The holidays are here and for many, the holiday cheer comes with an unfortunate amount of temptation, stress and responsibility. It is important to continue to take care of yourself through this chaotic time so that you can do more than just survive the holidays, but also to get most out of the season. We spoke with 4 of our master instructors to get their top tips for staying fit through the holidays.
KEEP IT SIMPLE – Francesca Kerr
Most of us love the holidays, but are also equally daunted by all they entail: shopping, cooking, presents, family, travel… the lists and tasks can be endless. Add onto that our own personal lists of “shoulds” and workout remorse for letting our schedules get off track and before you know it you can be consumed with negative self-talk and criticism- who needs anymore of that?!!
What does KEEP IT SIMPLE mean? It means go for a walk- by yourself or take the dog, the kids, a friend. Slow your pace, focus on your breaths, notice your surroundings and just move a little.
STAY ACTIVE – Pete McCall
One of my favorite workouts when it gets busy is 30:30 intervals on the HIIT Bike:
The body burns five calories of energy per liter of oxygen consumed; the upper body action combined with the cycling on the StairMaster HIIT Bike makes it the perfect go-to when I don’t have much time for working out. When time is limited, I hop on the HIIT Bike for 10-15 minutes. I do a 2-3 min warm-up then do 30:30 – 30 seconds as hard as I can, then 30 seconds easy, I keep that up for 8-10 cycles, then go easy for 2-3 minutes for recovery. The cool thing is that I can challenge myself to match the wattage of the first interval with each preceding interval which becomes hard by the last 2-3. Here’s the good news, when it comes to getting results from interval training there is plenty of research to suggest that it is the intensity of the workout, not the length that is the most important component. If you don’t have much time, make the time you do have count with extremely intense, short bursts of activity.
EAT SMART – Sherri McMillan
Pigging out on chocolates, cookies and cakes and drinking till you see double of everything is enough to make you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck! It’s perfectly ok to indulge over the holidays but you’ve still got to keep your health and fitness goals in check. Go for the “have to eat” vs “can’t eat” approach. Instead of forbidding any treats over the holidays rather, focus on drinking 8 glasses of water, consuming 5 vegetables and 3 fruits, eat breakfast, and consume 5 small meals/snacks each day. If you’ve still got room for your favorite Christmas cookie, go for it, but eat it slowly and really enjoy the taste. At parties, you may find yourself eating a lot later than usual. Try to eat something small earlier and then at the party you’ll be less likely to overeat right before bed.
TAKE TIME TO MANAGE STRESS – Sharon Mehalek
It is easy to get overwhelmed with stress during the holidays, so it is important you take active steps to try and manage that stress. One effective way to manage stress is to meditate 5 minutes morning or night. Breathe deeply and cleanse your mind of all those negative thoughts on each exhale. AHHH. You could also take a yoga class. Even though you love beating yourself up and burning those calories take a Yin Restorative Yoga class, but use it not so much for strengthening but for relaxing and relieving all your tension and stress through releasing your muscles.
We hope these tips help you have an enjoyable, stress free and healthy holiday season! Be sure to check back for more great tips and workouts from our Master Instructors.