Body Fitness Habits to Prep Yourself for the Holidays
The Ber months are here! Not only does that mean four whole months of Christmas lights outside and holiday jingles on the radio, but it also means heaps and heaps of food in our bellies. Yes, the holiday get-togethers have begun.
But before you dread the long lines at the buffet for fear of doubling your body weight, consider starting a good fitness regime as early as now. Maintaining a constant set of health habits this early will not only help you curb your appetite and keep those Christmas cravings at bay, but it will also keep you from feeling miserable during your “balik-alindog” program when the New Year comes around. Here are a few simple and easy-to-follow habits you can start today.
1. Calculate your exercise schedule
The holidays may be all about binge eating during reunions, but indulging your sweet tooth doesn’t mean you need to neglect your regular exercise. Yes, it can be more difficult and a whole lot more challenging to keep up with your fitness regime when friends and family are setting up dates with you left and right, but if you calculate and set your exercise schedule properly, you can keep your weight gain (and credit card bill) from skyrocketing.
To stay in shape, you simply need a little bit of smart planning. Don’t go for an“all or nothing” approach in your exercise routine—know that every little bit counts especially during the sedentary Ber months. No matter how packed your schedule is, set aside some time to work out. It can be anywhere from 15 minutes to a whole hour, but be realistic. If you have meetings and reunions scheduled, adjust your time accordingly so that you won’t feel guilty about missing your exercise afterward. The important thing is to keep it regular so that you won’t keep skipping. Once you get into a habit of working out regularly, soon it won’t feel like a chore—it will solidify in your schedule and become part of your day or your week automatically.
2. Do not skip meals.
Most of us Pinoys love the concept of “sulit” or making the most of opportunities, and it rings ever-so-true when it comes to the buffet table. When we know we’re about to eat dinner later tonight with a bunch of friends at an all-you-can-eat restaurant, we tend to skip meals to “make room” in our tummies for the scrumptious and overindulgent feast later on. This is a poor eating habit that we must learn to avoid if we want to steer clear of an upset stomach (and a creaking weighing scale!). Instead, eat your meals regularly and in the right portions. Eat a particularly full breakfast as this will help keep you full and satisfied throughout the day.
3. Master the buffet table.
When you can’t help it and are eating out with friends, remember to eat slowly. Your brain registers your feeling of fullness at a delay, so keep your appetite in check before you fill up on second helpings. Eat slowly and drink water between bites, and avoid sitting near the buffet table when you can. Eat before partying to keep from overindulging, and avoid alcohol when you have an empty stomach. When you’re filling up your plate, go for the veggies first. This will keep your meal relatively healthier, and it’s a great way to fill up before you go for the meaty grub.
4. Schedule activity-based reunions.
Holiday get-togethers almost always revolve around food, but if you and your friends are up for it, why not plan your reunions around activities instead of meals? There are plenty of outdoor water sports in and around the metro, and if you don’t feel like going out, you can stay indoors and still get active too. You can go to escape rooms, laser tag arenas, musicals, and even arts and crafts classes. Bonding and reconnecting doesn’t have to mean chatting over dinner—you can also spend some quality time together WITHOUT those criminal carbs.
5. Get some sleep.
While the holidays may tempt you to stay out all night and party until the morning light, sleep deprivation can lead to unwanted weight gain and unhealthy food choices. Before the holiday season starts, make sure that you are getting enough sleep every night so that you will train your body to make sleep a priority. Getting enough sleep not only keeps your immune system healthy and happy, but it will also energize you throughout the next day. After all, how else will you be able to enjoy all those parties you have lined up?