Welcome to our inaugural guest blog post! We’ve hand-selected several popular bloggers to share their tips and tricks for a healthy lifestyle with us. We can’t wait to hear what you think of our favorite Fitnessista’s holiday strategy. Tell us in the comments below. Enjoy!
Hi, my name is Gina and I blog over at The Fitnessista. I’m a group fitness instructor, certified personal trainer, and weight loss specialist, living in San Diego. I’m so excited to be guest posting today, especially since I very recently took my first Jazzercise class. I’m a huge fan of dance cardio, and I absolutely loved it. The music was awesome, it was easy to follow, and it definitely got my heart rate up! I can’t wait to go back.
Since we’re heading into the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I thought I’d share some tips on taking time for yourself and your health as the schedule becomes busier. I have two small children (Olivia is 4 and Penelope is 11 months), and definitely know how it feels to juggle my own workouts with taking care of the kiddos, work tasks, and keeping our house (kind of) put together. I’ve found that when I prioritize my health, and make sure I have some down time each day, I’m a much better version of myself. My patience is higher, my energy is sustained, I don’t feel as frantic or worn down, and bonus: I feel more motivated to crush my workouts.
Here are some ways to get more out of your routine this holiday season:
1) Emphasize sleep quality over quantity.
I definitely don’t get as much sleep as I would like. (Let’s be real, if you put me in a hotel room alone with the lights out, I’d probably sleep for 14 hours.) Instead of lamenting my lost sleep, I focus on making the most out of the sleep I do have. I turned our room into a sleep sanctuary, and try to keep it as clutter and work-free as possible. When I head into our room to crash, I’ll stretch, meditate, or write in my journal for a little while. Not only is the alone time a great way to decompress, but it helps me to ease into sleep. Find a relaxing bedtime routine that works for you, and helps to wind you down for the evening before crashing.
2) Take time to work out, even if it’s just 10 minutes.
Fitness is such a huge component of a healthy lifestyle. It can keep our hearts healthy, our bones strong, our metabolisms cranking, and our fitness gains coming, and it can dramatically affect mental well-being. I find that a solid fitness routine helps me with stress management - I ride those exercise endorphins ALL day! - and energizes me for the tasks at hand.
Even when the day is crazy, keep in mind that you can split up your routine into 10-minute blocks throughout the day. When we get in a workout, our body has to restore itself to it’s pre-workout state, by lowering tissue temperature, increasing oxygen consumption, etc., which is known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). During EPOC, we’re also burning extra calories! So if you split up your workout, just consider the fact that you’re getting bonus EPOC sessions.
Some sample 10-minute workout ideas are on the blog here!
3) Meal prep. Taking time to fuel yourself adequately can help to stabilize energy throughout the day, and will also keep you satisfied. I find that my sweet tooth is much more voracious when I haven’t taken the time to set up healthy prepped meals. On Sunday each week, take some time to plan meals, and chop/prep anything you can in advance. I like to have grilled chicken, homemade hummus, chopped veggies, lots of fresh fruit, and protein balls in the fridge, ready to go.
4) Make breakfast the night before. The mornings can be extra crazy between feeding the little ones and getting to preschool drop-off on time. I’ll make a breakfast cookie and have it in the fridge waiting for me. It’s so easy to make and tastes like dessert.
5) Take it easy on yourself. Focus on the memories instead of the tasks. When I feel overwhelmed during the holiday season, I mentally erase all of the to-dos and focus on the moments that are happening before my eyes. I take a deep breath and soak it all in. Aim for a “grand scheme of things” approach with health and fitness, and take it easy on yourself. I find that when I give myself grace, it’s much easier to achieve the goals I’ve set.
What’s one of your favorite ways to take time for yourself or decompress when things are busy? What’s your go-to workout when you know you only have 10-20 minutes?
Thank you so much for reading, and please stop by the blog if you’d like! We’d love to see you over there.