There is a lot of confusion and conflicting information about healthy living on the internet. We all know the basics of being healthy – getting a good night’s sleep, eating well, exercising, and staying hydrated. But what most of these common-sense approaches fail at is they don’t show us how to integrate them in our daily lives. Building habits can be tough, and it can be especially so when the holidays are around the corner.
As women, our bodies go through changes on a regular basis, which can come with its share of insecurities. With the holiday season just around the corner, these expectations and self-criticism only gets louder. As the holidays inch closer, so does the pressure to look a certain way, lose a certain number of pounds and generally fit into someone else’s projection of us. Not to mention, the festivities can throw off our schedules, and leave us feeling tired due to lack of sleep and poor nutrition choices.
Its also worth noting that not everyone looks forward to the holidays for various reasons. When we talk about staying healthy during the holidays, we want to cater to women from all walks of life, and gently guide them towards setting small goals they can easily implement in their lives, no matter how different their circumstances might be.
At The Whole Experience, we believe in simplifying holistic health and wellness into three basic categories – meals, mindset, and movement, or the 3 M’s as we call it.
Health is a result of all three, individually and combined. Add to that restful sleep and hydration, and you’ve got a lifestyle choice that will help you through the entire journey of life, irrespective of your size or shape.
If you want to set any resolution for the new year, let it be this – to cultivate self-compassion and take care of yourself for the rest of your life. Read this post!
Top 5 Tips To Stay Healthy During the Holidays
Tip #1 Mindset
Mindset has become a bit of a buzzword these days. Despite the oversimplification that is often associated with it, behaviour modification is an integral part of program adherence, and as personal trainers we are aware of that. You know how so many people start their new year with a fitness resolution, but lose momentum not long into it? That’s because motivation is short lived. Motivation that is drawn from external factors are even less reliable.
What we need is a shift in the way we perceive our health. It’s easier said than done, but it’s the foundation upon which any fitness or nutrition goals must be built. A shaky foundation can’t support anything upon it, and before long the tower crumbles down. With the right mindset shifts, it is totally possible to make healthy living a lifestyle!
Tip #2 Focus on getting a restful night of sleep
However, the holidays might look for you, try to go to bed at a fixed time. Putting a bedtime ritual in place can help and it doesn’t have to be anything major. Just taking a shower, using your favorite moisturizer, lighting a candle, or playing soothing music can have a calming effect on your nervous system, putting your body into a “rest and digest” mode. Some of the other things that can work are cuddling with your pet(s), drinking herbal tea, stretching in bed, or doing a short breathing practice.
Whatever you choose to do, remember to take it one step at a time. It’s perfectly OK to go at your own pace!
Tip #3 Make healthier food choices
Nutrition dense food during the holidays don’t have to be boring. Just adding or substituting an element can make a world of difference, without compromising on taste or preference. You can still satiate your sweet tooth and feel part of the festivities while knowing you are making smart choices and taking care of yourself. It’s a win-win situation!
Stay tuned to our next blog post for a list of our favorite healthy recipes you can try this Christmas!
Tip #4 Hydrate
Alcohol is fine if it’s in moderation. Drinking loads of fluids can be made interesting by exploring different ways of hydration. Our bodies crave water during the winter months, and a lack of it can lead to dehydration. Too much alcohol and caffeine + reduced intake of water can easily make us chronically dehydrated.
Infused water is awesome! Infusion bags are easily found in the market, or you can also make it at home. Some of the ingredients that can be used are ginger, lemon, fennel, and mint to name a few. The same ingredients can be used to make herbal teas as well. Drinking something warm can make you feel comfortable and fuzzy too, helping with winter blues! Juices and smoothies are great as well!
The more aware you are of your regular patterns, the easier it’ll be to pivot when required.
Tip #4 Practice Movement
Set a goal of practicing movement every day for an amount of time that’s convenient to you. 10-15 mins of focused movement can be more than adequate when done regularly. Consistency trumps volume! Once you see yourself sticking to it daily with ease, you can go ahead and modify the plan according to your goals and ability. You can increase your workout duration, decide on which training styles you’ll practice, and form a weekly routine based on that. However, it’s perfectly alright to simply move for a set time early on and not worry about setting lofty goals!
Functional movement AKA the movement patterns we perform every day is really good for building mind body connection and to integrate exercise in daily life! Try to be mindful of how you move for 5 mins at a time.
If you are looking for short, effective workouts you can easily include in your daily life (yes, also during the festivities J), check out our YouTube channel here We Transform App. We post recipes, workouts, and mindset related videos, regularly.
Although these tips can be implemented at any time of the year, we thought some of us could use a gentle nudge in the right direction as the holidays approach us. Stressors can be at an all-time high during this time, and it’s easy to forget to care for ourselves. We hope you take these tips, personalize them, and find something that works for you. Don’t be afraid to add your own tips or modify ours. After all, your body knows what you need best. Listen to her!
To sum up, let’s approach ourselves with compassion this holiday season. Taking stock of where we are currently and accepting it will go a long way in deciding which future direction to take in our fitness journey, and how to customize a plan that’s best suited for us. Accept where you are today, not tomorrow, or yesterday but right in this very moment!
Understand that healthy living is a process and not a destination. Your body will look different on different days. Fitness trends that are popular today will change not too far into the future. The only thing that will keep you company is your own health. A few slip ups and roadblocks do not define you or your journey. We’re humans and life gets in the way. Cultivating self-compassion is probably the best gift you can give yourself this new year, and on every day for the rest of your wonderful life!
P.S. Our goal at The Whole Experience is to help you find ways to implement healthy choices regularly. If you want more tips and see our 3 M’s in action, and to stay in the loop for our upcoming projects, be sure to follow us on Instagram . We have a lot of exciting events coming up and we’d love to have you on board with us!