(CNN) – The holidays can bring a lot of joy, but it can be a difficult time to maintain your health and fitness. Between the added pressure of social events and the opportunities to binge, it’s all too easy to throw in the towel, resolving to get back on track for the New Year.
But vacations don’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. With the right frame of mind, you can enjoy the season without sabotaging your well-being.
To help you put your vacation fitness to the test, I used expert advice from my friend, celebrity trainer Don Saladino, who works with some of Hollywood’s big hitters including Ryan Reynolds. , Blake Lively, Anne Hathaway and John Krasinski. Since celebrities are used to partying, I asked Saladino to share the advice he gives his clients for navigating through the season without hurting their health goals.
Celebrity or not, we all need to focus on smart strategies to keep the stresses and indulgences of the holidays from pushing us to the limit. Here are some tips you can take right now.
1. Maintain a healthy state of mind
“Your goal should be to actively enjoy the holidays, while fully in control of your choices,” said Saladino.
This time of year is meant to be enjoyed, but too many of us lose sight of it and spend a lot of time fighting to celebrate. Savoring seasonal treats is good, so let go of those guilt feelings.
Do you know those cookies that mom baked with love? No need to deny yourself. Remember you are in control; you can eat one or two without devouring a dozen. Remember that you make decisions with pleasure, without guilt.
2. Do the math
Too many fit people spend time unnecessarily stressing about a small percentage of indulgent meals they eat while on vacation, Saladino said. He urges them to “do the math”.
From mid-November to January 1, there are approximately 45 days. If you eat an average of three meals a day, that’s 135 meals. Having a few brunches and several decadent dinners during this time won’t derail your fitness if your other meals stay healthy. Suppose you’ve eaten a dozen hearty holiday meals, that’s still less than 9% of your total meals.
3. Don’t punish yourself with exercise
This goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy state of mind. Exercise should not be used to overcome “bad” vacation behavior. In fact, Saladino said he is reducing the volume and frequency of training his clients during the holidays to help reduce demand on their schedules while maintaining consistency. It is very important to keep them in “the right frame of mind”, he said. He therefore urges them to limit workouts to 40 minutes for the purpose of just sweating and helping them manage their stress.
4. Stay full
Another piece of advice Saladino said he gives to all of his customers is to stay full so they don’t arrive hungry at holiday events, where healthy options are limited. If you’ve ever tried shopping when you were hungry and found yourself with a lot of unhealthy snacks in your basket, you know why this tip is a good idea.
If possible, eat a healthy meal, or at least a hearty snack, like nuts or yogurt, before heading to a party.
5. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated also keeps you full and keeps you from looking for food when you’re really thirsty. The biggest stressor that dehydration puts on your body is not just the loss of fluid, but the significant amount of electrolytes lost with it. Electrolytes are essential minerals responsible for the electrical energy involved in bodily functions, such as muscle contractions, including heart activity, and nerve impulses. The loss of electrolytes due to dehydration will make you feel exhausted and contribute to that hangover feeling (if you also drink too much alcohol).
With colder weather, drier indoor air, and the increased likelihood of you drinking party cocktails, it’s easier to get dehydrated faster, so try having a bottle of electrolyte-fortified water or another drink. unsweetened at your fingertips.
6. Soak strategically
Speaking of drinking alcohol, Saladino gives what he says is unpopular but effective advice:
“Instead of focusing on the calories in the drink, choose heavier drinks that you need to sip on that will make you feel full, so that you end up drinking less overall.” Think fortified eggnog on the candy cane martini.
According to Saladino, the biggest problem with alcohol isn’t so much calorie intake as overall intake – resulting in lack of self-control that can lead to poor food and life choices.
7. Keep stress under control
Whether it’s the effects of shorter, darker days and increased schedule demands or family anxiety, vacations can take their toll. Additional stress can lead to poor decision-making, stressed eating, and physical strain. This is why it is important to proactively practice personal care.
Set aside a few minutes a day for meditation, concentration on the breath, or gratitude. As little as five minutes of this mindfulness practice each day reduces stress and anxiety, research shows. In addition to the workouts recommended by Saladino, take steps to release even more tension with techniques like foam rolling and massaging.
8. Do regular daily exercise
During this busy time of year, I also recommend training smarter, not harder. It means choosing consistency over quantity by exercising each day where it makes the most sense in your lifestyle and schedule. One of the most effective ways to incorporate exercise is to stack it on another daily habit. For example, for years now, I’ve been doing push-ups before I shower and bodyweight squats while brushing my teeth, every time, every day.
9. Don’t fall for the New Year!
With all the opportunities to binge, you might find yourself overdoing it at a holiday party and, in the moment, letting go of yourself. It’s easy to get carried away by the idea of “new year, new you”. But remember, the calendar has nothing to do with changing your health and fitness.
You make a fresh start every day, not every year. ” Do not abandon. Get back on track the next day, ”says Saladino.
10. Get enough sleep
Too often during the holidays we scramble to deal with the responsibilities of work and daily life while meeting the demands of the season. It is crucial that you give your body and mind the time and rest they need to recover each night. Sleep is a key factor in the functioning of your metabolism and your immune system; as such, not getting the recommended seven hours of sleep per night can lead to weight gain, illness, and other negative health consequences.
To properly treat these holiday meals and avoid catching seasonal illnesses, you need to prioritize rest. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try these breathing techniques to help.
Remember, being healthy is your way of life, not your resolution. By following the tips above, you can enjoy the holidays without compromising your health and well-being.
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