Happy Monday! The holidays are officially here, and starting Friday it'll be Christmas tunes all around. If you're anything like me, this can be a dangerous season for loading up on sweets and some of the year's best family recipes. Don't get me wrong, I am all for treating yourself, but the guilt I can do without.
As we head into the hustle and bustle, I want you to be at your best to enjoy the holidays, so while I'm no fitness expert, today I want to share five tips I've found helpful in keeping healthy over the holidays.
- Four Legs Go Further Than Two: This is the perfect time of year to grab a girlfriend and make a pact. No need to wait for a new years resolution, team up with a friend and commit to being workout buddies this holiday season. Whether meeting up for a group class or meeting up for a run, I've always found it harder to give up when with a friend. With two of you involved, not only will you keep each other accountable for showing up, but working out will be much more enjoyable knowing the pain and gain is shared. Also, if you're in anyway competitive, this is a great way for the two of you to push each other further. Keep in mind the holidays are bound to get hectic, so this is a great opportunity to be productive and guarantee some quality time with one of your girls.
- Get Ahead of the Game: Start now. Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and I promise you'll enjoy the holiday much more freely if you get a few workouts in before the big feast. There is no need to feel guilty when enjoying an evening with loved ones, so plan ahead, squeeze in an hour a day if possible and make it an investment in yourself. This rule applies throughout the month of December as well– if you know you won't be able to get to the gym on Wednesday, push yourself harder or give yourself an extra hour on Tuesday. You'll be sore, but you'll be ahead of your game plan, and that's the goal. Catching up during the hustle and bustle of holidays is far too stressful, and the boost of confidence you'll get from being ahead of the game is 100% worth the effort. Remember, investing in yourself is not a selfish use of time, but a way to better prep yourself both physically and mentally for work, family, and social responsibilities– your health is reflected in all aspects of life!
- Become a Morning Person: I am the least morning person I know, so trust me when I say, I understand your pain. That said, with holiday parties and gift shopping this is the safest bet that you'll get your workout in during this busy season. When trying to become a morning person every detail matters, and there are a variety of seemingly silly but effective ways to help get you there. For starters, wear your workout clothes to bed, or at least lay them out the night before. Plan everything ahead of time, and I mean everything: socks, hair ties, water bottle, protein bar, everything. If you're not a morning person, you will be in a much clearer state of mind prepping these items before bed, than your will in a hazy morning daze. I guarantee you are much more likely to get to the gym on time when not having to rummage through a dim-lit room in search of your shoes. Need some extra motivation? This is another great reason to have a workout buddy– you will be much more likely to roll out of bed if you know someone else also gave up their sleep and and is waiting on you at the other end. Additionally, try signing up for a group class. Many gyms have penalties for missed classes once you're already signed up, so adding that extra pressure could be just the trick.
- Log your progress: We all need pep-talks, and a Pinterest board is great place to start, but why not take it one step further and get a little more personal? One habit I've found to be surprisingly effecetive is tracking my monthly fitness routine. Hit up a class today? Simply jot the type and length of the class in a note on your phone. Went for a run? Jot down the date and length of your run. Seeing your work on "paper" is a great way to reference progress and watch yourself break limits. Again, if you're in any way competitive, you'll likely find yourself setting new monthly goals based on this data. While physical change can take time to show, this is a great way to track your strength and endurance. Keeping this information logged on your phone makes the task nearly effortless, so why not?
- Treat Yourself: Like I said, I am all for treating yourself, but why limit your treats to just food?... Eyeing a new workout outfit? Set tangible goals and reward yourself! Set aside a small budget each and commit to working out 5 time this week. If at the end of the week you've met your goal, the outfit's yours. Same goes for accessories. Need a new bag for carrying that change of clothes? Agree that if you get to the gym before work for a week, you've earned it. Trust me, if you're hitting up the gym as often as you'd like, you'll be sweating through some serious gym clothes and a new outfit can be just the motivation to get you back. That said, keep in mind that, as cheesy as it sounds, your time spent working out is it's own treat. I know it can be difficult to make time for the gym, especially when work and kids get involved, but this is a time to clear your mind, relax, be tech-free, and burn some steam, so while you may be dying in that group class, remember this is your time, and you're quality of life will be better because of it!
To shop more outfits like the one above, click here– the sports bras are awesome!