Friday 5: 5 Ways to Stay Healthy during the Holidays

Part of getting back into the swing of blogging is that I get to rejoin my regular link-ups, which includes the famous Friday 5 Link-Ups with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia. I love linking up with their blogs because they’re well-written, content-rich blogs. Pro tip: Read their blogs and learn.

This Friday’s theme?Photo Nov 07, 10 44 25 AM

Holidays are a real fitness-goal killer, amirite? It seems like every November through December I end up gaining at least 5 pounds. The result? My pace slows and my spring race training takes a hit. Not good. I don’t want that to happen this year.

Here are my 5 tips for holiday-health success:

1.  Exercise regularly. Even if for only 20 minutes a day, try to exercise every day. Working out regularly will keep exercise a habit during the holiday season and offset the holiday treats you ingest.  Early morning exerciser? Yes, it sucks waking up early during the late fall and early winter, but it’s worth it. You’ll feel better the rest of the day.

2.  Sleep.  Strive for at least 8 hours per night. I am guilty of sleeping only 5-7 hours per night on average (thanks, Netflix!), but I’m working on trying to increase the amounts of hours I sleep each night. There’s research that says sleep is when the magic happens. I’m starting to wonder if my frequent injuries have any connection to my poor sleep habits.

3.  Don’t overdo it. turkey carcassThis is common sense, but don’t go wild at the buffet or drink too much at the open bar at the holiday party.  I am famous for attending a party and standing right next to the food table for the majority of the evening. My goal this holiday season is to stand, at a minimum, 5 feet from said table. We’ll see how that goes.

4.  Have a fitness-related holiday tradition. turkey trotFor the last three years, our family has run the local turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning. After the turkey trot, we meet up with some other families to participate in a good-natured game of flag football.turkey bowl footballWell, mostly good-natured. Sometimes the adults get a little competitive. Okay, sometimes I get a little competitive. At any rate, in addition to being good family fun, these traditions are fun and healthy ways to start a day that will end with our ingesting upwards of 3,000 calories.

5.  Laugh. The holidays can be extremely stressful–people spend too much money on gifts, there’s too much family togetherness, etc.–and that stress needs to be relieved. How? In addition to exercise, laughter can help relieve stress. My suggestion? Turn on your Netflix Amazon Prime (as long as it doesn’t interfere with your sleep) and watch some Amy Schumer. Laughter galore.

What is your best tip for staying healthy during the holiday season?

15 thoughts on “Friday 5: 5 Ways to Stay Healthy during the Holidays

  1. Great post! I love the idea of having a fitness-related Holiday tradition.

    The only year I didn’t pack on a few extra lbs during the holidays was when I did the RW run streak from Thanksgiving Day to New Years Day. It was tough but I ran at least 1 mile every day. It did backfire a little bit because I was so burned out by New Years that I spent the first 2 weeks of January being a bum. I have no idea how folks do run streaks for hundreds of days…

  2. I love your tips, Molly; I especially love the one where you suggest I just stand further from the foot table. I concur – this is a fabulous idea! Not only will I have to move more to get there (bonus!), I will have to suspend whatever conversation I’m in to get to more food. This is brilliant! I also love your 80s workout video…ahh. Those were the days, right? Do you ever miss leg warmers? Be honest…

  3. That video is incredible. I really need to get it together this holiday season, I have been gaining weight for a couple months, and really feel the effects on my running!

  4. Aimee says:

    I’m so looking forward to Turkey Day with my friends and family…I LOVE our line up!!! I really need to work on the sleep thing as well…maybe after all this travel there might be time.

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