Stay Healthy, Sexy & Sane this Holiday Season with these 5 tips from a Pilates pro.
1. Get Your Workout In
Getting your workout in takes some planning during the holiday season, so be sure to have your workout planned a day in advance. Over the holidays, it works best to plan a traditional workout (cardio and strength) and then sprinkle in physical activity with the whole family.
Come on, you know yourself. If you know you have a harder time completing a planned workout out in the afternoon, take the initiative to get it done in the morning.
By getting your workout in, you will be energized make healthier decisions the rest of the day!
If you are traveling here are some tips to make it happen:
- Check out the location ahead of time and find any gyms, yoga or Pilates studios near by. Gyms often have free week-long visitor passes available online or you can call them to inquire.
- Book a class at a Yoga or Pilates studio so you already have it scheduled and planned before arriving.
- Go to my YouTube channel or the “video” section of my website to follow a Mat workout!
- Follow a YouTube cardio workout. There are a billion cardio workouts that you can follow online that don’t even require equipment. Here is one of my cardio favorites by POPSUGAR Fitness.
Pro Tip: I ALWAYS travel with my resistance band, like the one below. It packs light and fits in the carry-on I usually bring. It’s practically weightless and folds into the smallest space ever, but provides full body resistance. Here is one of my 10 minute upper body workouts and a 12 minute full body one with the resistance band.
Subscribe to my YouTube page while you’re there so you don’t miss the next resistance band workout 🙂
For added physical activity, consider combining family time with activity. Such as bringing the whole family, dog included, on a hike or to the local track, field or park.
2. Eat Mindfully & Plan Ahead for Big Meals
Holidays are not the time to try to lose weight or feel guilty about indulgences. It’s time to eat, drink and be merry with family and friends. Simply being mindful about your eating can go a long way during the holidays to keep you healthy and sexy.
Does feeling stuffed, bloated, and swollen to the finger tips feel sexy? No, no it doesn’t, so let’s dive in!
Follow these tips:
- Don’t go into a large holiday meal hungry. I know grandma doesn’t want you “spoiling your appetite,” but if you go into a big meal hungry, you’ll likely over indulge. Have a small, healthy snack an hour or two before with healthy fat and fiber, such as a handful of nuts.
- Chew your food for a full 30 seconds. It takes our brain around 20 minutes to figure out that you are full after eating. Which is usually 15 minutes too late after the first big plate at a holiday meal. Chewing your food for 30 seconds allows digestive enzymes to release in your mouth beginning the first phase of digestion.
- Eat mindfully. While taking the 30 seconds to chew, you can be mindful about the food you are eating. Observe layers of flavor within the food, the temperature and the texture. Studies suggest this contributes to feeling more satisfied with the meal we consume.
- Limit alcohol. I hate to be a party pooper, but alcohol lowers our healthy inhibitions. If you get hammered, you’re more likely to eat all the left overs late night. You’re also likely to feel like crap the next day and crave junky food to cure yourself and miss all of the previous steps to surviving the holidays!
3. Stay hydrated
We often underestimate the power of proper hydration.
Keeping hydrated will keep you sharp, less hungry, and improve your workouts throughout the season. In addition, it will keep you looking amazing with glowing skin, less appearance of wrinkles and less under eye dark circles.
Sounds like a no-brainer when you’re hoping to look your best at those holiday parties.
You’ll need to step the hydration up a notch at the holidays to compensation for added cocktails, caffeine, travel and longer shopping trips.
Pro Tip: Keep a water bottle with you everywhere you go and re-fill whenever you can.
Don’t roll your eyes!
If it helps you stick around long enough to hear me out, I lost weight from meditation alone.
Meditation is one of those things what is so powerful and technically so easy, but no one ever wants to take the time to do it.
There are billion benefits to meditation, but during the holidays, stress is inevitably high. It’s imperative to ‘take 5’ and allow yourself to destress. By doing so, you’ll reduce hormones that cause weight gain within the body and ground yourself so you can make clear, healthy, mindful decisions.
If you’ve never tried meditation before, don’t over think it. You’ll reap the benefits by simply sitting by yourself, in a calm space and focusing on your breath for 5 minutes. Literally, just observe the breath going in and out of your nose.
Pro Tip: Insight timer has “guided meditations” which are awesome for beginners because they simply guide you through a mediation for the duration you choose. The guided meditations have different styles, so try a few, and pick one that resonates with you best.
5. Follow a Healthy Morning Routine
Having an intentional morning routine will start your day in calm, healthy direction. Although I recommend doing this every morning, it’s super important during the holidays when life gets chaotic.
Create your routine by incorporating a small combination of things that clear your mind, lift you up, express your gratitude and move your body. Then commit to following it. This may mean setting the alarm up to 30 minutes earlier, but I PROMISE the benefits of the day will outweigh the earlier wake up.
Here’s how I start my BEST days:
- Sip warm lemon water (5 min)
- Short meditation (5-10 min)
- Writing 3 things I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal (2 min)
- 20 minute cardio session
The lemon water hydrates my body after a long night, among other benefits that Wellness Mama Explains here. Plus, it just feels good to have a “hug in a mug” in the morning. Something about sipping warm tea out of a mug makes my morning feel right.
I then do a short meditation with my free app, insight timer. I choose to do a short one (10 minutes or less) because my mind races more in the morning than the afternoon and I have a hard time being successful at longer meditations in the morning time. Plus, let’s be honest, it also helps keep this entire morning routine shorter so I’m likely to be successful at it! Set yourself up for success 🙂
Showing gratitude everyday (not just Thanksgiving) is proven to increase happiness and help us be in a mental state of abundance. Making it a regular practice can make a huge impact on your life. I simply write 3 bullet points of things/people I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal (which is also a free app). This literally takes less than 2 minutes, and will have you starting your day with a smile on your face.
Lastly, I try to get 20 minutes of cardio in (yes, I said try, I’ll admit it doesn’t ALWAYS happen.) The 20 minutes may be walking/running with the dog or a YouTube cardio workout in the living room. I tell myself I’ll do 20 minutes, and if I have extra time, I always end up doing more for a full 30. Again, setting myself up for success because my mind thinks 20 minutes is do-able.
Choose a combination that works for you.
Here are other ideas for your routine:
- Reading something motivational or spiritual. (I love Meditations from the Mat by Rolph Gates & Katrina Kenison)
- Listening to something motivational, such as a podcast or audio book. (The Lewis Howe’s Podcast is one of my favs.)
- Watching the sun rise.
- Saying positive affirmations aloud.
- Doing 10 minutes of Yoga.
Most importantly, make it your own!
When you start with a positive, healthy morning, you’re on the right foot for the rest of the day and more inclined to continue to make healthy choices.
Enjoy staying healthy, sexy & sane this holiday season 😉
Cheers to you!