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Wake Up To The Power Of One

Ten Tips For Staying Fit During the Season of Indulgence

'Tis the season for indulgence. Does that spell "disaster" for your fitness goals? Not necessarily. Let's make sure it's also the season for staying on track (as best as possible). How do you turn the season of indulgence into the season of gains? 

"Train twice on Christmas Day... Your competitors may only train once." — Daley Thompson

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Here are our top ten tips. 

1. Plan Ahead

When you carve out time in your schedule for yourself and your workouts, you'll be more accountable for making it happen — and you can ensure you have the space and time you need to get it done. Pre-book classes while studios and gyms are open, and stay committed to your calendar when extra drinks, parties, and events with family and friends start popping up. If you plan on working out from home during the holidays or traveling, locate a drop-in gym in advance or pick up resistance bands and stockpile workout plans. 

2. Recruit a Friend or Family Member

When it's miserable outside and home is cozy, fun, and inviting, it can be extra challenging to drag yourself to the gym for a session. Our solution? Recruit a visiting family member or a friend to become your gym buddy. We thoroughly believe in the power of community when it comes to working out. A great gym buddy will hold you accountable for showing up and putting in the work and will make things fun.

3. Register for a Holiday Race 

Luckily, many people have the "stay fit" mindset during the season of indulgence. That means there are lots of holiday-themed races and "Santa runs" you can register for. Go ahead. Be that person. Sign up for the race. It'll offer you plenty of motivation to continue training for the event. Even if you don't keep up with the training, at least you'll have one big, fit day on the calendar. Recruit some family members, and you're ticking off tips one and two in a single go. ontent

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4. Hydrate

The age-old question: Am I actually hungry? Thirsty? Or am I just bored? A lot of people fall off the hydration wagon with plenty of sweet drinks around. Eggnog, Bailey's in your coffee, wine with every meal… The holidays can be an endless parade of other beverage indulgences, making it easy to forget about one key thing: Water. Keep tabs on your water intake and ensure you're hydrating. It can help with the snackiness and will help slow down the consumption of other sweet holiday drinks. 

5. Stack Your Plate With Good Stuff

There isn't anything wrong with a big turkey dinner and all the fixings. In fact, you've got a lot of your basics covered in one go! What is wrong is that we forget to balance our plates and generally eat more desserts and sweets than usual for DAYS. Stack your plate with the good stuff first: lean meat and lots of veggies. Then, sprinkle in some of the other tasty delights where there's room. The butter tarts are calling, but you'd better eat your greens beforehand.

6. Eat Before Parties

Holiday parties are another place where it's easy to over-indulge in not-so-great snacks. Our tip? Eat before you go (unless it's a dinner party, of course). That way, when those plates of hors d'oeurves and desserts go by, you'll feel less inclined to snatch a plate from every tray.  

7. Keep Logging

Are you someone who keeps track of your calories and macros? Keep it up during the holiday season! It's easy to say, "You know what? We're going deep into cheat day territory here," and then let it slide. Don't. Keep logging and stay honest. That said, you should still enjoy yourself! Remember, food is not the enemy. The main point is to keep up with your current habits and routines as best as possible — even when things are busy. 

8. Think Smaller

You may not have time to workout to your full capacity as you do when you are not in the throes of holiday hosting. That's why it's essential to think smaller and accept if that's the case. Then celebrate! Even a small workout is worthwhile, so if that's what you're fitting in amongst the chaos, then kudos! We're proud of you, and you should be, too. 

9. Don't Bank Calories

Be honest. Do you ever withhold certain snacks or food at the moment so you can indulge later? Especially if you're someone who counts calories, the logic is there, but does it work? We suggest not "banking calories" for later indulgence this holiday season. Why? For a couple reasons. First, it often leaves you so hungry you accelerate that over-indulgence, consuming more than you would have if you'd been eating normally. It's like grocery shopping when you're hungry. Second, you often indulge in emptier calories and go for sweets and treats in greater numbers. 

10. Reward Yourself

Yes, it's the season of indulgence, but who says you shouldn't enjoy it? Reward your hard work and commitment to maintaining your fitness goals with a little something here or there. Our favorite? A Ferrero Rocher or a chunk of Toblerone. 

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While there's nothing wrong with taking a break entirely during the holiday season, we always encourage keeping up with the routine as best as possible. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy and celebrate. It just means being aware that the season of indulgence doesn't have to mean the season of setbacks. If you fall off track this holiday season, remember the Law of the Start to get right back at it.

"I love getting out on my usual beach loop after opening presents. It builds a good appetite for Christmas dinner and lots of chocolate!" — Laura Weightman

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