I am striving for simplicity during the holidays this year. With each year I worry less and less about the shimmering objects, baking SPECIAL HEALTHY cookies for the cookie party or watching EVERY version of A Christmas Carol. (Although I have to watch Scrooged. Christmas just won’t happen without it.) I try to make it about focusing on time spent with family and friends, giving back and being grateful for all the good things that have happened in my life over the past year.

The 4 Keys to Real Fitness

I want to help my clients (and YOU) keep things simple this holiday season too. I know things are going to get busy this time of year no matter how hard we try. I want exercise to remain an escape, a stress reducer and not another source of stress. As I put together homework and notes for each session, I am trying to focus on the critical few. What do we (you, me and them) need to focus on to keep moving forward? The basics. We need to keep The 4 Keys to Real Fitness front and center. That means:

  1. Strength training first.
    If something has to fall off your plate let it be cardio. You can raise your heart rate by keeping rests minimal or doing 30 second cardio intervals between sets and doing mostly compound movements in your strength routine. Need some help with your strength workout during the holidays? My 12 Days of Fitmas workout starts on December 12. Be sure to check my Facebook page every morning starting December 12 for your assignment.
  2. Keep cardio short and sweet with intervals.
    Not only is it more efficient but also it keeps your metabolism kicked up longer. Try something simple like a  weekly session of kettlebell swing intervals for 10 minutes or one of my One Minute Workouts sprinkled throughout the day.
  3. Manage your portions and find a way to stay accountable to them.
    The tastes and bites can add up. Allow room for them or stay away from them.
  4. Get your protein, veggies and healthy fat.
    Don’t try to starve yourself to save up for a party. Keep your plate balanced and your eating schedule as regular as possible. It’s okay to enjoy some holiday treats but not at every meal all season long.

80/20 Rule

After saying all that, remember to also practice the 80/20 rule. There will be meals or days where the rules go out the window and that’s okay if they are the exception, not the rule. I want you to enjoy the holidays, not survive them. I want you to have time to be with those that matter while you continue to take care of yourself. The secret to real fitness is consistency. Your habits are what make you, for better or worse. If you stick to the basics of the plan you’ve followed all year long, one or two days of traditional holiday treats will not hurt you. No stress and no guilt this year. Keep it simple. Keep it joyful. Keep it real.

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