I’m proud to be one of Fit Approach and Lorna Jane’s #HolidayFitList bloggers. To me, Fit Approach and Lorna Jane are about a common mission – equipping everyone to live their happiest, healthiest life. Today I’m sharing my personal Holiday Fit List – five tips I’m using to stay fit and healthy throughout the holiday season.
1. Hold yourself accountable.
It’s easy to let yourself go and slide backward on your fitness journey when you start to rationalize with yourself. “It’s too cold out to run.” “I’ll make this workout up tomorrow.” “This was an extra workout anyway.” “I ate healthier today so I don’t need to work out.” But if you let those thoughts creep in over the holidays, it’s easier to make a habit of them after the Christmas tree comes down and the family members have all gone home.
It’s important to find ways that are external of yourself to motivate you. Having trouble finding the motivation to run? Register for a few races over the holidays to keep your training in check. Reluctant to climb out of your warm bed and head to the gym when it’s still dark? Schedule a group of sessions with a personal trainer so you know someone will be waiting for you to show up. Feel a little lonely trying to stay healthy while everyone around you seems to be living it up? Find a friend (or a group of friends) and share your goals and routines with each other; it’s harder to change your plans when you’ve shared them with several people. Perhaps you’re motivated by competition and can make a friendly wager amongst yourselves. I know it’s easier for me to stick to my agenda when there’s money on the line.
2. Stick to a routine.
There will be interruptions. There will be family in town. There will be extra errands. There will be rushed dinners out because there’s no time to cook. There will be staying up late and oversleeping. But in the midst of all the holiday chaos, don’t let your non-holiday routine fall by the wayside. If you end up eating out one night, it’s not the end of the world – wake up the next morning and hit the gym or make your egg-white omelet as usual. You might have to take that mid-afternoon run on an unfamiliar trail if you’re visiting family, but you can still take the run. If other interruptions to your routine arise, take them as they come and get back on track as soon as possible.
3. Make it a family affair.
They’re going to want to spend every waking moment with you anyway – why not help them get a workout in at the same time? I’m running a 10k the weekend before Christmas, and my husband has decided he’d like to run it with me (which means our son goes along for the ride in our jogging stroller). Our son even has a race of his very own coming up in January (it’s only a 100m dash – he’s not entering a half marathon any time soon). If Grandma isn’t as spry as she used to be, join her for an afternoon stroll, or show her some upper body exercises she can do while sitting down.
And don’t stop with working out – get the family in on giving your favorite holiday dishes a healthy makeover. My mom taught me to make mashed potatoes with lots and lots of milk and butter; now I use my stand mixer to get them nice and fluffy and add low-sodium chicken stock instead. They have just as much flavor, but a lot fewer calories. And potatoes are just the start.
4. Be smart when you indulge.
In the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year, there’s lots of holiday parties and other festive social obligations that pop up, many of them filled with tables of tempting calorie-filed cocktails and creamy casseroles. For some people, holiday dining is an all-or-nothing proposition – either you eat every unhealthy snack in sight or you completely abstain. But staying healthy doesn’t mean you have to avoid anything with even a whiff of fat or carbs; it means making intelligent choices when you choose that indulgent snack. Have a bite of cake instead of a whole slice. Have a sip of that toasting champagne and then switch to water. Scope out the crudite tray to snag some carrots for dipping instead of chips. And find ways to replace less healthy treats with something that tastes just as good but that’s good for you.
Lorna Jane’s latest eBook, Move Over Sugar, is full of information on how our intake of refined sugars can negatively affect our health and easy ways to lower your sugar consumption (and stay the course when it seems like sweets are calling your name). It’s also packed with amazing low-sugar recipes from the Lorna Jane community, including a healthy version of a personal favorite:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge
what you’ll need
Peanut butter layer:
50g coconut butter
1 cup raw peanut butter
2 tbsp. pure raw honey
1 cup dates, soaked for 1 hr
1 tsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. shredded coconut
. cup cacao powder
3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp. almond milk
how to make it
Peanut butter layer: Line a 25cm baking tin
with baking paper. In a small pot over medium
heat melt all ingredients. Pour peanut butter
mixture into tin and freeze for at least 2hrs.
Chocolate layer: Blend all ingredients in a
food processor until smooth. Once peanut butter
layer has solidified pour chocolate over.
Store in refrigerator.
There’s more where that came from in the Move Over Sugar eBook – be sure to download your free copy!
5. Dress for success.
As you travel to and fro throughout the season, make sure your athletic shoes and workout gear make it into your suitcase. Don’t let the lack of proper attire keep you from hitting the gym over the holidays.
As part of the #HolidayFitList campaign, Lorna Jane provided me with an outfit to wear when I’m breaking a sweat at the gym (or, on a snowy day in Denver like today, when I’m breaking a sweat to a workout video on the TV). For my outfit I chose the Liberate Sports Bra, the Trista Excel Hooded Tank, and the Gravitas Core Stability capris. All three pieces are made from lightweight shrink- and fade-resistant fabrics, so I can wear them for every workout without feeling weighed down and run them through the wash for next time without worrying about quality.
The Liberate Sports Bra came with removable padding for the cups, but since I’ve got a little somethin’ somethin’ up front I took them out. The bra’s mesh racerback makes it extremely comfortable to wear. And I love the hoodie on my Trista tank; I can throw a shirt on over it and go straight from the gym to the grocery store or wherever else life might take me. The tank fabric wicks moisture away and is incredibly soft. I could wear it and the bra all day long. The top also has a zipper pocket in back for stashing my ID or keys (my iPhone easily fits as well). And the Gravitas capris are perfect for running. Mesh panels behind the knees keep me cool and dry; I sweat a lot when I run (or really do any sort of activity). There’s a drawstring into the waistband (one of the fancy kind that can’t fall out) and a zipper pocket in bag for more storage. And the compression fabrics make me feel tiny and fast – who doesn’t want that?
Inside each piece is a “hidden” heart – from Lorna Jane with love. Seeing those little hearts when I’m getting dressed reminds me that, ultimately, being healthy is about taking care of me and loving myself. And the better I am at loving myself, the better I can love the people around me.
If you’re interested in trying Lorna Jane gear out for yourself, head to lornajane.com and use the code SHOPLJ to get 20% off your entire order.
And that discount will go even farther if you win the $250 Lorna Jane gift card we’re giving away to a lucky #HolidayFitList reader. Sign up here to enter to win!
There are 19 other fabulous ladies sharing their own tips for holiday fitness, along with more recipes and Lorna Jane gear. Be sure to visit them all!
Denise from Run DMT
Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders
Katie from Moms Little Running Buddy
Lindsey from Fit and Awesome
Kalee from Sorey Fitness
GiGi from GiGi Eats Celebrities
Rachel from Running Rachel
Astrid from Better Believe Fit
Presley from Run Pretty
Jill from Fitness Health and Happiness
Anglena from Happy Fit Mama
Katie from Katie Heddleston
Lea from Running With Ollie
Sarah from Fit Betty
Courtney from Journey of a Dreamer
Jennifer from LivWhole
Jennifer from Jennifer Cassetta
Jenny from Metamorfit
Shannon from Badassfitness
If you want to share your own holiday fit tips, be sure to join us later today for our #HolidayFitList Twitter party at 5pm PST. The most active participant will win a $100 Lorna Jane gift card! I hope to “see” you there! Don’t forget to enter to win the $250 gift card as well.
What are your best tips for staying fit over the holidays? What challenges are you facing this season?