Four Weeks Notice: How to Stay Fit Before Christmas

Written by: Lizzie Fuhr, Fitsugar\r\n\r\nThe weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be tough for even the fittest folks. Cooler weather makes working out more difficult, and getting caught up in the hype of the holidays makes putting off a workout even easier. If you’re ready to stick to your plan — and to not make getting fit your New Year’s resolution for yet another year — then practice these tips\r\n\r\nIt’s Not a Cheat Month\r\n\r\nEven though there’s plenty of fun to be had, you’ve got to set limitations with yourself. Even though people crave comfort food during the winter, you’ve got to continue to make healthy choices all December long. Plan ahead when you know you’ll be indulging. And be sure to appropriately indulge so you don’t end up binging on a big plate of Christmas cookies!\r\n\r\nRegister For a Race\r\n\r\nWhen you know that you’ve got a race on the horizon, you’ve got to train — there’s no other option. Gift yourself a race from Active.com, and create a training plan that you can stick to. After all those long runs, you’ll feel so much better about those holiday treats.\r\n\r\nGrab a Friend\r\n\r\nWhen you’re trying to focus on exercise and nutrition, that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on seeing your friends. There are plenty of benefits to having a workout buddy, but it’s especially helpful during a busy season. You’ll be less likely to bail if it will mean letting down someone you love.\r\n\r\nPencil It In\r\n\r\nIf you want to make time for a workout, then you’ve got to put it in your schedule. Without making the commitment to yourself, it’s far too easy to put it off in order to do something else. Add a reminder in your office email, jot it down in your planner — whatever you have to do to make it work.\r\n\r\nBack Off That Booze\r\n\r\nIt’s easy to get ahead of yourself at a holiday party. You’re in the spirit of the season and knocking back a few drinks; you aren’t necessarily paying attention to the amount of alcohol you’ve imbibed. In addition to keeping your mental clarity in check, cutting back on booze will help you feel less bloated and stick to your workouts. \r\n\r\nIf giving up all the alcohol isn’t an option, then consider water-backing. After each alcoholic libation you consume, back it with an 8-ounce glass of good old H2O. Drinking booze dehydrates your system, and drinking water helps your body recuperate faster.\r\n\r\nPractice Portion Control \r\n\r\nHealthy portion control is always important, and something as simple as a plate can help or hinder a healthy eating plan. Instead of looking for the biggest plate at the event, choose a salad or a dessert plate. Studies have proven that using a smaller plate helps with weight loss. Even at a big event, start off with something lighter at the beginning, like soup or salad.\r\n\r\nGrab a New DVD\r\n\r\nWith the colder, wet weather, it’s difficult to leave the comfort of your warm home. If you find yourself staying in time and time again, add a new DVD to your workout repertoire. And choose something you’ll actually use! If you haven’t been making it to your yoga class lately, then try out Tara Stiles’s new This Is Yoga DVD Collection. \r\n\r\nRest Up\r\n\r\nStudies show that people who get adequate amounts of sleep weigh less (and eat less) than those who are sleep-deprived, so make sure you get at least seven hours a night — especially when you’re tired. Listening to your body is key in preventing sickness. Naturopath practitioner Dr. Holly Lucille says that while you may be tempted, don’t “reach for a Diet Coke in the middle of the afternoon. You’ve got to be able to heed the body’s attention that it’s just got to hang out for a second.” There’s nothing worse than having to cancel fun holiday plans because you’ve been running on empty for too long.