Plan Ahead For Healthy Holidays

I love the holidays, especially the food, the parties, and the fun. But, unfortunately it can wreak havoc on our health and fitness. Many of us strive to get back into shape, lose weight, get fit, healthy and back on track with (ack!) New Year’s Resolutions.

However, once the holidays are over, the New Year’s Resolutions that sounded like such a good idea during the whirlwind of the holidays are now staring us right in the face. And the high goals we set for ourselves seem unattainable. Usually because they are. So we give up after two weeks, feeling guilty and frustrated. What a way to start the new year!

But I have another thought–since we plan for the holidays, why not plan ahead for healthy holidays at the same time? That way, you can practice a bit of moderation while still having a good time. Then you can sail through the holiday season with your health and fitness intact as well as your self-respect. Here are a few ideas to help you get started, but feel free to tweak it a bit, or create your own plan. Use your imagination, turn it into a game or a challenge. Recruit a friend or family member to help you stay on track, and turn it into a fun challenge to see who can come up with the most ideas. Here are just a few of my own.

Create a calendar

Create a calendar for November and December. I prefer a print calendar rather than one on your phone or computer. Write down every event or party that you will be attending so you know ahead of time what’s coming up. It also helps you not to become overwhelmed with holiday activities.

Guard your schedule like a jealous lover

Now that you have a calendar, keep a close eye on your schedule to make sure you aren’t over-extending yourself. You don’t have to accept every invitation, or attend every party or event. Prioritize the events that are the most important to you, and skip the rest. It will be so much better for your health and well-being in the long run, which brings me to another point.

Schedule time for yourself

While you are planning your calendar and your schedule, remember to schedule time for yourself, and write it down. Whether it’s going to your favorite exercise class, taking a walk around your neighborhood, sitting down with a good book, listening to music, meditating, playing with the dog….you get the idea. It will keep you balanced, grounded, and energized.

Be mindful of your movements

It’s important to keep moving, especially when we’re busy entertaining or preparing feasts for our friends and family. Even just a few minutes of sitting and bouncing on an exercise ball, taking a quick walk around the block, or even putting on music and dancing in your kitchen as you work will do wonders for your circulation, your metabolism, your immune system, and your body, mind, and spirit.

Snack before going out

As a final suggestion, have a light, healthy snack before going out to a party or a big dinner. It will keep you from over-indulging and help keep you on track as you enjoy all of the wonderful treats that the season has to offer.

Most of all, be gentle with yourself. If you do over-indulge, don’t beat yourself up. This is such a lovely time of year, and we want to enjoy all of the many blessings that it brings. So, plan ahead, have a wonderful time, and look forward to starting 2020 with your health, fitness, and sanity intact. Here’s to your health!