It’s that time of year again. All we want to do is get into our super soft stretchy lounge pants and binge watch Netflix holiday movies all day with a tub of popcorn and a glass of wine, hoarding all those sweet treats from Trader Joes in our laps. To that, we say do it and enjoy it! Some of us are oftentimes too active and never actually relax. We deserve to slow down and enjoy it guilt free.
For so many of us, the struggle is staying motivated once the weather changes, it’s colder and the days are shorter. Motivation levels are running on fumes. Most of us end up losing sight of our goals and those good habits we’ve been developing all year just vanish. We convince ourselves that once that new year starts, we will reset and be ready to go. But what if we tried to figure out a way to truly balance holiday indulgences + staying active. What makes you feel like you enjoyed it all but you also weren’t just waiting for January 1st for an official start.
With the holidays here and still so much to do even though things are so not the same #hellopandemic, we can’t necessarily work out every single day for a ridiculous amount of time. And no, you definitely do not need to feel like you do, just because you had that Extra Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe from Traders. We know you all have endless to-do lists and the absolute last thing we want you to add to that list is extra stress!!
So we asked our very own fitness queen on the team, Chai Momma Neesha, what her secret is to stay active during the holidays. Here are Neesha’s top ten realistic ways to stay active:
“There’s tons of advice on how to stay active and hearing it sounds great but you have to be real with yourself and what your life looks like right now. People tell me to take a break from work and take a walk. That would be nice but with two kids on zoom calls, having a new puppy (yay, early family present!) in the house and getting in a full day of work really doesn’t allow that. Kids running over to my desk for questions constantly, then all of a sudden it’s time for lunch. It’s crazy and I constantly feel behind with this new normal. Now with the holidays, it’s even crazier. I think for me, these tips really help me keep the balance without feeling too stressed out. But these aren’t just tips for the holidays for me, these are things I keep in mind year-round.”
Plan Workouts: I write out my workout plan so by the end of the week I feel that sense of accomplishment rather than the fact that I was so busy I didn’t work out at all. If I know I have an early meeting or I’m going to bed late the night before, I make sure and do a shorter workout but maybe more intense. Some weeks I barely get to workout, some weeks I come out feeling like the strongest most badass woman! But regardless, I take the time to plan and this alone makes me stick to exercising.
Getting Outdoors with the Fam: Every weekend, my family and I try to do something outdoors. Our favorite is to pack lunches and go out for a hike. It’s both physical and mental wellness for us and we look forward to it because we just don’t have quality family time during the week.
Pushups/Core on the whim: Whenever I have a minute where I am watching a show or kids are playing a video game and I’m hanging out with them, I start doing push ups and core work. I always get in a good 10 minutes of activity that wasn’t a planned workout.
Meal Prep: Yes, it’s hard to dedicate several hours to this. But I promise it’s such a win…really a double win. As I prep, I’m moving around in the kitchen PLUS making healthy meals. There are tons of ideas to help you with this if you just search. Stay tuned for our full post on meal prep tips.
Free Workouts: I search and find so many wonderful YouTube workouts, as I plan my weekly schedule. I like to mix it up to keep it interesting. Sometimes I even find dance party ones that my kids can do with me too. Those are especially great because they’re free and a fun way to get some movement in.
Take the Stairs/ Park Far: I know with Covid, we aren’t going many places but still remember to always try and take the stairs and intentionally park to walk more. I know that feeling when you see an elevator right next to the stairs and you think I am so not taking the stairs. Reset your mind and know that you will feel so much better when you make it to the top of the stairs. Same with parking. Make it a goal to get in a few extra steps by parking at the far end of the parking lot or down the block. It all adds up and helps you reach your daily steps goal. These are quick and easy ways to add some exercise in your day.
Keep your active friend on speed dial: When you happen to find that one evening that you have time for a walk…send that text over and GO! You are getting steps in while probably letting out your frustrations of the day. Or commit to a virtual month long challenge. Connect with the friends who will hold you accountable and motivate you to keep at it! Reward yourself for completing it too.
Set Timers: If you are stuck behind your desk all day, I highly recommend setting a timer or scheduling breaks into your calendar to get up and stretch and walk around. Do a few crunches and some sit-ups. This has helped me so much.
Invest in home workout items: I slowly built my home gym. I did invest in a Peloton during this Pandemic and LOVE it! But even if you have a mat and one pair of weights, there is so much you can do. Google is your best friend to search for ideas and what you can do with what you already have.
Laugh: Yes…this is exercise because you are working your core and mind. Take time with friends who make you laugh because it’s free and fun! That’s another double win!