Starbucks’ winter drinks, cookies, and pie – oh my! The holiday season is the perfect excuse to indulge in treats, but that food coma can do some serious damage to your workout and wellness goals.
Lucky for you, we talked to a handful of health and wellness pros to score some expert secrets on how to stay healthy and fit throughout the holidays (even when winter tempts you into canceling your workout).
Make it a daily challenge
“A daily challenge is a healthy, fun way to reward yourself, and micro-goals are the key to creating a healthier lifestyle,” says Katie Dunlop, a certified personal trainer at Love Sweat Fitness. “My favorite challenge is to commit to 10 minutes of exercise each day for two weeks. Chose three to five moves and perform each for 15 reps. Repeat that three times for an amazing 10-minute workout!”
Go for the gut
“Make it a habit to protect your gut during the holiday season. Drink at least one beverage a day that will alkalize when consumed, such as kombucha, alkaline water, or apple cider vinegar,” advises Lauren Mochizuki, emergency room nurse and blogger.
Avoid the full-belly sleep mode
“Enjoying rich, heavy food and drinking with friends and family can lead to some serious bloat or a Thanksgiving food coma,” according to Kimberly and Katherine Corp from Pilates On Fifth. “While going to the gym or doing a full-on workout is out of the question, the best thing we can do for our bodies is to keep moving. Stretching or sit-up exercises are great for digestion and kicking your body out of full-belly sleep mode!”
Take the stairs
“There’s a reason why stairs are a great workout — it helps build muscle tone and enhance the flexibility of muscles,” says Rachel Gersten of Viva Wellness in New York City. “Have a walk-up apartment? Excellent! Try to pick up the pace a little bit as you come home at night. Is your office on the fifth floor? You know what you have to do. It’ll also feel pretty cool as it gets easier and easier to climb those steps – that’s you getting stronger.”
Swap holiday coffee for matcha tea
Kristin Koskinen of Eat Well Pros encourages you to swap your peppermint mocha for something a little bit lighter. “Matcha tea is a green tea that’s rich in antioxidants, which are known to prevent cancer and are anti-aging. In addition, matcha tea is a source of L-theanine which is a natural anxiolytic, meaning it can be helpful in managing anxiety.”
Dance it out
Take advantage of every holiday party this season by busting a move. “Put on your favorite seasonal tunes and dance until you get your sweat on,” says Gillian Goerzen, a personal trainer and yoga fitness leader.
“Spending 10 minutes a day meditating can reduce stress, increase creativity, improve sleep, and promote ease in relationships,” says Dana Lawrence, a meditation and yoga teacher. “You can use an app for a guided experience or set a timer and meditate in silence.”
Foam roll your way to wellness
“Foam rolling is a great way to release muscle tension because it improves your body’s range of motion. It doesn’t require any special focus, so it’s perfect to incorporate with evening relaxation,” according to Amanda Brooks, a personal trainer and running coach. “After turning on your favorite holiday movie, grab the roller and spend five to 10 minutes rolling your glutes, legs, and back. Might as well get in some stretching or core work while you’re watching Netflix!”
Looking for some healthy recipes to keep you in shape during the holidays? Check out 10 healthy recipes that aren’t salads here.
xx, The FabFitFun Team