Pumpkin season is about to begin and you start to notice the beautiful color changes everywhere in nature. Some animals finish gathering food and look for shelter for their long hibernation sleep. People, well, we just have to keep moving forward. We cannot go and sleep until the ice starts melting. We need to continue living our lives, but for many it could be difficult. Why? “Winter Depression” is what I call it, and it has happened to me as well. You see, I love the sun and the warm weather and there are several people who do as well. Once the weather starts to change then they begin to lose that motivation that kept them going, especially when the sun goes down earlier. It is all normal, but I will be giving some tips to try to keep that fitness motivation high and still be able to enjoy everything about the holidays.
Schedule your workouts in advance – If you do this then you are already on a great path, but if not then give a try and see. You know that clocks change and sunlight goes out early, so if you can, schedule your workouts in the morning. If you have school or work during the day then find some time before dusk. Now, if there is no way to fit your sweat session during the day, then have everything you need to go ready. Have your food, clothes, and babysitter ready for you to get home and just leave. If you get home and notice you still have many things to do, which will hold you down. Know what you will be exercising that day; chest, back, legs, or arms. Do not get to the gym and make up a workout out of thin air. Have everything planned and just do it.
Have a workout buddy or two or three – The more the merrier, but remember you are there to exercise, not to take selfies and talk about dinner. I am not saying not to talk, but to not lose concentrate of your goal. It is fun and your buddy will help keep you motivated and vice versa. Let me give an example of a dance fitness class. You get to class and what do you see? You see jolly faces and your crew that dances all up in the same spot all the time. Everyone is excited because they have not seen you in one whole day and they have no idea what type of music will be played today. It is all great! How about pumping some iron? Have a personal record that you want to break but do not want to “break” yourself? That is where your buddy comes in to help or to just spot you and cheer you on. You just need to find what is most comfortable for you and to remember always about safety.
Sugar, not so sweet – Holidays are packed with sugar here and sugar there. But we need to try our best to avoid large amounts as much as possible. The 2015 Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee just released new recommendations to limit added sugars to 10 percent of daily calories, which is 50 grams a day for a 2,000-calorie diet (Note: the sugars naturally found in milk and fruit do not count). So to put things in perspective, one 16–ounce bottle of soda is 50 grams of sugar. This means that if you consume this, you should go sugar-free for the rest of the day. I am sure there is a lot more sugar in a slice of yummy pecan pie, but it is all about moderation. Stay aware of the foods you will be eating during the day. If you feel the need to eat something sweet, then eat some whole fruit which has fiber and will not cause you to have a sugar crash. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian for more information concerning an adequate diet for you.
Hope all of you have some happy holidays and remember to always stay motivated, safe, but have fun!