Your holiday workout survival guide
2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. But, just because things are tough doesn't mean that you should set aside all your goals, especially those related to your health and wellness.
What you expect from yourself matters. You can have the best intentions and unwavering motivation but can derail your goals if you demand the wrong thing from yourself. Reflect on all the valid reasons you want to work out, eat well, and improve your overall health. Need some help? Here are my five tips for surviving the holidays and moving into the New Year with success:
1. Stay motivated in your workout
What your body helps you do outside of the gym matters the most. Remember that all body types and sizes are beautiful. Don't get too caught up in gym politics and instead focus on how much your body helps you do all the things you love to do, such as moving, bending, lifting, pulling, and pushing. Use this as motivation to keep on working out.
2. Change is okay
Your goals will change over time, especially as your body changes. The first key to success is not only to expect change but to accept it. Your environment may change, especially during the holiday season when holiday foods, work obligations, and family might throw a wrench in your workout routine. This is also true of your body — you may experience stress, fatigue, lack of motivation, and self-doubt.
It's crucial that you try to maintain a consistent training routine during the holiday season, eat clean whenever you can, and engage in an active lifestyle overall. Fitness should be a constant variable, while many other factors in your life may change. Accept the changes in your environment and continue to commit to a workout routine as much as possible given the circumstances, even during Hanukkah and Christmas.
3. Be selfish
"Being selfish" for an hour or two every day by putting your needs first will make you feel less stressed, happier, and more energized so that you have the energy to be there for others. Carve out time daily just for your workout routine. And don't feel guilty for taking the time to recharge your physical and mental batteries. Let your family members and friends know this so they can be supportive and not interrupt.
4. Listen to your body, not your mind
Your mind is smart — it will play tricks on you. Your body can often keep on going, but your mind will make you think that you're too tired or stressed out to continue working out. But the moment you move past those thoughts and connect the mind and body is the moment that you'll master your self-defeatist thoughts.
5. Learn to push forward
During your workouts, learn to push forward instead of giving in and giving up. This type of mental and physical fortitude will translate well into every single aspect of your life. Soon you'll see yourself as the person who never gives up. This mindset will allow you to push onward during the holiday blues, a time when many find it hard to get motivated.
Bottom line: don't worry!
Get through the holidays by staying focused and motivated. Even in holiday mode, there should always be continued effort. When you push forward, don't look at the result — envision your goals in steps and keep going forward.
Dasha L. Anderson is a celebrity trainer and fitness expert in New York City, with a master's degree in exercise science and sports nutrition and a specialty in performance enhancement and injury prevention. She is also the founder and head certifying instructor of Kettlebell Kickboxing and has contributed to Self, Shape, Fitness Rx, and Epoch Times.