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Staying motivated with a fitness plan during the holidays can be difficult for some. Here’s a list of fitness essentials that will help to keep you healthy and active during the holidays.
The holiday season can test the willpower of even the most dedicated fitness and health enthusiasts. So, this holiday season, set yourself up for success with some fitness and nutrition essentials that may help you to keep your weight loss or body composition goals on track.
Here are some of my favorite essentials:
Keeping track of your daily calorie intake is especially important during the holidays. Download a calorie tracking app so that you can stay as close to your daily target as possible. Keeping your weight stable over the holidays is important, and having technology at your fingertips may help you to avoid high-calorie party snacks.
Wearable fitness devices are everywhere these days, and they can be helpful for improving your fitness level and keeping track of your daily activity minutes. There are several wearable devices to choose from, so consider selecting one that is easy to use and can remind you that it’s time to get moving.
As the weather cools down and days get darker earlier, exercising outdoors can be a challenge. Investing in some warm running clothing with reflective strips can help to keep you safe and warm outside.
Winter is a good time to invest in some new running shoes. Poor weather conditions can make the ground slippery, so having running shoes with good tread at this time of the year is important. A lot of new models are often released during the holiday season, which will make shopping for new shoes a lot of fun.
Mini stretch bands come in various colors and resistance levels. They are inexpensive, easy to travel with and perfect for using to warm up hips, glutes, shoulders and back. You can create a full-body efficient warm-up, or use them for a fast and effective resistance routine. Mini bands are perfect for a quick, at-home workout or for use during holiday travel.
When you really need a boost, put some new, inspirational workout songs on your playlist. Music is great for motivating you to get off the couch, helping you to run that extra mile, or pushing through a heavy lifting session. Download some new music or reshuffle your existing library to keep your workouts interesting.
During the colder months, we often wear lots of layers for exercising. Even if you’re working out indoors, you still need to get warmed up before removing outer layers. Traditional headphones with wires tend to get in the way, so consider investing in a new wireless pair. You may find that you spend less time adjusting and moving wires out of the way and more time focused on your training session.
Avoid paying for costly massages and do it yourself at home. A foam roller is a helpful tool for stretching and loosening tight muscles. It can be used on multiple parts of your body, and it’s particularly helpful for stretching your hamstring muscles prior to performing any high-intensity exercise.
Nothing will halt your workout plan faster than catching a cold or flu. So, arm yourself with hand sanitizer and use it often during the winter months.
Jumping rope is a good old-fashioned way to warm up and get your heart rate going. Warming up for 10 minutes increases your core body temperature, gets synovial fluid moving and oils your joints, which will help prevent injury. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, you can use an interval style training method and use your jump rope for your entire routine.
If you’re doing high intensity interval exercises, you may want to invest in a heart rate monitor. In these types of exercises, you want to raise your heart rate up to, or beyond, your calculated maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a short recovery period. You want to make sure you’re pushing yourself to your anaerobic threshold to get the best training results. It’s almost impossible to accurately measure your heart rate manually when it’s above 150, so investing in a heart rate monitor is a great idea.
Consuming a healthy protein-rich snack before attending holiday parties is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals. Protein is perfect for helping you to feel full and curb unnecessary party snacking.
Staying on track during the holidays takes a lot of dedication. Finding simple but effective ways to stay motivated and dedicated is important. Tracking your calorie intake and making smart food choices when possible will help you to maintain your figure and stay in control. If you don’t need the extra help for yourself, consider giving a healthy, active lifestyle gift to a friend this holiday season.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).