The end of the year doesn’t only bring changing leaves and the first snow fall. First comes October and the Halloween parties, then November and the Thanksgiving induced comas. Next is December’s Christmas parties and festivities, concluding with New Year’s in the biggest blow out yet.
What do all these seasonal events have in common? They involve, in many instances, unhealthy, gluttonous eating and drinking (at least in my life). If you’re like me, you can probably name 100 other things you can be doing rather than working out (I mean working out hurts right?) So, to save us all from the same New Year’s resolution of “getting in shape”, here’s how I stay fit during the holiday season (and all year long really)
By now everyone should know the benefits of yoga and daily stretching so I’m not going to rag on about that instead here is a beginners video I stretch along with in the mornings or whenever I’m stressed out.
This had to be on my list. Cardio is an important aspect of any workout lifestyle. It builds stamina and helps with circulation and thus digestion and nutrient absorption. I usually find that running for about 30 minutes, whether it’s outside or on a treadmill helps me stay focused and alert and after all that work I’m more conscious of what I put into my body. I usually try to run in 10 minute intervals followed by short periods of speed walking for a total of 30 minutes (Hey I never said i was a pro, just a girl trying to stay in shape here). The accumulated benefits add up over the course of the year.
Do you even lift? Well, no not really but I’ve found that lifting weights with a lot of reps has helped me maintain my natural physique. I’m well aware that women lifting does not turn them into she-hulks but like i said working out hurts right? The trick is to lift weights that are heavy for YOU. Do about 4-6 reps using these weights and over time the amount that you lift will naturally increase as you gain muscle and strength.
BODY BUILDING has put together some weight lifting exercises for women linked below. Check them out and try out variations that work for you.
EATING A PROPER DIET
Fruits after veggies and sweets after meals. I can’t count how many times I was told this by my parents growing up. Having the sweet tooth that I do, sweets were always on the menu (and fruits occasionally). The key focus should be on cutting down carbs and ramping up your protein, veggies and fruit intake. Vegetarianism and Veganism seems to be a good way to do that but let’s face it sometimes giving up meat can be a challenge if your resolve is weak (especially during the holidays). My favorite Instagram femmes to follow for inspiration and motivation are Aisha Thalia and Lucy Watson.
HAVING CHEAT DAYS
As important as it is to maintain a routine, we all slip sometimes. Instead, I incorporate cheat days. After all, life is meant to be lived not suffered through. Usually on a bi-weekly basis I’ll have a chocolate lava cake or some chocolate chip cookies. The key here is control; specifically portion sizes. Don’t eat an entire bundt cake because it’s your cheat day, instead indulge while keeping the overall goal in focus.
I’ve found that Feed me Vegan, a book by ultra vegan and animal activist, Lucy Watson (referenced above) also has some amazing vegan treats that’ll make you forget you’re eating vegan. Her vegan brownies (pictured left) looks so delicious I bet you wouldn’t even notice they were vegan.
So don’t get trapped in the vicious cycle of New Year’s resolutions, summer bodies and weight loss fads. Keep fit all year round by being body conscious all year round. Sound off in the comments to let me know some of the ways you stay in shape all year long.