By Kelly Ostrem
It’s the holiday season, and while there’s a lot of merriment and good cheer being shared, this is no time to let your healthy lifestyle goals slide. Getting exercise and eating healthy are often pushed to the back of our minds, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
To help guide you toward healthier habits, I talked to some of the trainers at Mission Valley Y. Here are their best tips for keeping your health on track during this wonderful and crazy time of year.
Maintain your normal
Don’t let all the food get in the way of your health.
“You don’t have to overeat,” Geraldine Watson says. “It’s just another meal!”
Keep portions in check and try to eat as you normally would any other time of the year. If you have a special meal, enjoy it, but don’t eat leftovers.
Get out there
Plan to take walks over the holidays. Bring along your family and friends, too, so everyone can get some activity.
“Before out-of-town guests arrive, proactively plant the seed,” Larry Maldonado recommends.
This sets up the idea in their minds that they should expect to be active when they’re visiting and not just sitting and staring at a screen. This is the perfect time to take advantage of living in San Diego, too. Take a walk on the beach or walk around the botanical garden. Enjoy our beautiful Southern California weather!
Work hard to play hard
All of the fun and festivities this time of year bring lots of delicious foods.
“If you want that extra holiday treat, you have to put in the work,” says Alex Ciambrone, fitness director at Mission Valley Y. Work hard to play hard, is his motto. This time of year, most people are not doing or eating what they normally would. Try a harder workout, working out a little longer, or adding a workout. You can enjoy yourself, but you need to work for it.
Take a time-out
Unfortunately, this time of year can be stressful, but trainer and yoga instructor Laura Hathaway has a tip to keep some zen in your life.
“Put on some soft music, lay on the floor and just meditate for 10 minutes.”
She recommends repeating a mantra to yourself, like ‘I love myself’ or ‘breathe in peace.’ She suggests doing this first thing in the morning, or even sitting in your car for 10 minutes before you start your work day. But anytime some stress is creeping into your day, pause and meditate for a few minutes to calm down and clear your mind.
—Kelly Ostrem is a certified Health Fitness Specialist and a Certified Health Education Specialist. She writes on behalf of the Mission Valley YMCA.