Jack O’Lanterns are rotten, Halloween candy is gone (one way or another), and Christmas music is playing in all the stores. Holiday season has arrived, and with it, all of the reasons we can’t possibly eat well or keep our bodies moving during this hectic time. In honor of this momentous occasion, we’ve put together five of our favorite holiday hurdles along with simple ways to hop over them and keep your momentum through the New Year.
I just don’t have the time
Shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning, decorating, entertaining, travelling…Time during the holiday season seems more precious than ever, and “me time” (often in the form of a workout) is the first to go. Schedule it. If it’s written in the calendar, it happens in our lives. Combine activites: park farther from the entrance, carry those bags, workout over lunch. Or even better, simplify. Make a list of your holiday traditions and prioritize. Focus your energy on your top 3, and start eliminating to dos at the bottom of the list.
I’m travelling and can’t follow my exercise plan.
Travel often limits the time and equipment available for exercise. We are all creatures of habit, some of us more entrenched than others. While a new vista and routine can be rejuvenating, it can also deter good habits. Take a few extra minutes to research a nearby gym at your destination, or even simpler, set aside 10 minutes to start your day with one of our “take anywhere” OS inspired workouts. Try this low key option that combines breathing and yoga.
I’m going to “start fresh” in January
With New Year’s resolutions looming large, it’s easy to turn November and December into a Mardi Gras of sorts. Consider a change in perspective. What if we looked at the holidays as a chance for a head start instead of a Last Supper? Try to think like your future self. What will it feel like to be ahead of the game instead of playing catchup when January 1 rolls around?
It’s too cold (or dark) outside.
For those of us who predominantly run or bike outside, winter weather definitely presents a slight deterrent. Even if we go to the gym, somehow a cold, dark morning inspires less than the warm sunny greetings of June and July. Find some fresh inspiration! This can take the more expensive form of new gear (warm socks, a fun reflective cap, or yaktrax make great holiday gift list items) or even cheaper, a regular date with a workout buddy or trainer. Need a little extra motivation? Become a Catalyst Holiday Streaker — $20 with a commitment to 10 minutes of intentional movement each day earns you a sweet ceramic coffee mug and an awesome facebook group to provide support and workout options. Proceeds benefit our local food pantry.
I’m going to indulge because holidays only come once a year.
Thanksgiving is the only time of year I get pumpkin pie with real whipped cream and homemade lefse (high fives for Norwegian heritage!). Christmas brings sugar cookies, fudge, and cinnamon rolls from scratch. Because they are “one season” indulgences, all is forgiven. If your holidays include must-haves, consider sampling. A bite of pumpkin pie…no big deal. A pan of fudge and a bottle of Baileys, harder to overcome. If you crave it, sample it, then eat some more veggies!
Look for more holiday hacks in the coming weeks including tips on simplifying, managing stress and more strategies to keep your holidays survivable…and even enjoyable!