If we are on a diet and/or follow a workout plan, this next week of holidays may seem a threat to our routine. In fact, however, we shouldn’t see holidays as a danger to our healthy habits, but as an opportunity to make those habits even stronger. What does the holiday season mean to our fitness level in terms of diet, exercises, and motivation? And what it might mean, in fact?

What about diet?

Holidays are usually a great occasion for family and friends gatherings where there’s plenty of delicious food and drinks. For those who adhere to some dietetic restrictions on a daily basis – and want to stay that way also during holidays – such occasions may be quite frustrating. But there’s no need to exaggerate.

When it comes to cheating on diet, it doesn’t always have to be wrong. There are two types of limitations we can follow being on a diet: quality and quantity. Thus, we’ve got two options to celebrate the way we like and stay fit at the same time.

Quality

If we prepare the food ourselves, we can go for healthier versions of the classic holiday dishes. There are plenty of recipes in there. If you want to go both healthy and tasty also during holidays, you may check for instance www.eatingwell.com with lots of great ideas and lovely pictures. Here you can find some recipes for Christmassy treats in healthy versions.

Quantity

It’s not always the case, however, that we cook ourselves. When eating on parties, we can also stick to the golden rule of quantity: “eat half!”. It’s a special time of the year. It is special partly because of the special food. Even if on a diet, we can taste some of the traditional holiday specials, but not necessarily in holiday doses, if you know what I mean.

What about exercise?

Even if we won’t be able to go to the gym during holidays, there are various other activities we can engage in to give our body some energetic boost. If there is a workout plan that we follow, we can treat this time of holidays as a recovery period. And a good recovery is never doing-nothing-at-all.

Think of some enjoyable activities that may be also occasions to move a little. It may be a longer walk, jog, or even a hike. It may be sledging, skating or hockey. It may be anything that will actually make you move off the couch.

Having holidays away from the gym does not entail slacking off. It’s a great time for regeneration, both physical and mental, that will actually bring some extra energy. When you come back to your regular workout after the break, you’ll probably observe a growth in your physical capabilities. The key is to stay active during the holidays.

What about motivation?

Ok, it’s a break from your routine. Yet a well-used break can do you some good, too. Don’t take it as an opportunity to go back for a week to your old habits.

  • Be reasonable – remember about quantity and/or quality and diet as well as staying physically active.
  • Take some rest from counting calories, if you usually do that.
  • Take a break from your usual exercise routine – and the odds are you’ll be actually quite motivated to come back to it after this week.
  • Cherish the moments with your loved ones – focus on what’s really important in those holidays.

After all, it’s only a week – there’s no need to make a fuss of it. Yes, we slow down for one week. But sometimes we need to slow down for a while to speed up afterwards. This one week can give us a very powerful boost in the long run. Plus, after that a new year begins, which may be a fresh start in terms of motivation both to exercise and healthier eating.

Have wonderful holidays that will give you a lot of energy for all the new challenges in the next year.

About Cathy Patalas

The sports soul and the alleged specialist in words of 52Challenges.com. The main 52C Blog writer. A diligent student at the English Department of the University of Wroclaw, majoring in applied linguistics. An ex-acrobat and aerobic gymnast with the 13-year long experience in „training for winning”. A multiple medallist of Poland nationals in acrobatic gymnastics, and academic nationals in aerobic gymnastics. A fan of gymnastics of every existing type. Personally, finds making everyday choices in a healthy lifestyle even more demanding a challenge than making everyday sacrifices in the athlete’s lifestyle.