With the holidays approaching it can be daunting to think sticking to your eating and exercise routine. There are so many extra things to shovel into your schedule that taking the time to count your macros at every turn starts to seem like a real drag. But, if you intend to continue on your fitness path, while you burn fat and build muscle during the holiday season, we’ve got four top tips to help you keep moving toward those goals.
While it might be hard to get yourself to the gym and get in all the reps you’re meant to, there’s no excuse for sitting idly on the sofa just watching cartoons with the kids because Santa Claus is coming to town. Get yourself up and do something as often as possible. Bring that huge load of holiday shopping in from the car in as many trips as you can get away with taking; rearrange the furniture when you vacuum before guests come over; hang the laundry to dry on racks instead of just shoving it all into the dryer; whatever small things you can do every day will add up across a week and can counteract extra calories or slack time you did manage to squeeze in along the way.
Write It Down
In this season of culinary splendor, it is incredibly easy to fall completely off the healthy dietary choices wagon – in fact, it’s easy to fall off the road altogether. So keep yourself accountable by going back to the basic food diary. Get a notebook, stick a pen to it, and write down everything you eat each day. We don’t just mean meals either, we want you to log it when you steal a cookie off the kids’ snack tray just as much as we want you to log those six glasses of water you struggled to put down while everyone else was enjoying round after round of drinks at the company dinner.
Similarly, keep a training log for the real workouts you’re managing to put into this holiday season. The most wonderful time of the year is all fine and good, but accountability really is the gift that keeps on giving.
Rest When You Can
Getting enough sleep is an often overlooked component to healthy redistribution of weight. Sleep helps your body repair tissues, and even build muscle. Did you know that the majority of your human growth hormone is secreted during deep sleep? If you want to build muscle, it’s vital that your be well rested. What’s more catching some extra Zs can actually help you burn more fat because a well-rested metabolism runs faster.
Recharge Your Spirits, Too
Sleep is great this time of year, when the days are shorter and the nights are colder. However, remember to spend quality time with people you like. The boost that this sort of downtime gives your brain is vital to overall health and wellness. By enjoying good times with your favorite people, you’re shutting down stress hormone releases caused by “microtrauma” your muscles endure during a workout. What’s more you’re boosting hormones that help your body recover and benefit more from your workouts, including oxytocin and testosterone.
The end of the year can be a rich, rewarding time to spend with friends and loved ones – but we know it’s also stressful and chaotic. By taking small steps wherever you can to protect the progress you’ve made so far on your fitness journey, you’re sure to stay on track.
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