Welcome to December! Stay FIT this month.

December is upon us!

You have already experienced the feast that is known as Thanksgiving (and I hope you enjoyed it) and have possibly begun the quest for gifts and goodies throughout the stores this past weekend.

As holiday music fills the air and the scent of pine trees and cinnamon fills our noses, stress and a sense of being overwhelmed can also fill our spirits.

One sure-fire way to combat stress is by working out.

stressed workout

BUT, for some of us the thought of adding one more thing to our to-do list causes MORE stress, not less.

What is a stressed out person to do?

Easy, follow a few simple suggestions to thrive this season…

flexible santa

1. Be flexible.

Yes, this can pertain to yoga, but we’ll discuss that later. What I’m talking about now is being flexible with your schedule and your eating. Christmas is the WORST time to try to be super strict, because it’s almost impossible to stick to a strict eating and training regimen. When we do fail, we feel like a failure and it compiles even more stress onto our plate. This is the perfect time of year to try some new workouts, check out flexible dieting and look into some new gym classes. All of these things will help keep you focused and motivated without the drama.

2. Don’t skip workouts.

Just because you can’t get in a whole hour or make it to your normal class is no excuse to give in and wait until the New Year (BUSTED!). You can get efficient workouts in less time than you think AND many workouts can be done in your living room. Check out my YouTube channel for some easy to follow workouts, Plus here are 2 others that are slightly more challenging:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ZuzkaLight

https://www.youtube.com/user/charliejames1975

3. Take it to the Mat.

Consider a bit of yoga to get your heart, body and mind calmed down and centered. Trouble sleeping? There’s yoga for that. Can’t wake up after a late night? There’s yoga for that. Feeling a bit sluggish from all the sweets? Yep, yoga can help. Yoga can even detox from those extra special drinks during the holiday season. If you can make it to a live class, all the better, but you can get the benefits of yoga in 10-20 minutes a day. Check out these 2 channels for my best yoga picks:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFKE7WVJfvaHW5q283SxchA

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5ZldqU8Sj7jpB2N36kO79A

christmas fit challenge

4. Take a Christmas Fit Challenge

These are ALL over the internet and social media. Check out some of the ones floating around Instagram and get started. Most of these take less than 5 minutes to complete and will keep you on track to your goals.

5. Take advantage of the slow season.

This time of year is extremely slow for most trainers and studios. In light of this, many will offer reduced fee and sometimes FREE classes or sessions. So check out your local studios and trainers and see if you can take advantage and get re-inspired to be your best self this season.

Remember, the best gift you can give this season is a healthy YOU. Take some time to care for yourself and you’ll be better prepared to care for others.

Merry Christmas,

Michelle

Enjoy the Season

Healthy Holidays to all out there!

What do you do to enjoy this time of year?

Do you have family traditions?

In our family, we have managed to keep some of the old and create some new ones along the way.

We buy fresh trees each year, and each year I vow to get a fake one for next year. :) Hey, traditions are important!

I bake goodies for those who surround us all year long: the mail man, the garbage men, our neighbors, our church staff, the staff at our bank, the UPS guys (they frequent this house), etc. Now, my kids are old enough to lend a helping hand in the baking process and particularly enjoy working in the quality control department.

Each year brings about shopping, time spent with family, Christmas pageants, looking at Christmas lights, decorating the tree and reading stories. We also spend loads of time watching Christmas movies and we exchange the gift of brand new pajamas each Christmas Eve (thank mom and dad!).

All of these are wonderful traditions, but for some, Christmas is not always a time of joy.

Many have suffered loss this year and mourn as Christmas approaches. I can relate and may I offer a heartfelt virtual hug and the knowledge that the days will get easier and joy will begin to come back.

Others find financial straitsĀ to be holding them back from joy this year. Remember that the true joy of Christmas is found in the heart, not the pocket book. To those who have been blessed with more, I encourage you to seek out those who could use some love and a hot meal…then provide those needs.

Some simply suffer from not feeling good enough. Perhaps you feel as though you just take up space. You are still here for a reason and you can find it through the ones you surround yourself with everyday.

Now, there are those of us who experience anxiety as Christmas approaches. We know the New Year is close at hand and that we have yet to tackle last years resolutions. Or perhaps we dread the “morning after” feeling of over-indulging at parties. And to those, I truly relate :) So I hope to offer a few bits of healthy advice to make the season more joyful.

  • The average weight gain during the holidays is actually 3 pounds. Why do I tell you that? The perceived weight gain for most is over 10 pounds. It takes a lot of fudge and sugar cookies to gain 10 pounds, so relax. You’re going to be fine.
  • Movement ALWAYS helps…so long as it’s fun. Let’s face it, if it is not your “JOB” to be fit then it is hard to get your workouts in during this busy season. Did you know stressing about working out will actually pack on pounds, not burn calories? So chill out! Move a little every day. Walk to the store from the farthest parking space, take the stairs, stretch when you get out of bed, do a little jump rope in the bathroom at work, whatever! It all adds up and is good for overall mood boosting.
  • Limit the alcohol, up the water. I love some good wine at Christmas! It just makes everything more magical right? LOL However, it can wreak havoc on your health and overall mood. So set a limit before you indulgeĀ and make sure you drink a glass of water for every glass of Cabernet (or whatever you may choose).
  • Take a time out. You may actually need that 30 minute nap you’re craving. Perhaps your body would prefer a slow walk over a run. Choose this time of year to nurture your body as opposed to punishing it.

Through it all, remember that you are your best self when you take care of yourself. So be gentle, be kind and enjoy.

Merry Christmas!

Michelle

For quick bouts of movement Monday-Friday, check out my Twitter page and have it delivered to your phone.