Staying Healthy and Fit through the Holidays - By Coach Amari Holmes

It's that time again...

You are going to be pulled in 100 different directions, (ex: office party, neighborhood cookie exchange, attempting to be the PTA parent of the year who hosts the kids holiday class bash, chaperoning the high school winter formal dance and after party, happy hours, multiple family get-together's (because clearly we need to eat multiple helpings of turkey, stuffing, ham, lamb, cranberry goop)... OK, even writing about all these 'fun festivities' begins to stress me out- no I am not kidding, I am sweating, my heart rate is elevated, and I should be recording this as part of my workout for the day... so instead of falling victim and allowing your health and fitness to fade, here are a few EASY steps to follow throughout the chaos!

1. STAYING HEALTHY = Setting Personal Boundaries

A. Sleep

6nights out of the week, commit to going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. 

Every one's needs are different on this subject, but most research has shown for you to consistently feel good, support a healthy immune system, and balance your daily commitments and activities, adults need roughly 7-8hr of rest/night.  And just a reminder, we all know that the technology should be turned off about 1hr-90min prior to going to bed. 

Create an atmosphere that is calm and promotes relaxation, recovery, and restfulness.

B. Nutrition

Listen to your body! 

Let go of the idea that you "deserve" that extra piece of cake and make feeling your best a priority when you select what you want to put in not just your mouth but your body.

No doubt there are a lot of treats and sweets this time of year, and I encourage you to indulge, but with some thought and mindfulness.

Have that truffle, or couple bites of that pie- but then walk away. 

Live with a deep satisfaction rather than the endless cycle of shame and regret from taking down the whole tray of goodness. 

What and when will make you feel your best- again, hear out what your body wants and needs- it is pretty brilliant!

C. Hydration

Go buy a package of 3-5oz Dixie cups.  Every hour fill one of those bad boys and make sure you drink it within the hour.  You will probably notice you are actually thirstier than that little cup, but at least start with this amount.  Staying well hydrated is key in staying healthy through the winter months.

2. STAYING ACTIVE AND FIT = Setting Personal Daily Expectations

A. Find your Pack

Group workouts and having friends counting on you to show up are one of the best solutions to making the time to workout.

Just like any other appointment on your schedule, I recommend you block the time off in your calendar, gear up, and go.

Trust me, there is something that the whole group or even just that one person gets out of counting on you to come push them.

Peer Pressure at it's finest... Ask some of my clients, there is nothing like getting a text message mid-day because you chose to hit the snooze button rather than come enjoy the sweat out!

B. Create Personal Benchmarks

So there are no true races on your schedule right now- maybe not physical races but there are plenty of races against the clock at work, kids school, shopping, parties, etc...

Why not create a 'race' or time trial that you choose to challenge yourself and see your personal progress on a weekly basis.

Example, every week you run the same 30min route. Instead of just plugging away at the same pace, what if chose once a week to go for it and try to beat last week's time.

There is something about finding the simple pleasure in pushing your body that we forget- throw out the heart rate and power gadgets and just go with it- enjoy!

C. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing!

So you get stuck on a conference call, so what you get stuck in traffic on your way home.... Not every day is going to go as your calendar is so neatly laid out.  And many times, the things that come up, really put a damper on your time and the availability to get outside before the sun goes down now with the shortened days. 

So, again- there are always solutions! 

Put on your shoes for a quick 20min body workout.  It might not be exactly what you planned but guess what, your body will be happy you got in those squats, lunges, planks, and push ups.  Get creative- you are not bound to the same gym equipment, pool, or bike- try something new with friends: indoor rock climbing, tennis, rowing, yoga, whatever your hearts desire.

And even better, ask a friend to join in and redefine the term Happy Hour!

Staying Healthy and Active is a choice- and it probably will not come easy this time of year.

But my hope is that you will be responsible with your choices and time, set some boundaries and expectations, because you deserve to feel and be at your best.

I believe in you!