Many of us like a challenge or something new to motivate us to stay on the wagon during the holidays. Here’s a good option: go to http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/day-1-healthy-holidays-fitness-plan/ and give it a try.
It’s tough to maintain our exercise program and weight during this season. Vacation destinations may not have a gym or the usual equipment we use to stay fit. Getting out of our regular routines can wreak havoc on even the most consistent programs and eating habits. Many times, people feel that they must exercise at least half an hour to an hour a day to make it worthwhile. This is, happily, just a myth. However, when you work out for 20 minutes or less, there must be periods of intensity where you are breathing heavily and reaching your target heart rate zone to condition your cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems. There are so many useful websites, YouTube sites, and apps out there to help you keep up some semblance of fitness during holidays and prolonged times away from your usual regimen. Here are some of my favorites:
- http://www.fitlink.com/ – a fitness “community” that allows connection with others, articles and workouts to get in shape
- Sparkpeoplhttp://www.sparkpeople.com/landing_long_2015_v2.asp? – articles, specific body workouts, ongoing online support
- https://www.fitnessblender.com/ – a variety of timed fitness workouts for specific body areas
- https://sworkit.com/ – customized workouts of any length you choose, along with ability to choose areas for increased focus
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECxYJcnvyMw – This Johnson and Johnson 7 minute workout is best used as an app on your smartphone- various 7, 8, 14, 16 and 21 minute workouts feature different levels from beginner to advanced.
- Myfitnesspal.com – a comprehensive system that is both app, website and calorie manager with many different options for losing weight and staying fit. I feature the holiday challenge (at the top of this post) from this site to bring you through the holidays
You can explore countless apps by pressing the search button on your smartphone, and keying in “fitness apps”; you’ll be surprised at the variety and breadth of options.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Any movement, exercise and stretch is better than none; avoid the “all or nothing” syndrome.
Get support through walking with others, and challenging friends and family to do a workout with you. They’ll thank you (maybe not at first, but eventually!)
Try to keep healthy food routines in place. Cook fish, chicken, lean meats and consume plenty of fruits and veggies when you’re eating at home.
When eating out, include the above foods when you order. If you have soup or salad before your meal, you’re likely to eat a smaller entree and maybe save the rest for another day. Order salad dressing on the side, and ask for the chef to go light on any butter, cream, or salt in your food selections. If you have dessert, split it with others, and limit portion sizes.
Above all, enjoy the alteration in your schedule to take in all the good things in your life; enjoy friends, family and all your blessings.
Remember that staying healthy and fit is just another way to keep your energy high to enjoy the holidays to the fullest extent!