goals
No matter what time of year it is, but especially during the holidays or any time you are busy, it is good to make sure you have some small, simple daily and weekly goals to hit.
This helps make your long-term goals seem more manageable and gives you things to focus on every day so that you don’t become overwhelmed with achieving your goals. And the simpler you can make these daily and weekly goals, the better off you will be and the easier it will be to stay on track.
Small changes add up to big results so use your daily goals as a way to help instill healthy habits.
These goals don’t have to be to eat only chicken and broccoli and workout for an hour. They could simply be drink more water and get up from your desk 5 more minutes during the day than you usually do.
They could be to spend 15 minutes working out. Or they could be to eat all the meals you meal prepped.
Keep them simple, especially if you are busy or stressed. You want something realistic that you can accomplish that will get you moving forward but not overwhelm you so that you want to give up or so that you don’t actually see progress. Baby steps!
The options are endless, but you just need to have some concrete goals that you can see yourself achieving daily. Not only will hitting these daily goals lead to big results, but it will also help keep you motivated because you will be moving forward and accomplishing something each and every day. And start with small changes and slowly increase as those changes become habits.
It is also best to write these daily and weekly goals down somewhere that you can see them to help hold you accountable. If they are just something you have in your head, you are way more likely to ignore them. So make sure to write them down and even keep them somewhere you are reminded about them throughout the day. This will hold you more accountable and make you more likely to achieve them because they are more tangible.
And then when you do accomplish your weekly or even monthly goals, you need to make sure to reward yourself. Maybe you get a massage or go shopping. Or simply do something to pamper yourself. But whatever you do, recognize your small accomplishments and celebrate them! Celebrating can help keep you on track because it helps you remember to recognize your progress even if you aren’t yet at your long-term goals.
It can even be helpful around the holidays to get friends and family involved. Making your goals public or even getting friends together for a little competition can help hold you accountable when you are stressed, tired or simply want to give in and indulge in all the holiday cheer.
No matter what your goals are though or whether or not you share them with friends, you need to set small goals to help keep you on track during the holidays!
2 Bodyweight Home Workouts For The Holidays
Below are two different full-body bodyweight workouts to help you build strength and improve your conditioning.
Workout #1 – The 5 Minute Rounds Workout
Warm Up – The World’s Greatest Stretch is a quick-full body warm up.
Set a timer for 5 minute intervals with 1 minute of rest between circuits. Complete as many rounds of each circuit as you can in the 5 minutes. Record reps and rounds and try to beat your scores next time!
5 reps per side Alternating Front Lunges
10 reps Push Ups
5 reps per side Split Squat Jumps
10 reps Toe Squats
10 reps Plank Climbers
10 reps Cherry Bombs
5 reps per side Alternating Side Lunges with Hop
10 reps Dips Off A Bench
5 reps per side Skater Hops
DONE! Roll out and stretch.
Workout #2 – A Twist On Tabata Workout
Warm Up – The World’s Greatest Stretch is a quick-full body warm up.
Set a timer for 4 rounds of 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. Then rest 30 seconds and move on to the next exercise. Rest 1 minute after completing 4 rounds of each exercise and then repeat. Complete 2 rounds of the circuit. (If you have extra time maybe even do a third round!)
20 seconds Burpee Sit Thru
10 seconds Rest
20 seconds T Push Ups
10 seconds Rest
20 seconds Split Squat Jacks
10 seconds Rest
20 seconds Plank Hip Dips
10 seconds Rest
1 minute Rest and Repeat!
DONE! Roll out and stretch.
Now use these 10 Tips To Help You Stay On Track During The Holiday Season and these 2 Bodyweight Workouts to help you start reaching your goals BEFORE the New Year!