Tis the Season of…Indulgence? You’ve towed the line all year long by staying healthy and honoring your commitment to your workout schedule, but now the most trying time of the year is at hand. Good thing those stretchy pants are still trendy, because society will be doing its share of serious eating this time of year. From now until New Year's Day, our schedules will be littered with family get-togethers, social festivities and all the rich, carb-loaded sweets that come with them. That’s not all. There’s also the anxiety that stems from a perennial “busyness” that consumes us this time of the year as we stress out over the shopping we need to get done, which adds its own kind of financial stress.
Fitness during the holidays may seem impossible – who has the time? The stress we’re under, both mentally and physically, interferes with our sleep and drains us during the day. It’s a pattern that can lead to sedentary behaviour, which can lead to a craving for those holiday treats and lack of energy.
Of course, you can enjoy the holidays, and continue pursuing your weight loss goals.
While your exercise routine may very well be interrupted this holiday season and stress levels will be dialed up an extra notch for the remainder of the year, the key to dealing with the stress and staying fit is simply to stay active.
Weight Loss through Staying Active!
Whether your celebrating the holidays in Fisherman’s Wharf or Canary Wharf, we’ve drawn on the expertise of some of the top exercise professionals and fitness trainers to come up with 5 great ways for modern society to keep fit and continue burning fat during the holiday season.
1. Lightweight Fitness Equipment that Travels
The market is absolutely loaded with new innovations, including technologies, to help society continue pursuing those fitness and weight-loss goals whether you’re on vacation, at the office, or at home. A simple search online will yield a multitude of fitness apps and packable, transportable muscle building equipment has never been easier to find. With the mass availability of fitness equipment like tension bands and aquatic dumbbells, there is never a reason or an excuse to neglect getting in your reps.
2. Just Move, Baby
Seriously! Getting up and moving around for five minutes every 30 - 60 minutes and performing some lighter activities, like simple squat exercises, can yield measurable improvements to your health. Wear a band around your wrist to remind yourself to get up and move during the day – do some knee-raisers for a few minutes every hour, walk around a bit while you’re on a call, etc.
…and skip the elevators and escalators!
3. Squeeze in Some Physical Activity
The one hurdle that society really needs to overcome is that blasted “all-or-nothing” mentality that we’ve adopted toward exercising and weight loss. Many of us are prone to thinking “If it’s not a full 20-minute workout, it doesn’t count anyway. So, why bother?”
Let’s be clear - a short, high-impact workout that elevates your heart rate is always better than choosing not to workout. Try to incorporate even just 10 minutes of physical activity a day. In fact, a recent study that was published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that by getting just 11 minutes of exercise a day, people can experience a meaningful difference in terms of weight loss.
Want in on a huge secret? Your brain is wired to sometimes confuse hunger with thirst. Remember, 70% of your body consists of water and it is highly dependent on H2O to function at optimal levels. Keeping that travel cup full of fresh ice-water, and near you at all times, not only helps your body to recover from exercise it also accelerates your energy levels which is directly tied to weight loss.
Also, try drinking a large glass of water before you eat a meal and watch how it reduces the amount of food that you eat.
Coffee with Lemon – A Way to Promote Weight-Loss?
While water is the most frequently consumed beverage, coffee comes in second. The debate over how coffee can play a role in weight loss has raged for years. Personal trainers recommend drinking coffee prior to workouts and personal training studios even serve coffee. This holiday season, some of the 85% of Americans who drink coffee on the daily will try squeezing a bit of lemon juice into their black coffee.
It’s a concept the originated out of the liquid-based weight loss craze and, based on what the internet has to say, there is some credibility to the theory. The #lemoncoffee hashtag has over 8 million views and there’s no shortage of YouTube videos promoting the coffee-lemon mix as one of the best “hacks” for losing belly fat. Some even claim to see measurable fat loss in anywhere from 3 to 9 days.
Fat Loss? Eliminate the Leftovers!
Lastly, don’t let those 'treats' hang around for too long by letting them linger in easily accessible Tupperware containers after New Year’s Day. We’re all for enjoying those holiday meals of bounty, but where we often run into trouble is when we let a day of indulgence end up being a month of indulgence.
Those are the kind of choices that tend to create unnecessary barriers to weight loss and fitness.