The skies are gray, the thermometer keeps dropping and you can’t find your jogging shoes. You slept through your morning workout, went to the office Christmas party instead of yoga class, and ate a pretzel and a sugar cookie for dinner. You can feel that January regret already settling in around your waistline and December just barely started. Your level of fitness enthusiasm isn’t looking promising.
It’s never too late—or too early—to put on the brakes and turn this winter into a healthy and happy one. Here are some simple strategies to work healthy habits into your daily routine during these dreary months.
1. STAY POSITIVE
Mood is actually a crucial part of fitness. The blues can start a bad cycle of stress eating, fatigue and weight gain, which can keep you feeling down, especially in the winter.
Find your stress triggers and avoid them: Don’t overspend on presents or over overbook yourself with social obligations. Walk away from family tensions or defuse them with a laugh. Don’t put pressure on yourself for a perfect holiday season.
Instead, focus on enjoying the company of friends and family, and letting them know you appreciate your time with them. By avoiding gatherings you dislike, shopping you can’t afford, or a perfectly decorated house, you’ll be surprised how much more time and enthusiasm you will have left over for healthy activities like going to the gym or taking a walk on a brisk afternoon.
2. MIX UP YOUR ROUTINE
There are nearly as many kinds of exercise as there are personalities. Whether you’re walking the dog or running stairs, meditating in the lotus pose or boxing in the ring, it isn’t hard to find ways to move, or even to find a few hours a week in which to do it. Most downfall’s aren’t because the activity itself, but rather in finding the motivation to keep it going.
Studies show that those who tend to exercise on a regular basis do so because of a “want to” rather than a “have to” attitude. You may think the obligation of an annual membership at your local gym will help motivate regular attendance, but for most people, this works only for a limited period of time. People only keep it up when they’re having fun, not when they feel pushed into it.
The trick is to find something you love that makes you move and stick with it. If your chosen activity gets boring—and it’s ok if it does—just find something else to do. Tired of Zumba? Try tango. Is basketball hard on your knees? Try a stationary bike while watching the NBA. Stick with a program for as long as you love it, and come back to it when it sounds fun again. The secret is keeping it interesting, and the strategy is variety.
3. RECRUIT A FRIEND WITH THE SIMILAR GOALS
Whether it’s diet or exercise, trying to do it alone often spells disaster. Cooking for a family that wants macaroni and cheese for dinner can undermine your salad routine, and thoughts of an early morning run when everyone else is sleeping in can make that snooze button awfully tempting.
Find a friend with similar goals, or get your spouse or whole family involved. It’s much easier to keep the habit of a walk or a jog when someone is waiting for you, especially in cold weather—and you’ll have someone to talk to as a bonus. It’s far easier to stay on task when the whole family agrees to carrots and grapes for snacks in lieu of potato chips and cookies.
4. RE-GIFT THE GOODIES
The holidays bring plenty of love from friends and family, and too often it comes in the form of plates of fudge, cookies, and other sugary treats that can negatively impact your weight loss goals. This isn’t to say a little sugar during the holidays is the worst thing in the world, but a lot of sugar during the holidays can be the worst thing for your healthy momentum. Too many treats can possibly lead to fatigue, associated weight gain and listlessness, skin breakouts, and uncomfortable clothes.
The point isn’t to lock yourself out of the celebration, but set your sights on a bite or two rather than the whole plate. You can also combat the temptation by bringing the plate of goodies to work or sharing them with others who may need some cheering up.
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Tags: ARIIX, Exercising, Goals, Healthy Tips, Holiday Tips, Holidays, Routine, Stay Positive, Weight Loss