I truly love the gym and I try my best to eat nutritious meals, but making healthy choices during the holidays can be difficult. Holiday treats are around each corner and finding time to exercise with the errands, the cooking, the decorations and the parties can all be quite challenging.
The trick to staying healthy and active in December is learning better time-management. Make this holiday season more enjoyable by trying some of these time saving tips listed below.
1. Prep for your week on the weekends.
In reality, all that chopping, cooking, and mixing can take serious time. Spare yourself the salad agony by loading up on veggies at the grocery store and chopping them all right away to store in the fridge. In addition, pre-cooking protein and making a large portion of IP friendly dressings or sauces to use all week can make the weeknight meals seem like a breeze. Assembling will take five minutes tops.
2. Embrace the Crock-Pot or Instapot.
If you don’t own one already, now’s the time. These multi-tasking tools cook anything from soups or stews to proteins, and all you have to do is throw the ingredients in and let it do its magic. It’s basically a busy person’s dream come true!
3. Try Interval training.
This is one of my go-to’s at the gym! Busy schedules, especially during the holidays often mean your workouts get left to the wayside. But you actually don’t need more than 20 minutes to get a great cardio workout. Short bursts of high intensity exercises can actually be more effective and man will you sweat. So instead of promising to hit the gym tomorrow, hop on a treadmill or bike, do some sprints, and enjoy the post-workout energy boost. Bonus: Regular exercise even helps you get better sleep!
4. Get moving when you have a break or have extra time during your day.
Most jobs require sitting at a desk for the majority of the day. We also are sitting down while driving and having our daily meals. That means you are on your booty a lot during the workweek. Try to sneak in some exercise by running errands on foot, doing squats at the desk, taking the stairs, parking farther away from your destination, or walking during lunch breaks. There are so many creative ways to fit exercise in throughout your day and all of those extra steps or movements add up!
5. Stay organized with to-do lists.
All of the little things you do throughout each day can add up and when you throw the holidays into the mix, things can get a little crazy. If you are anything like me, when you don’t write everything down or schedule them in, it’s easy to forget and things get missed. Stay on top of your daily tasks by keeping a notepad on hand or by using your smartphones notepad or calendar to write everything down. Your family and your boss will thank you.
6. Say No.
So many of us regularly over-schedule ourselves because we feel uncomfortable saying “no” when people ask us for favors or help. It may be that you don’t want to disappoint others or that you don’t want to admit that you cannot “do it all.” Because of this we end up not having enough time to do what’s important to us. Does this apply to you? If it does, this might be a good time management priority for you. Use the extra time to schedule in something that is important to you. It’s okay to say no here and there, especially in December when we have so many parties to attend and when the workload seems higher.
With all of that being said, don’t forget to have some fun too! Be sure to give yourself permission to forget about all those tasks still left on your to-do list and enjoy the celebrations with your friends and loved ones. Take a deep breath and savor the moment; the New Year will be here before you know it!