5 Ways To Stay Healthy These Holidays — Without Going To The Gym!
The holiday season is a time of celebration filled with family, friends and most importantly, FOOD!
Christmas and the holidays are a time to relax, enjoy yourself, listen to your body and partake in your favourite foods and activities. My approach to eating at this time of year is that it is SO important you don’t deprive yourself of the foods you love!
I know that for many people, the holiday season can also present challenges if you want to stick to your health and fitness goals, as schedules can change and holidays might mean you don’t have access to the gym.
My view is that it’s totally normal and okay to take a break! I strongly believe in enjoying this period with your loved ones and taking time out. However, there are still ways to take care of your health during this time of year — even if you’re not working out as usual.
Take a realistic approach to health over the holidays
It’s so important to have a balanced and realistic approach to your health and fitness over Christmas and the holiday season.
I want to let you know there are many ways you can look after your health, even if you’re not training as many times a week as you normally would.
Here are my top five tips for staying healthy over the holidays — without going to the gym!
Stay active without working out
Even if you can’t get to the gym because it’s closed or you’re away on holiday, you don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach to fitness.
Don’t give up just because you’re on holiday, BUT do take it easier!
Staying active is a great way to maintain your fitness level and look after your health in general.
When I’m on holiday, I like to have access to a gym, but if there isn’t one available I like to take a lot of walks and hikes — I find it’s an amazing way to sightsee and get a LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio session done!
If you aren’t heading to the gym or doing your regular workouts, you could take a more social approach and get active with friends or family. Grab your girlfriends and go for a hike, play a team sport with family or try a new activity.
Get a good night’s sleep
For many of us, the end of the year means it’s party season. It’s SO important to recognise your achievements!
Celebrating your year is a great time to reflect on the past 12 months and look ahead to any goals you might have planned for the new year.
However, social gatherings can often lead to late nights and feeling fatigued.
Getting enough sleep is one of the fundamental aspects of good health, and without it, many women struggle to train effectively or may skip any form of physical activity. It’s so important to prioritise sleep!
Being sleep-deprived can also lead to other health problems, including hormone imbalances that can create a feeling of hunger, as well as being less satisfied after a meal.
The occasional late night won’t always affect your wellbeing, but long-term sleep deprivation could have an impact on your health.
If you have the chance to sleep in or nap, take it!
Get creative in the kitchen
For me, food is such an important part of this time of year.
In my family, food is essential to any celebration. We believe food brings people together, and it comes before everything else! At Christmas, we love eating Mediterranean-style foods and sharing a lot of dishes. This means I can try all the foods I enjoy and I never feel like I’m missing out!
If you’re socialising a lot at this time of year, there are ways to ensure you have some healthier food options available for you, your friends and family.
There are so many healthy food swaps you can make for all of your favourite Christmas foods. Try these Christmas bliss balls with raw cacao instead of rum balls or this healthy banana bread recipe which is a perfect substitute for store-bought banana bread.
If you find you have a lot of extra food, there are lots of healthy dishes you can make with leftovers.
Hydrate to keep your health on track
Water can be your best friend over the holiday season!
Being well-hydrated is essential to good health, and can boost your wellbeing.
Even mild dehydration can have an impact on your health. One of the signs of dehydration is sudden food cravings, and this is because your body is mistaking hunger for thirst.
Make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day during the holiday season, including when you’re attending events or parties. I always carry a water bottle with me, so I have water readily available — especially because the holiday season is always SO hot in Australia!
It’s also important to drink lots of water after a big day of eating, as this can help to alleviate bloating and improve digestion.
Set your goals and plan for success
The holidays are a busy period for many people, but it’s also a great time to reflect on the year that’s passed and plan for the year ahead.
If you have some time off work or school during the holiday period, use this time to think about your goals for the next 12 months.
If your goals are related to health and fitness, look at what you need to do to achieve them — and then schedule in the time to make sure you reach them.
For me, that means setting very specific goals, planning my workouts every week in my diary so I know I have the time allocated to train — along with everything else I need to get done. That way, if plans change, I can move workouts around in my schedule ahead of time and still keep up with my training.
Setting specific goals and scheduling workouts, meal prep and LISS cardio in a diary gives you a much greater chance of succeeding, and creates a great opportunity to track your fitness progress — you can record how you feel and the details of your progress in your diary or a fitness journal.
Taking the time to plan is a vital element to successfully smashing your goals!
Make sure you rest and relax
If you need to relax or rest, read a book, listen to a podcast or catch up on a favourite TV show.
Find time for the things you enjoy and get ready for the year ahead!
I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and gets to spend as much time with family and friends as possible!
What are your favourite ways to stay healthy during the holidays? Comment below!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.