Year Round Survival Guidelines – Surviving the Holidays and Beyond

As wonderful as the holiday season is, it can also be a challenging time for those who are health conscious.

Having worked with a number of people on the road to health and fitness there are certain things that consistently pave the way to success and then maintenance. I believe you should be living while working towards your goals. What I mean by that is that life goes on whether you like where you’re at or not. Nothing stands still until you reach success so embracing a new lifestyle is important. Exercise and eating well are not just things you do, it’s the way you live all year round and the holidays are no exception. That’s why making changes to better your health and fitness really do change your life for the better.

    Here are a few ideas to help you stay on track:

  1. Get organized. Know your weekly schedule and decide ahead of time what your meals will be for the week and what days you will workout. Leave nothing to chance. This includes being prepared for personal commitments, childrens’ activities, meetings, meals out etc. If you are prepared and eat well the majority of the time, the “some of the time” that you don’t won’t kill you. When motivation fails scheduling prevails!
  2. Don’t run on empty – stock your refrigerator and cupboards. Have a standard grocery list and know what items you will need for each meal.
  3. Be prepared. Because days can be unpredictable have at your desk and in your car bottled water, easy to peel fruits and nuts. Have containers and a small cooler ready to pack and go.
  4. Ask for help and take it. Whether its with shopping, food prepping, washing, peeling or cooking.
  5. Always have veggies and canned goods readily available: celery, cucumber, various lettuce, spinach, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli etc. This is where frozen veggies are helpful. Fresh is always best but easy go-to meals include canned beans, lentil, tuna. Make them into salads and keep in the fridge to cover you for a few days.
  6. Visualization. Paint a mental picture of your week and see yourself as the person who is following through with the plan.
  7. Have available a variety of herbal teas and coffee substitutes like Caf Lif, Bambu or Krakus. Green tea is a favourite.
  8. When meeting friends never go hungry or thirsty. Often we confuse thirst for hunger and always eat something before a night out. This is something I do consistently. Even if I’m going out for dinner I will eat something before hand and drink water or tea. This keeps me from downing numerous buttered buns before the meal.
  9. Something is better than nothing. Don’t throw all your efforts out the window if you can’t have a “full workout”. Do something. Five minutes of high intensity intervals can fit every schedule.
  10. It’s not all or nothing. If you feel you slipped with your eating and caved into that junk food for lunch don’t let the rest of the day go. Move on. You don’t have to downward spiral, just make your next meals good ones.

Making the best of the holiday season and staying on track is possible. Enjoy your time with your loved ones, embrace the beauty of the season and feel satisfied that you will be heading into the new year on the right note.

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Gena Govas

I am an OPA National level athlete, six time marathoner and life long fitness enthusiast. My passion for exercise is the added force behind the success of my clients. I'm a Can Fit Pro Personal Trainer Specialist, and upcoming Can Fit Pro Nutrition Specialist and Tabata Certified Instructor. I have also completed Can Fit Pro Older Adult training. Since 2003 I have worked with a variety of fitness levels in Toronto and the GTA. The advances in research constantly change what we know about exercise, diet and general well-being and I stay on top of changes through continued education, research and training.