Most people see the holidays as a time to let loose their belt loops and pound down the poultry. They ignore their fitness failures while guzzling down boatloads of gravy and cranberry sauce during winter feast after winter feast.
However, according to fitness experts, this is anything but inevitable. If someone is aware that they will be eating less than healthy meals in the months to come, it could be the best time for them to start developing healthier fitness habits.
“If you adopt healthy habits now, when the stressful holiday season comes you’ll already be in the groove,” said Cedric Bryant, chief science officer at the American Council on Exercise. “There are a lot of benefits of a healthy lifestyle that can serve you well during that time.”
Motivation is a huge factor. With everyone bundled up under layers of winter clothing, a beach body falls to the bottom of most people’s priority list. However, maintaining healthy habits through the harsh winter makes getting back into the swing of things once spring arrives that much easier.
Most importantly though, maintaining fitness allows someone to splurge on holidays without overtly impacting their body. Trainer Traci Swearer helps her clients to set attainable fitness goals during the holidays. Working out a few hours each week and adding an extra workout once in awhile can go a long way to keeping someone from derailing their fitness goals entirely.
“I don’t want people beating themselves up for indulging with friends and family during the holidays,” said Swearer. “I want people to find balance so that having a healthy lifestyle is more realistic to maintain.”
Nonetheless, staying healthy in the fall and winter can be difficult for people who prefer outdoor activities. It may be less appealing for them, but finding indoor alternatives can go a long way towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the transition to the New Year.