You are your best project for the holidays, especially when you want more energy or just a boost to feel better about yourself. It’s the perfect time to start working out for a number of reasons. The most important is to feel good. Not only does exercise burn off the holiday stress, it also helps stimulate the creation of hormones that can improve your overall mood. You’ll feel refreshed after a day of working out and be ready to tackle the next demand in your busy day. It helps stop the holiday crabbies and stressed out appearance and feeling.
Eating healthy can help you shed pounds and feel great.
There are so many sweets during the holiday season, it’s hard to say no. You don’t have to eliminate them completely and miss out on your favorite items, but remembering portion control can help. If there’s a table full of desserts and they all look delicious, slice a small wedge from those you truly enjoy, rather than a full serving. Find the healthiest ones to eat or bring them yourself. Before you hit the dessert bar, fill up on loads of veggies and salad. Use portion control when taking servings. Use a smaller plate if it’s buffet style, which makes you feel like you’re eating more. Eat slowly and before you head back for seconds, wait ten to fifteen minutes. Visit with others, walk around the room or drink a glass of water. It gives your body a chance to signal to the brain it’s full.
Exercise and eating healthy will have you looking your best.
You’ll not only feel better when you workout, you’ll look better almost immediately. While both healthy eating and regular exercise won’t take off pounds and inches in a day or a week, it will stimulate circulation. That improved circulation will send oxygen and nutrient rich blood to all areas of the body. That includes your skin. Immediately, you’ll have a healthy glow and get rid of the “winter white” that plagues people this time of year. It also can help prevent outbreaks of adult acne. Exercise helps boost collagen production and makes your hair healthier, but those benefits take a little time.
You won’t toss and turn at night.
There’s nothing better for insomnia than regular exercise. Lack of sleep may seem inevitable during the holiday season. There’s so much to do and so little time. You’ll get more done in less time when you have the boost of energy that regular exercise and a good night’s sleep. Not only will you get more done, you’ll look far better while you’re doing it. That drug-out, lack-of-sleep look won’t be yours when you make yourself your own project.
- Holiday times can bring an overwhelming rush of depression in some people. Exercise can help you avoid it and leave you feeling great from the rush of hormones after a workout.
- You’ll have a better self-image immediately when you start a fitness program, without even seeing results. Feeling good about yourself is important.
- Everything will work better on your body. Your elimination process improves, which helps you feel and look better.
- There’s no better time to start a workout program than NOW! Don’t put it off and wait for after the holidays. It will help make the season better, so get started now while you’re motivated.
If you’ve about given up on losing weight and eliminating that roll around your waist, it’s time to find a new strategy. You can get rid of stubborn fat, but it will mean rethinking your previous strategy. Start with healthy eating. Healthy eating isn’t dieting. In fact, dieting may be one of the reasons you’re packing on the pounds. Some people starve themselves for days on end, only to go back to eating normally and regain not only the weight they lost, but also extra pounds. The second time shedding weight is more difficult. That’s because your body now clings to the calories and slows metabolism. Eating healthy means eating more, while getting more nutrients and fewer calories.
Stubborn fat is different from regular fat.
You may work out regularly, but still find that stubborn roll of fat around your middle that simply won’t disappear. That’s because the fat burns slower. If your body is going to burn fat, it needs biochemicals called catecholamines. These biochemicals are created and released to the blood where they latch on to the receptors in the fat cells. That sets in motion the process of releasing the energy stored in the cells. Cells have two type of receptors for the catecholamines to attach. One is the alpha-receptor and the other the beta-receptor. Stubborn fat has alpha-receptors that slow the breakdown of fat, while fat that comes off quickly has beta-receptors.
Train in a fasted state.
People who workout the first thing in the morning, while their body is in a fasting state, tend to get more results than people who workout after they’ve eaten. That’s because the fasted state means you’ve burned off the calories of the previous meal and it’s time to burn the fat stores. It also means that your fasted state, the blood flow to the abdomen—one place where stubborn fat often lingers—is greater. That helps to burn those fat cells quicker. Of course, you still have to eat healthy, which includes eating fewer calories than you burn.
Include adequate protein in your diet when you’re trying to lose that stubborn fat.
There’s a number of reasons extra protein helps burn the fat and also should be boosted in your effort to lose those stubborn fat cells. Extra protein helps prevent losing muscle tissue. That’s important. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the higher your metabolism. That increases your energy expenditure, while also helping you repair muscles after a workout and recover. It also keeps you fuller longer.
- Strength—resistence—training helps burn calories fast and can help you shed pounds quicker. It builds or preserves muscle tissue and burns fat cells.
- High Intensity Interval Training also burns calories and is especially good for fat loss when combined with a healthy diet.
- Drink a cup of coffee before you workout. Caffeine not only boosts your performance, it speeds the process of burning fat.
- If your stubborn fat is abdominal fat, eliminate stress. Cortisol, one of the hormones, is associated with the creation of abdominal fat. Of course, living a stress free life may be impossible, so burning off the hormones created by stress is the next best thing to do.
While I always advocate working out with your trainer and scheduling an appointment at the gym, sometimes you simply don’t have the window of opportunity to get there and workout, but you do have that extra hour to workout at home. Here are the best exercises at home for those days you simply don’t have the time to make it to the gym. I’ll keep it simple, since most of you won’t have equipment at home. However, if you choose one piece of equipment that travels and stores well, while also being inexpensive, consider resistance bands and a yoga mat, so you don’t have to lay on the floor.
Go back to the basis.
The basics include body weight exercises and the makings of a boot camp. Start with squats, do as many as you can and add five more as your ultimate goal. Push ups, walking lunges, plank and jumping jacks are next. If you don’t have resistance bands or dumbbells, use large laundry detergent containers filled with water, milk jugs, kitty litter buckets or even large cans as weights. You may already know the weight you need or can judge how much water to fill it with by your effort.
Do interval training.
Getting done quickly may or may not be your goal, but either way, High Intensity Interval Training—HIIT— is excellent. You’ll need a slightly lighter weight for interval training to help ensure that you maintain proper form. Use dumbbell lunges with a twist, pushups, step ups while holding weights and bent over lateral raise as your strength exercises. Do a strength training exercises for one minute, quickly move to 30 seconds of jump squats or mountain climbers. If you need to rest between sets, don’t rest longer than 15 seconds.
Don’t forget walking more.
You can get your chores completed and get exercise at the same time if you’re mindful of working out. A pedometer will help. These little tips can help year around, even if you’re working out at the gym regularly. Take the stairs and not the escalator or elevator. Don’t even try to get on the escalator and walk up or you’ll be disappointed by a few people who won’t share your enthusiasm for stair climbing. Carry your packages yourself and don’t take a cart to the car. Park further from the store and walk more. Put on the music and dance your way to a cleaner house. Not only will you get the job done faster, you’ll enjoy it more.
- Talk to your personal trainer to get ideas for exercise combinations you can do at home. HIIT training is quick and effective. Using exercises from your normal workout ensures you know the proper form.
- You don’t have to workout a full session all at once. You can break the workout down to several sessions that are at least 10 minutes long.
- Incorporate dance into your workout. Not a slow dance, but one that gets you moving. Plan your routine first, to put your whole body into the moves. Create a song playlist that motivates and invigorates.
- Get the family involved. Make exercising a game to do with the kids. You can also exercise with your partner to make it more fun. Of course, schedule a time or add an impromptu workout rather than waiting for the right time, which may never come.