Healthy, Happy Holidays

You’re busier than usual, you’re more stressed, and it’s cold out … so why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year?  There’s not enough time for everything, so why not just slack off on your fitness program for a few weeks?

NOOOOOO!!!!  Don’t do it.

Sure, you can always come up with an excuse not to exercise. But slacking off on your fitness program during the holiday season will only leave you with more pounds and more stress come New Year’s.  I get it.  The holiday season can be enough to derail even the most dedicated exerciser, but it’s also the most critical time to stick to your exercise program.  Your exercise regime will actually help you get through the season with less stress and more clarity to focus on the joy the season brings.  And maintaining some type of a workout schedule is even more important this time of year because most of us are eating more than usual.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you stay fit during the time-crunched, temptation-packed holiday season:

  • First, acknowledge that the holidays most likely will affect your exercise program to some extent. And then don’t beat yourself up when you can’t fit in every workout.
  • Take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, take other things out and make sure you actually schedule time into your day for exercise.  Be flexible when your days get busy. Instead of simply blowing off your 5 p.m. trip to the gym in favor of an office party at the same time, wake up an hour earlier and do a home workout. Squats, lunges, push-ups, and crunches are just a few of the many exercises you can do at home without any equipment. Or fit a brisk walk into your lunch hour.
  • To save time, try combining exercising and family commitments. For example, hauling the kids up a hill a few times can make a sledding trip as beneficial as a jog. Or take the family out for a long walk to look at Christmas lights.
  • Create a holiday wish list that includes something health and fitness related (some new workout clothes, a pair of dumbbells and gliders for your home workouts, or how about a block of personal training sessions? – check out the Just feel it fitness holiday promotion!)
  • Have a snack before you head out to the holiday party. Some carrots and hummus, or a small piece of cheese and some almonds. This way you won’t be starved and tempted to eat every single hors d’oeuvres that is passed.

Give yourself a little slack during the holidays.  After all, it’s a time to have fun and be with family and friends, and if you have a rigid attitude toward your diet and exercise, you may end up just giving up because you’ve set the standard too high.  Allow yourself some “cheat” days. In reality, what matters is the overall total calories you consume and the overall total you expend through physical activity over the entire holiday period. One or two splurges aren’t going to derail your efforts. Just make sure you’re still fitting in time to exercise. Make it a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season.

Have a great week,
Meryl

shrimp salad

December Holiday party recipe ideas

Shrimp Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

For the Mango Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup peeled fresh or thawed frozen mango pieces
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. minced shallots
1/2 tsp minced chilis
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Dash salt
-Combine all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

1 bunch of asparagus spears, blanched and chopped into 2inch pieces
1 1/2 cups peeled orange sections, pith removed (about 2 oranges)
1 bag (about 3/4 pound) of cooked shrimp

Mix together the asparagus, oranges, and shrimp in a large bowl. Pour the mango vinaigrette over the mixture and toss well.

Enjoy!

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