Don’t let the holiday season interrupt the fitness progress you’ve made so far. Focus on spending time with your loved ones while trying these 12 healthy lifestyle tips from our Gold’s Gym brand ambassadors.
1. Start your day with your workout.
“Exercise first thing in the morning,” says Gold’s Gym Personal Trainer and GOLD’S AMP™ Coach Jackie Vick. “If you push it back later in the day, you’ll feel less motivated from all the food and company.”
2. Don’t think in extremes.
“The worst thing you can do is get in this self-sabotaging way of thinking that you either have to restrict during the holidays or go all out and eat everything in sight,” says Joanna Rohlf (@ohhhjojo) of Washington, D.C. “It is 100 percent possible to have a healthy balance of enjoying your time at the gym and enjoying your exercise routine while also enjoying the holiday season.”
3. Let yourself have a good time.
Just as no one gets strong in one day at the gym, no one’s diet gets ruined in one day at the table. “Don’t limit yourself on Thanksgiving or Christmas or any other holiday you celebrate,” says Yasmine Higbee (@yasminenicoleee) of Dallas. “It’s one day. Enjoy yourself and get seconds or even thirds if you want. Just resume your normal diet and exercise the next day.”
4. Remember, a holiday meal is not a cheat — it’s part of the season.
“Eat healthy and workout as you normally would,” says Marissa Roy (@marissaroyfitness) of Chantilly, Virginia. “Don’t overtrain to try and compensate for the ‘cheats’ you’ll be having. A holiday meal is not a cheat — it’s an integral part of the season.” Just keep listening to your hunger/fullness cues.
5. Plan family time around activities.
Spend the holiday time doing something active with loved ones. “My tip for exercising during the holidays is to make it family fun!” says Chef Roro (@chefrorosworld) of Washington, D.C. “If you can’t make it to the gym, grab some family members and head outside for a fun game of catch or a nice walk before the family meal begins.”
6. Remember that any exercise is better than no exercise.
Colder weather and busy schedules make it tougher to get to the gym. “But if you can get in the gym for 30 minutes, that’s better than nothing!” says Kelsey Willey (@sassybrunettefitness) of Fenton, Missouri. “Or, instead of sitting down while watching your favorite Hallmark movie, try creating a little at-home workout while you watch. Bodyweight work like squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips, wall sits, planks and burpees are all great to do from the comfort of your home.”
7. Be as consistent as you can, but put family first.
“You will feel so much better if you try to stick to a gym routine, but never choose the gym over quality time with family and friends. You will regret that,” says Lauren Garufi (@eatingbrofood) of Washington, D.C. “I make sure to meal prep and try to stick with my meal routine without sacrificing precious time with people.”
8. Fill your plate with healthy foods first.
“Fill the majority of your plate up first with protein and veggies, then add some fun foods to enjoy,” says Jerica Bornstein (@jericax) of Austin, Texas.
9. Bring a healthy dish.
“I always try to bring healthy versions of holiday dishes or snacks to a holiday party,” says Chloe Campos (@fitgirl_felicity) of Greenville, South Carolina. “Pinterest has been a lifesaver for finding healthy versions of the foods I love during the holidays. I also make a healthy dessert to bring so I won’t find myself wandering to the dessert table.”
10. Use water to stay full.
“Drink water throughout the day. It will help keep you from overeating during the meal itself,” says Tim Welsh (@everydayfitguys) of Dallas, Texas. “A partially full stomach will need less to get full.”
11. Manage your pantry to avoid temptation.
“Don’t keep holiday treats in the house if they’re a trigger,” says Laura Micetich (@theirongiantess) of Venice, California. “Save the eggnog and pumpkin pie for party nights. Don’t bring home leftovers. If the party is at your place, send everyone home with doggie bags of yummy foods.”
12. Be kind to yourself.
“Sometimes, you just can’t make it to the gym while on holiday,” says Midori Amae (@midoriamae) of Annandale, Virginia. “It happens. Hold yourself accountable and make that promise to keep the good work going for your health. As soon as you can, get right back in the gym and keep pushing forward!”