The holidays are here–again. For many baby boomers and older adults, these coming weeks spell fitness disaster: overeating, weight gain, stress, no exercise.
I get it! This time of year comes with excess–food, drink and celebrations. But with a little planning, it really is possible to come through it all with at least the same fitness level you have today.
Having said that, here are five excuses I don’t want to hear (from you or myself) between now and January 1:
- I’m too busy.
This excuse is the one I find myself falling into most often this time of year. But I try my best to make opportunities to exercise–10-minute chunks of walking in between client appointments, during TV shows. Work activity into errands by walking at the mall, in the parking lot or through stores. Take a stroll with family and friends. And keep an emergency supply of healthful snacks with you at all times–unsalted nuts, fruits, whole wheat crackers and protein bars.
2) I’m too tired/stressed.
News alert: exercise and healthy eating actually decrease stress and invigorate you! You may have to force yourself to get up and move, but clients tell me over and over again that once they start moving, no matter how tired they are, they always feel better. Exercise acts like Miracle Grow for your brain, and good nutrition supports a healthy mind.
3) I always gain weight during the holidays.
Poppy-cock! Figure out what this number is, and decide to break the chain this year. Instead of gaining 5 lb, gain only 2. Or set a goal to land on January 1 at the same weight you were on November 1. Sure, it won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible. If you gain a little weight after a few days of mindless eating, get back to your regular habits as quickly as possible.
4) Everywhere I look I see more goodies!
Of course, eating is a huge part of the holidays. But remember, you alone are in control of what goes into your mouth! You make all the final decisions. So think before you grab: avoid the cookie/candy bowl, don’t mingle around the buffet table, keep regular eating times as much as possible, and don’t skip meals.
5) I only eat (insert your favorite food) this time of year!
Whether it’s pumpkin pie, stuffing or chocolate truffles, food is definitely a central part of the festivities. So don’t deny yourself, but do be smart. Give yourself one serving of this special indulgence, then walk away, sit down, and savor every bite! Make sure left-overs are packed away out of sight so you’re not tempted to have seconds (or thirds). Or wait until there’s only one serving left before you eat your portion—an easy way to avoid overeating.
For more ideas about staying healthy during the holidays, give me a call!
We can discuss some practical tips and discover if any of my programs or classes are a good fit for your friends or family.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that—oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.
Lisa Teresi Harris is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Personal Trainer, and author of the book Building Your Enduring Fitness. A certified Geri-Fit Instructor, she helps Boomers and seniors to regain and keep muscle strength, mobility, and energy.
Contact Lisa to inquire about a customized, in-home fitness program for you or a loved one.