The cold December months are full of festivities: holiday parties, family dinners, record amounts of travel – the list goes on! Between the frigid temperatures and the packed calendars, it can be hard to prioritize your wellness goals. Don’t put your health on the back burner until it’s time to set those New Year’s Resolutions. Check out some tips for staying active and keeping wellness on your mind this holiday season!

DITCH THE LONG WORKOUTS WHEN NECESSARY: Remember, an impactful workout doesn’t require hours in the gym! When you’re pressed for time, opt for quicker, intense HIIT workouts instead of lengthy sweat sessions. There are plenty of great video guides available on YouTube for gym and at-home HIIT workouts. Check out some of our recommendations below:

@PamelaRf1 / @MadFit / @TIFFXDAN

OPT FOR WALKING AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY: Memphis may not be the most walkable city, but a great way to get in your cardio is to walk as much as possible. Craving a coffee? Walk to your nearest coffee shop instead of driving. Going holiday shopping? Walk through the mall before you make your purchase. If you don’t have time for anything else, walking is always a great option. 

BUILD ACTIVITY INTO FAMILY VISITS: Holidays are often filled with food and conversation – all sitting down. If you’re visiting or hosting family, plan a walk to check out the neighborhood Christmas lights or see if anyone wants to sign up for a holiday 5K! That way, you can spend time with your family and get on your feet.

STAY HYDRATED: Without the oppressive summer heat, it can be hard to remember that hydration is still key to your overall health. Don’t let the chilly temperatures fool you – remember your six to eight glasses of water daily!

AVOID STARVING YOURSELF BEFORE A BIG MEAL: Many of us grew up under the assumption that before a large holiday meal, we should avoid eating altogether to save calories or really “enjoy” the meal. However, this practice deprives your body of nutrients and induces low blood sugar – meaning you won’t be able to decide what your body really wants. Instead, eat a couple of pre-feast meals filled with nutrients and whole foods to prevent hunger and low blood sugar later in the day.

DON’T SACRIFICE SLEEP: With packed calendars and tons of travel during the holidays, it can be challenging to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep. Eight hours of sleep are crucial to your overall health and well-being. Being well-rested will keep your energy up and motivate you to keep moving.

PRIORITIZE MORE VEGGIES AT HOLIDAY MEALS: The holidays are filled with delicious treats and decadent meals, and everyone should enjoy these without feeling guilty or restricting themselves. However, too much gluten, dairy, or sugar often leaves us feeling sluggish, bloated, or uncomfortable. To strike a good balance between enjoying treats without overdoing it, focus on adding more vegetables to your plate to keep yourself energized and satisfied while still enjoying traditional holiday treats.

REMEMBER, ONE DAY CAN’T RUIN YOUR PROGRESS: It’s easy to beat yourself up over an indulgent holiday meal or a missed workout. Be kind to yourself this holiday season, and remember that a single day or meal won’t ruin your wellness journey. 

By Lucy Modzelew