What Should I Do During The Holiday? Fitness Angst…

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! If you are from the U.S. or live in the U.S. there is a small holiday called Thanksgiving. (pssstt… its not small, its a huge food and family holiday for us) Where we use it as an excuse to get together with family and friends and give thanks for what we have. We cook gigantic birds called turkeys, and share food. It stems from, we are told as young Americans, the first meal shared by the colonists and the Native Americans who were here before them.

These things are good to keep in mind for any holiday, anywhere.

Just so you know this is an opinion piece. I have read so many differing opinions. TLDR -If you don’t have time to read the whys… here is the gist of my post. Do what is good for you. But there are some pros and cons for different approaches depending on where you are in your journey.

Part of me wants to just say, have fun eat what you want in the holidays. Time with your family is not infinite live it up. But that is not necessarily the case.

What everyone should do no matter where they are on their fitness journey:

  1. Keep working out…Even if you are traveling and away from home. Find ways to get your workout in. Make it an adventure. If you love running, take your running shoes and some gym clothes with you and run around where ever you land. Its a great way to learn about the place you have to spend your holiday.
  2. Learn simple exercises that you can do without a lot of equipment. Stick to things like squats, sit ups, planks, lunges, jumping jacks, push ups, bear crawling, etc.
    • Write these down on a piece of paper and pack that with you so that you have something you can look at and perform in a hotel room, or even your sister in laws brother house that you have to be at for the family gathering.
  3. Make a holiday game plan, and stick to it. Or lets be honest stick to it as best you can. If you had one extra piece of chocolate don’t let it derail your entire holiday game plan.
  4. Check out the local gym if you need weights. They sometimes have day pass you can purchase, and some gyms will let you try out the gym for free if you ask. You can also purchase month to month memberships at gyms.
  5. Keep drinking your water
  6. Buy your own snacks, and monitor your snacking

If you are new to this journey:

If you are new to the fitness journey then I would say being strict about your routine, and food intake is super important. You are still learning how your body works, and reacts to exercise and food. It takes about 21 days to form a habit, and if you are in the middle of that 21 days, or just a few months into your journey, now is a critical time to stick to the plan.

  1. Stick to your routine as close as possible. If you cannot do your workout, make sure to stick working out at the same time of day, and same days.
  2. Keep counting your Macros. If you are counting your macros and calories, keep doing so. Think ahead of time, and figure out what amount of Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and green beans you can have.
  3. Keep making good decisions and aiming to add new habits that are conducive to you fitness goals. Remember this is a journey not a race.
    • Avoid that extra cookie, or that piece of pie, choose fruit or naturally sweet items instead.
    • Avoid sweetened drinks (there are a lot of hidden calories in those, like juice, and eggnog)
    • Avoid alcohol if you can
    • Avoid sauces (there are a lot of hidden calories)
    • Choose lean cuts of meat
    • Chose veggies that are not covered in sauce
    • Chose to snack on raw veggies instead of the pretzels, chips or other appetizers.
  4. Don’t let other people make you feel bad, don’t let your family make you feel bad for your decisions. You are doing this for you, not for them. You are trying to make yourself better.
  5. Plan to get back to your normal schedule when you get back home, or after the holidays. Stick to your plan.

If you are established in your fitness routine:

If you are seasoned and established in your fitness routine I feel you know your body better. You know how it responds to exercise, and you know it responds to different kinds of food. You have been counting calories/macros for a while. You have been practicing intermittent fasting for a while. You know what you have been doing. You have your routine.

  1. First of all taking a few days of will not set you back. You know how to get back to it and you will. You don’t have to be as strict. You know what you have done, and how to do it.
  2. Keep in mind what your body needs to function. You understand portion control. You know what your plate looks like.
  3. Keep up your workout. However, it does not hurt to change it up. As a matter of fact it is good for you and your body. Your body gets used to a type of physical exertion so the holidays are a good way to change it up for a short time to get out of the rut.
  4. Look up cool need things to do in the area you are going to be at. If going to an area that has snow. Take the time to go skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, and sledding. If you are going some where there is sand and water, swim, run on the sand, wake board, and try surfing.
  5. Don’t let one meal or one mistake derail your entire holiday.
  6. Get back on track after the holiday. You have to make sure you get back to it. Most likely if you are like me. You will feel like something is missing because you it is such a part of your life. You will want to get back to it as soon as possible.

The holidays are a tricky course to run. Spend time with your family. Enjoy the company. Enjoy the food sensibly. You can over indulge and that might set you back, but if you keep nutrition and exercise in mind you should be alright. Do what is right for you, and don’t let anyone guilt you into eating or doing anything you don’t want to do. Remember you are working to make yourself better. Keep working to make the best you that you can be. You do you… everyone else will see your dedication and hard work.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment.

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