Kelsey’s 10 Holiday Habits

“Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” -Edward Stanley

I know this isn’t a very jolly way to start a holiday post, but I’m sorry to say that this quote is very true. This is a quote to have in the back of your head during the next two weeks. No, I don’t want you to obsess about every morsel you put into your mouth—that’s not way to live!—but I do want you to remember that morsel upon morsel of sweets do add up and no exercise regime can negate horrible eating habits. This is a truth that I know too well. It’s hard to say no to treats and decadences during this time of the year, but life is never easy and there’s no better time like the present to start or continue good habits.

So what in the heck do I suggest to help you maintain not gain during the next few weeks? Here are some things I personally try to do:

1)      Carry water with you wherever you go. You’ll have something to keep your mouth occupied when everyone else around you at the stores and restaurants are sucking down sugar-and-calorie-laden drinks. Plus, most hunger strikes are due to be dehydrated!

2)      Carry a healthy snack in your purse, bag, or car. This way if you get stuck in traffic or out running errands longer than you thought, you aren’t tempted to hit the fast food chains or mow down when you get home. I suggest a piece of fruit, some air-popped popcorn, or almonds.

3)      Keep your sleep schedule as similar to your everyday schedule as you can. Believe it or not, it can actually mess up your sleep schedule and make you MORE tired if you allow yourself to sleep in way more than usual. Obviously it depends when you rise for the work day (I am definitely not saying continue to wake up at 4:30 or 5am to work out!), but you should try to keep your going-to-bed and waking-up times within an hour of your weekly habit.

4)      Get up and get moving first thing in the morning. And do it again later in the day! When I visit family for the holidays, even when I sleep in I usually wake up before 90% of people, so I lay my workout clothes out at night to motivate me to just get it done when I get up! Not to mention working out when you wake up will: give you more energy, help rev your metabolism (which helps you burn more calories throughout the day), and give you motivation to make healthier choices throughout the day. Studies have even shown that you can burn a little more fat on an empty stomach. And don’t just sit still after your morning workout! Play with the kids, get a group of people to play Just Dance or Wii tennis, take a walk outside, or purposely hit the stairs a few more times to keep your body and energy humming.

5)      Eat AT LEAST one healthy meal and one snack a day. I strongly suggest making them yourself to save money and even more calories. I also suggest that that meal and snack consist of veggies and fruit to get in a few of your nine total (between fruits and veggies) servings a day. I often rock oatmeal with fruit, a fresh fruit and yogurt blend, scrambled eggs with a ton of veggies, or a big salad.

6)      Drink a glass of water between every alcoholic drink you have. It prevents you from getting wasted and binging on greasy, calorie-dense foods. And helps prevent a hangover!

7)      Get in little bits of exercise every moment you can. Sometimes when I brush my teeth or go up to do laundry I do squats, lunges, leg lifts, or standing crunches. Or I rock pushups against a table. Remember: A SHORT WORKOUT IS BETTER THAN NO WORKOUT!

8)      Fill your plate up with mostly healthy snacks at holiday parties and really take your time eating and enjoying them. Drink a glass of water, wait 15 minutes, and then go back for one or two small treats. Everything look amazing? Honestly, sometimes I grab a little of each and just take one bite of each thing and then toss my plate. This will truly save you HUNDREDS of calories.

9)      To motivation to work out on your own? Go to YouTube, type in the kick of workout you like (pilates, kickboxing, toning, kettlebell, etc.), and follow along to a 12-50 minute class online! It’s amazing how many full workout DVDs on are YouTube!

10)   Extra motivation? Sleep in half of your workout gear and I promise it’ll help you wake up and get going. Since it’s stinkin’ cold here in Michigan, it’s awful waking up in a warm bed, in warm pjs, and putting on cold workout clothes. Take it from someone who wakes up at 5am every day to teach workout classes or train clients: sleep in your workout clothes. Or at least some of them! I always sleep in my sports bra, tank, and long-sleeve. As soon as I wake up, I throw the rest of my workout clothes (capris, pants, socks) in the bed under the warm covers to heat up while I wash my face!

Please, take care of yourself. You are so worth it. And it is NOT worth it to splurge, binge, and be totally sedentary these next two weeks with the “promise” that January 1, 2014 is going to be the start of better habits. Start now. Even with something small like 10 minutes of exercise a day or swapping sugary coffee for regular coffee with milk and a little sugar. YOU CAN DO THIS!

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 🙂