by Lauren Mansur, RHF Volunteer
Your waistband may disagree with calling the season of feasting “the most wonderful time of the year.” However, at RHF we believe you can both enjoy the holidays and maintain a healthy lifestyle. We’ve got you covered with these eight tips to stay fit and emerge on the other side of the season looking and feeling great!
1. Get a temporary gym membership.
Ask your family and friends in the area you travel if you can get a free pass at their home gym so you can keep up your exercise regime when in another location.
RHF Pro-Tip: Bring your out-of-town friends to RHF for their free pass!
2. Find fitness-focused holiday discounts.
Many gyms offer significant deals or discounts over the holidays. It could be a new membership discount or a deal on certain classes. Take advantage of this time of year when everyone—including businesses—are in a giving mood.
RHF Pro-Tip: Never been to the gym before? First-timer discounts are often a year-round option at many gyms. In December, RHF is offering a 2 for 1 special where two new members can join for the price of one!
3. Set a pre-New Year’s workout goal.
Eight weeks is the perfect amount of time to set specific, realistic expectations to gradually and healthily lose weight. Get a jump-start on New Year’s Resolutions by setting your goals early during the holiday season so you’ll already be half-way there by the time January 1st rolls around. Be sure to make your goals measurable and manageable. If you’re new to exercising, going to the gym every day might not lead you to lose 10 pounds in two weeks. Instead, focus your goal around something like “I will lose 3 pounds in 2 weeks by working out for 5 days a week for 60 minutes.”
RHF Pro-Tip: Write down your goals and how you plan to accomplish them! This will help you keep yourself in check. Have questions about where to begin? RHF’s trainers can help point you in the right direction and show you how to get started. Come on in to the gym and ask them questions! Our trainers are here to help.
4. Turn the mall into your personal gym!
Shopping for gifts or other holiday goods? Many shopping malls have miles of walkways and multiple floors. Walking from end to end and moving between floors is a simple–and effective–way of squeezing in your daily 45-60 minutes of movement.
RHF Pro-Tip: Planning your shopping route ahead of time will help focus your movement so you aren’t wandering aimlessly.
5. Indulge…just a little.
If your funds allow it, treat yourself to some new workout clothes. Old Navy and J.C. Penney offer affordable workout clothes in all sizes. Plus, don’t forget to pick up an RHF hoodie or tee!
RHF Pro-Tip: When you reach your fitness goals, allow yourself a reward that won’t cancel out your work, like a new book, movie date or a massage. Several of RHF volunteers are massage therapists so ask for references at our front desk!
6. Go sightseeing!
If you’re traveling for the holidays, get outside and explore by foot! You may need to plan ahead to incorporate a more active style of sight-seeing, but walking even 45 minutes every day of your vacation will help keep off pesky pounds.
RHF Pro-Tip: Even if you’re not traveling, you can check out local holiday happenings and take a stroll over to them! The Rainier Beach Merchants Association’s Holiday “Light Up the Beach Challenge” on December 2nd will be a fabulous way to enjoy the spirit of the season by walking around the community! Be sure to stop by your favorite local business—RHF—for a free massage and photo booth fun.
7. Make healthy, homemade holiday meals with a twist.
Cooking for a crowd or large holiday dinner? Be the best – and healthiest – cook at the table by whipping up different spins on your family’s favorite holiday foods!
RHF Pro-Tip: Many websites offer healthier takes on delicious comfort foods. Some of our favorites are Eating Well and Well & Good. The American Diabetes Association gives some particularly useful tips and tricks for making traditionally unhealthy foods a little healthier.
8. Sign up for a festive 5k.
Towns and counties often hold annual holiday runs. Look into these in your area and start training now for them!
RHF Pro-Tip: Working out is always more fun when you’re not alone. Ask a friend or family member to join you so they can work off holiday meals, too. Plus, running together is a great way to spend healthy, quality time with your family!
Have your own ideas you’re planning to stick to over the holidays? Let us know in the comments.