Now is the time of year when things start to ramp up for the holidays. Usually this means lots of travel, family time, increased stress, and lots and lots of food; not just food but planned over indulging, cookies, ice cream, pies galore, holiday sugar lattes, all the goodness. Thanksgiving, in fact, is my favorite holiday. I love ALL the food that is served and I love the idea I can eat at three and then again at six or seven. I don’t know if it’s just me but I do have to watch out during the holidays, with all the travel, hanging out with family, and of course the food; it’s harder to stay on track with working out and gaining a few extra pounds of, um… doughy muscle.
During the holidays, it’s harder to stay on track with working out and gaining a few extra pounds of, um… doughy muscle.
Here are 3 tips to help stay on track-ish during the holidays.
1) Save up for the sugar treat that you really want.
I’ll explain here. There will be a lot of sugary treats floating around your office, your kid’s functions, parties, meetings, etc. Some will be what you really want and others will be what you want but only because it’s there or you’ve been asked if you want it. For example, I really love pumpkin pie and there will be a lot around from now through Thanksgiving and into December. I want it all because it’s staring me in the face talking trash but I know that Mrs. Smith from down the street will make a homemade pumpkin pie and drop it off at my parents before Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s the best pumpkin pie in the world. So, I won’t fall for those store bought pies all week at work. Oh, I know they’re good but they aren’t Mrs. Smith’s pie and I’m going to wait for that.
2) Play some family sports.
This one is my favorite. Get your people out for a game. We used to have family vs family competition with some of our friends every year at Christmas time. It was definitely a healthy competitive game that would occasionally, and by occasionally I mean all the time, get intense enough for serious injury to occur. But it was awesome, you got to gain bragging rights for an entire year, it was outside, usually in some cold weather with possible rain. Plus, you can rough up your in-laws without getting in trouble, hey, it’s all fun and games. I’m looking forward to a family game of soccer at Thanksgiving and football at Christmas. It’ll help me feel better about that second helping too!
3) Get a workout on outside of the gym!
Again, one of my favorites. This can be a hike, snowshoeing, skiing or something less traditional but still a great workout, like snow shoveling. There’s a whole new brand of fitness that has grown out of the latter: functional fitness. It’s like taking a chore and doing it for a workout; raking leaves, chopping logs, demolishing tires, lifting logs overhead. I can promise you’ll be sore from a few hours of shoveling snow and everyone will be happy you helped out!
That’s it, those are my tips for staying on top of your health during a time of year where that can be hard.
As always, I hope this helps! If you have any questions or would like to read about certain topics, send us an email at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com.
-Dr. Nick Schroeder, PT, DPT
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