6 Easy Ways to Stay Fit this December

Written by: Elsie Velazquez CPT at Prescription Fitness (Cleveland, Ohio)

Hard to believe that the year 2018 is almost over!  You’ve worked hard all year to be a healthier version of yourself so now is not the time to throw in the towel!  Instead, use the month of December to finish the year off strong.  Come January, you will be glad you did and you will be motivated to make 2019 an even better and healthier year.

Let’s not kid ourselves – the next three to four weeks will be hard on our wallets, our time, and our diets/training program.  It is challenging to find time to fit a workout in between shopping trips, family gatherings, and all the other holiday festivities that seem to take up all of our spare time.  I think we are all in the same boat.  While I do not have the magic solution, I do have a few suggestions that may help make the month of December a joyously healthy one.

ALWAYS PLAN AHEAD

When it comes to maintaining your diet and workout plan during the month of December, it is important to plan ahead.  If you know you have a party in the evening, keep your calories low earlier in the day.  If you know you won’t make it to the gym on Wednesday, give your workouts your absolute all on the days you can make it.

IMPROVISE YOUR WORKOUTS

Keep in mind that the only bad workout is the one you did not do!  If you only have 15 minutes to workout instead of your normal 45, make those 15 minutes count!  Just make it happen…no excuses!  Even a quick workout at home if you can’t make it to the gym is better than no workout.

SET REALISTIC GOALS

While it seems we are programmed to set weight loss as our main goal, perhaps you should not make that your priority during the month of December.  Why add to your stress level?  Instead, make it a priority to maintain the improvements you’ve made all year.  Aim to move as much as possible and try to always be mindful of your food choices.  This will allow you to enjoy your time with family and friends without putting unrealistic expectations on yourself.

AVOID SITTING FOR LONG PERIODS

Parties with family and friends sitting around a table, cold nights laying on a sofa in front on the fireplace watching movies, and a 9-5 sedentary job can add up to hours and hours of little movement.  This would be a good time to monitor your steps.  Aiming for 10,000 steps a day can help keep you on track.

COLD TEMPS ARE YOUR FRIEND

Be brave and head outside for a brisk walk.  You might get an extra calorie burn from the cold-weather cardio session because your body uses more energy to warm up the air you breathe.  Plus the weight of your coat, boots, and extra layers of clothing will help you burn more calories.

DRINK WATER

Not overdoing the alcoholic drinks is a no-brainer. What is important is to make sure you drink enough water.  Water is necessary for the body to function at its best, and it can help prevent a false sense of hunger.  Keep a big bottle of water handy at all times.  Add berries and/or lemon slices to add a little hint of flavor.