santa clause lifting a dumbbell

Healthy Holiday Habits

It’s easy for normal diet and exercise routines to get disrupted during the holidays. With hectic work, school and family schedules, health and fitness goals can suddenly slip. Trying to stay on track this year? PowerBlock has put together eight tips for healthy habits during the holidays.

1. Make a Plan

Try to pre-plan as much as possible – what to eat at meals, when to work out, when family activities are happening, etc. This will give you the best chance for success. Identify holiday challenges and come up with ways to meet them. At the same time, accept things won’t always go according to plan and don’t let one disruption send you spiraling.

meal plan being written out in a notebook

 

2. Avoid Skipping Meals

Stick as closely to your regular eating schedule as you can, even if you’re swamped. Skipping meals can cause blood sugar crashes, lower metabolism, sleep problems, stress and more. Your body and mind will function much better when properly fueled.

3. Eat in More

It’s tempting to save time on meal prep and get takeout. But making meals at home is usually healthier – and much easier on your wallet. Keep the house stocked with options so “there’s nothing to eat” can’t be an excuse. Focus on food from the grocery store’s perimeter and have healthy snack ideas on-hand for sudden cravings.

4. Communicate

Be proactive in letting others know about your health goals and commitments. It prevents awkward questions about why you’re not eating this or doing that. Informing people of your goals is also a way to hold yourself accountable. Family and friends might even be inspired to do the same.

5. Stay Active

We know maintaining a holiday workout schedule can be hard – so get creative. One option is to add exercise to your social time. Sign up for a holiday 5K, go to the local skating rink or play a game of touch football in the backyard. Investing in a home gym also makes it easier to work out and reduces your time commitment.

 

6. Make Sleep a Priority

You should never let sleep slip – but especially during the holidays. High-quality sleep will help your body and mind recharge during hectic times. Experts recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Look at options for how to get more deep sleep, such as creating a pre-bed routine, limiting caffeine intake and eating more fiber.

7. Take Time for Yourself

Even with family and friends pulling you in all directions, remember to enjoy a little me-time. Self-care reduces stress so you’ll have more energy, think more rationally and be healthier. Whether it’s a workout, a warm bath or a good book, find time for relaxing things you enjoy.

8. It’s Okay to Indulge

Just because you’re trying to be healthy doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself. Make an allowance for a favorite restaurant, a holiday candy or a special family recipe. Research indicates an occasional “cheat meal” is better for health and fitness goals than totally depriving yourself. So remember to enjoy the holidays while they last!