Holiday Health and Fitness Tips

holiday health and fitness tips

You can Enjoy the Holidays Without Sabotaging Your Wellness Goals

The holidays are a great time of year but, let’s face it, they come with a lot of baggage. There’s the planning, shopping, entertaining, partying and traveling. Stores are crowded and depleted, viruses are rampant…and for many either seeing their families or not being able to is difficult.  Schedules are crammed, budgets are maxed out and nerves are frazzled.  It’s no wonder that eight out of ten Americans feel stressed out during the “most wonderful time of the year.”

It’s during this busiest period that every edible temptation appears before you. Do your health and fitness goals even stand a chance?  Yes, they do!  Here’s your game plan for a victorious end to 2022.

The first step is to get in the right mindset.  The holidays are meant to be enjoyed so give yourself permission to indulge.  That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good strategy.  Focus, first and foremost, on family and fun.  Then go ahead and enjoy some once-a-year type of treats.

Set realistic expectations.  For most of us, that means maintaining our fitness goals rather than trying to make big strides.  Resolve to stay active.  Working out will help boost your mood, energy and immunity.  It will improve your sleep, help balance your blood sugar and help you manage your stress.

Schedule your workouts on your calendar wherever there’s an empty space.  You can break them up into shorter sessions if that helps.  If all you have time for is one quick exercise snack, that’s okay.  A micro workout is better than none at all. 

Make it convenient by writing down a list of your five favorite exercises.  Then commit to doing them for 30-60 seconds each whenever there’s a break in your day.

How to Do It Better –the Holiday Wellness Edition

Holiday Shopping

Instead of circling the parking lot for a convenient parking space, settle for a distant spot.  A brisk walk to the mall provides you with a mini workout.  Remember to wear sneakers or comfortable shoes.

Instead of using the elevator, take as many trips up and down the stairs as possible. 

Carrying lots of shopping bags provides a good upper body workout.

Those buttery pretzels smell great but they are loaded with empty calories. Instead bring or buy a healthy snack, such as a smoothie, nut mix or protein bar.  Don’t forget a water bottle to stay hydrated!

Skip the traffic and crowd headaches all together.  Do some online shopping and use the extra time and peace of mind to fit in a little exercise.

Parties and Entertaining

Skipping meals before a party sounds like a good idea but it’s not.  You’re better off eating a healthy meal or snack before the event.  Being famished leads to bad decision making.  People tend to overestimate how many calories they have saved and end up overeating. 

Focus on connecting with others and having fun.

Don’t stand near the buffet, use a small plate and eat slowly.

Bring or provide healthy alternatives.

If you drink alcohol, moderation is key.  If possible just have a glass of wine.  Matching each alcoholic drink with at least one glass of water is imperative.

Traveling

Instead of sitting before your flight, try walking around the terminal. This boosts your energy, improves your focus and lowers anxiety.

Stay hydrated and snack wisely.

Bring resistance bands, sliders or a yoga mat to work out once you get to your destination.

If you don’t have access to a gym, do bodyweight exercises (such as squats, pushups, planks, dips and lunges) –or walk, run or cycle.  If you are a member of Golden Home Fitness you can train from anywhere any time.  You have a customized plan and can choose your schedule. Your trainer is always there to motivate you, track your progress and hold you accountable.

The Big Day

The most important thing about each holiday is that you enjoy it!  It’s a unique day of the year.  Take the time to be grateful for your good fortune and company.  Having realistic expectations, connecting with others and being present make the day special. Whether you’ve been healthy the rest of the year or not, cut yourself a little slack.  You can’t lose your fitness in one day any more than you can gain it in one day.

If you want to, go ahead and indulge in your favorite foods.  If possible, avoid overindulging in the rest of the spread or going totally hog-wild.  If you overdo it, don’t beat yourself up –just get right back on track.  Do not decide to throw in the towel until next year!

All the Days Before, After and Between the Holidays

What you do and eat on non-holiday days will determine your health and fitness.  A balanced whole food diet with lots of protein, veggies, fruit and whole grains will nourish your body and mind.  This will give you a lot to celebrate on special occasions.

Airlines instruct you to don your oxygen mask before helping anyone else in an emergency. This ideology should also be employed around the holidays. Proper self-care is necessary to offset the many pitfalls of the holiday season.  Make sure to schedule an adequate amount of “me time”, along with times to stay active.

The Takeaway

While the holidays can be stressful, having a good strategy lets you enjoy yourself.  All that holiday baggage doesn’t require you pack on the pounds. You don’t have to derail your hard-earned progress.  Instead simply adjust your expectations, mindset and schedule. 

Striving to maintain your fitness rather than improving it is a good idea. Indulging mindfully and staying active will keep you on the right track.

It’s what you eat and do daily that will determine your health and fitness success in the long run.  So go ahead and enjoy your holidays guilt-free because they only come around once a year!

The Best Gift of All

the best gift of all is good health

A Helpful Gift Guide for Everyone on Your “Nice” List

What’s the best gift of all? Ask your co-workers, family and friends and you’ll get lots of answers. Toys, travel, clothing, money, cars, jewelry or time-saving gadgets tend to top the list. But what would any of them be worth if you didn’t have good health? That’s why good health is the best gift of all.

Your health is at the heart of everything you do. It is the foundation. The more solid your foundation, the happier, more productive and long your life is likely to be. It’s easy to take your health for granted when you are feeling good. But if you are not making wise lifestyle choices, illness and injury can stop you in your tracks. A chronic disease or condition can swiftly derail your life’s trajectory.

Physical fitness is a critical component of good health. There are very few (if any) steps you can take in life that are better for you than being active.

Top Five Reasons to Give and Receive the Best Gift of All

You can lower your risk of disease, depression and anxiety. Increase your confidence, outlook and happiness. Improve your heart and lung health, cognition, strength and endurance. Do more of the things you love to do, and the ones you have to. You can spend more time with the people you love. In short, you can feel better, look better and do more when you take care of your health. That’s why good health is the best gift of all.

Giving yourself the gift of improved health will benefit you as well as everyone around you. Why not make your quality of life a priority?

Giving your loved ones the gift of improved health shows them you want them to be happy. It also tells them you want them around for a long time to come.

A sedentary lifestyle is as harmful to your brain as it is to your body. If you want to maintain your memory, focus, mobility and independence as you age, the best time to start working out is now.

New studies show that exercising is more beneficial to overweight people than losing weight. Obese people can lower their risk of premature death and heart disease more effectively through exercise than through dieting or weight loss.

Golden Home Fitness Offers You Unparalleled Quality, Value and Convenience

At Golden Home Fitness, your health and wellness is our mission. We empower you by giving you the tools you need to make fitness happen. You can train in our state-of-the-art studio or use our Virtual Personal Training platform from the comfort of your home. Our Personal Trainers can also come to you.

We offer Small Group Training classes and Jiu Jitsu Self Defense. Our Studio Gym Membership grants you 24-hour access to our facilities year-round. Our amazing flexibility makes it inevitable that you will crush your goals!

You can give yourself the gift of a healthier body and mind. If you’ve been nice all year (or most of it) you so deserve it! You can also jump-start the fitness journey of someone you love. This gift will enhance your life and theirs every day of the year and beyond.

A Golden Home Fitness Gift Certificate is the Golden Ticket!  You can make it from $50 to $1000 and use it for any of our services.

Goldenhomefitness.com has lots of additional gift and stocking stuffer ideas from Health-Energy Supplements for improved athletic performance, immunity, sleep and weight loss to all kinds of Fitness Equipment from foam rollers to massage guns and adjustable dumbbells.  We even offer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gis!

Your search is over now that you know the best gift of all  –may you give it and receive it generously!  We wish you a very healthy and happy holiday season!

 

the best gift of all is good health

Energize Yourself!

Energize yourself!

Ever feel like there are more hours left in the day than there is energy left in your tank? Life is busy always and most especially during the holiday season. Making a few changes to your routine can have a big impact on your level of energy.  Having more energy will make your days less hectic and more enjoyable.

How much energy you have is largely controlled by what you eat and how much you move. The good news is that a sedentary person can reduce fatigue by 65% by doing even low intensity exercise regularly.

Energy Boosting Tips

1 Exercise! The more you move the more energy you have to power through your day. If you don’t want to get winded or tired during routine activities, increase your level of physical activity. Try walking briskly 10 minutes a day for three weeks and you will notice a substantial increase in your energy stores.

Mitochondria, the powerhouses of your cells, convert calories into energy. If you are physically active, you have more of them.

Exercise makes your body better at converting fat and glucose into fuel. It helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and crashes.

When you exercise you increase oxygen and blood flow throughout your body.

Regular physical activity trains your heart and lungs to work more efficiently.

Hormones including endorphins, serotonin and dopamine are released when you work out. These boost your mood and energy.

Being active increases your metabolism, improves your sleep and lowers stress all of which boost your energy!

2 Gauge your energy levels throughout the day. Some activities drain your energy while others restore it. The same is true of people and places. If you are aware of these effects, you can guard your daily reserves. You can also plan to tackle the most important projects at your most energetic times.

3 Eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Include veggies, fruit, lean protein, whole grains and low fat dairy. An adequate combination of carbs, protein and fat will give you all the energy you need.

Have more whole grains and less sugar to balance your blood sugar.

Start your day with protein, healthy fats and complex carbs. Avocado toast with eggs or a spinach, peanut butter and chia seed smoothie are two good choices.

If you need a snack make it a power snack. A skim latte and a handful of almonds or peanut butter on a banana will provide you with the sustained energy you need.

Make sure you’re getting enough micronutrients as well, including vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B-12.

4 Get enough quality sleep. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night.

Obtain quality sleep by: getting sunshine first thing in the morning, going to bed and waking at the same time, creating a relaxing environment devoid of light, clutter and noise, managing stress and avoiding blue light at night.

Being active during the day also improves your sleep.

5 Manage stress. Activities such as exercise, meditation and breath work can do wonders to help you unwind. Spending too much time on social media can be draining rather than energizing or relaxing.

6 Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water allows your body and brain to work optimally. Thirst, on the other hand, can make you feel hungry and tired. Being even a little dehydrated can make you lethargic.

Limit or avoid alcohol which ultimately drains your energy.

It is better to have small amounts of caffeine throughout the day than larger quantities all at once. Sipping a quarter cup or so of coffee at strategic times can be beneficial. It’s best not to consume caffeine after 2pm.

7 Fuel your to-do list. Doing things that align with your purpose and values is life-affirming. Make sure that at least some of the energy you expend daily goes towards an activity that fuels you. This will add excitement, happiness and energy to your to-do list!

8 Be Kind to Yourself and Others. Negative self-talk and unresolved conflicts and emotions are draining. Holding in feelings like anger and guilt is exhausting. Effective coping strategies include exercising, going to therapy, journaling, or finding a creative outlet.

9 Take breaks. Even a few minutes of stretching, talking to a friend, listening to music or working out can help to recharge your battery.

10 Streamline your activities and environment. A cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind. Clean out your space for better focus.

Consider whether you are trying to do too much and plan out your day. It’s better to do a few things well than to be inefficient at multiple projects. Prioritize and narrow down your tasks.

The Takeaway

You need a lot of energy to power through your days. Chances are, some days you’re feeling it a lot more than others. Tweaking your routine and mindset can help you have more sustained energy on a daily basis.

How well you eat and how much you move largely determine how much energy you have. Sleeping enough, drinking plenty of water and managing stress are also huge contributors to your energy production.

Positive thinking, purposeful activities, taking breaks and a clutter-free environment help to preserve your energy. It’s important to monitor and protect your energy stores so you can function at your best from morning to night!

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Health.harvard.edu; newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org; webmd.com; health.com; besthealthmag.ca

For a Healthier Thanksgiving: Shift Your Focus

For a Healthier Thanksgiving: Shift Your Focus

Putting the “Thanks” and “Giving” Back in Your Holiday

The Thanksgiving holiday is a special day that only comes around once a year.  Because the holiday celebrates a bountiful harvest, it highlights an elaborate feast.  More food is consumed in the US on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.

Most Americans consume 3000 to 5000 calories during the Thanksgiving meal.  On average, they gain one to five pounds during the holiday season.  Unfortunately, that added weight tends to stick around. 

Fortunately, Thanksgiving done right doesn’t have to sabotage your health and wellness.  Feeling stuffed, hung over, lethargic and guilt-ridden is not inevitable.  We have lots of tips for enjoying yourself without all the negative consequences.

Step One:  Enjoy Your Family and Friends and Be Present

If you shift your focus back to giving thanks, you can make the most of your Thanksgiving holiday.  Engage in conversation with your family and friends.  Be present.  Show gratitude for all the amazing people in your life.

Even if you spend Thanksgiving alone there is much to be thankful for. Be sure to count your blessings, including being safe, healthy and having everything you need.

Put the “giving” back in the holiday by volunteering and giving back to the community.  Providing the less fortunate with meals adds tremendous value to your life.

Step Two:  Savor the Delicious and Nutritious Foods

Thanksgiving is a great time to appreciate all the different foods available to us in the US.  A traditional Thanksgiving meal is loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and antioxidants.

Turkey is rich in protein, low in fat and calories and it boosts your mood.

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are nutrient dense.  They contain vitamin C, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, magnesium and fiber.  These nutrients are good for bone strength.  Sweet potatoes also have beta carotene, important for immunity, vision and healthy skin.

Cranberries contain lots of antioxidants to help ward off disease.

Pecans have heart-healthy fats, copper, thiamine, zinc, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants.

Pumpkin contains vitamin A, potassium and fiber.

Step Three:  Enjoy a Healthier and Happier Thanksgiving Day

Starting the day with a protein-rich breakfast is a good idea.  This will allow you to control your appetite. Oatmeal, yogurt or eggs with fruits and veggies will keep hunger at bay.  Saving up calories for the big meal tends to backfire.  It’s hard to be disciplined when you’re famished.  People also tend to overestimate how many calories they have saved.

Create a new activity-based tradition. You will improve your digestion, and feel less tired if you go for a walk after eating.  Brisk walking improves your blood sugar levels, aids digestion and burns calories.  What about playing football with your family and friends rather than watching it on TV?  Participating in a Turkey Trot is another great option.

Drink lots of water and little or no juice, soda or alcohol, throughout the day.

Work out a little more  the week before and after the holiday to offset indulgences and stay on track.  This is not a punishment but a reward for being strong and able.

Lighten up your dishes.  You can swap the butter and cream in mashed potatoes for low sodium broth or skim milk.  Make a healthier stuffing using whole grain bread, fruits and veggies. Leave the skins on potatoes and sweet potatoes for added fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar.

Be realistic.  Avoiding all temptation can dampen the day.  Feeling deprived does not pay off in the long run.

Choose your indulgences.  Rather than focusing on trying every dish.  Start with your must-have favorites and stop when you are full.

Fill up on the healthier fare. Three ounces of skinless white turkey meat and a serving of roasted sweet potatoes are two great choices.

Control your portions.  You don’t need a huge quantity of each food to fully enjoy the moment.  Using a smaller plate and filling half of it with veggies helps.  So does skipping seconds and thirds.

Eat mindfully.  Don’t rush through your meal but take the time to savor every mouthful.  Put your fork down between bites.  Give your body time to cue you that it’s full.

The Takeaway

Thanksgiving Day is the perfect day to focus on gratitude.  Your health, family, friends and an abundant meal are just some of the blessings to be thankful for. Traditional Thanksgiving foods are loaded with nutrients we are lucky to have access to. With a little interaction, activity and forethought, you can indulge healthfully and end your day with a full heart.                                                                                                                                           Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Golden Home Fitness!

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Globalnews.ca;  medicalwesthospital.org; myfitnesspal.com; swimmingworldmagazine.com;  intermountainhealthcare.org

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