Holiday Survival Guide

March 17, 2009

This is the time of year where you wonder how you’ll ever get everything done on your to-do list, right? Between shopping, standing in long lines, cleaning and decorating your home, going to dinner parties, and visiting Santa, the most important element, your health & fitness, is a much needed but often sacrificed affair. These are the times where you can make a million excuses not to exercise or eat right. However, as stress increases, so should your activity level: In other words, make your personal fitness a priority NOW! Keep in touch with your feelings and emotions.

Remember, the most important person is you. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Due to the fact that “dieting” adds unnecessary stress to this time of year, your goal for the holidays is to maintain your weight. Look at holiday fitness as you do your budget: You don’t want to wake up on January 2, 1996, and feel broke, unfit, and depressed, do you? This is a time of year where you can celebrate total mind, body, & spirit alignment. The more time you spend on yourself, the more special of a person you become.

Due to my rigorous schedule of television, lectures and international travel, I face the ‘holiday to-do list’ every month. I’ve also found some secrets on how to achieve maximum health benefits during the holidays. Here are some tips on how to avoid the “normal” 10-15 pounds that many individuals gain during holidays.

HOW TO SQUEEZE IN EXERCISE WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TIME:

1. When you’re on the phone, try these exercises:

Stand up and walk around as much as possible.
Calf raises by lifting your heels off the floor 15-25 times, pausing momentarily at the top.
1/2 squats or lunges while holding onto your chair for balance (works your thighs, glutes
and helps to increase circulation).

2. If you can’t get out of a company party, tell the group you’ll meet them there, and meanwhile: Sneak in a few sets of stair climbing before your work day ends. First put on your comfortable shoes, then walk up and down the stairs for 15-20 minutes. Vary intensities by going quicker or skipping a step. Exercise helps increase your energy and decrease your appetite.

3. Make gift giving fun, instead of just giving presents, you could also give a friend a gift of fitness: Buy you and your friend a day or week pass to a health club. You two can lift weights, swim, play racquetball, and even Jacuzzi together. You’ll feel great, and so will your friend. Give a coupon of your assistance, i.e., helping to rake leaves or shovel snow together. If it’s something that has to be done anyway, why not make it fun, burn calories, shape-up, and build a better relationship. Give your friend a personal trainer’ at a local gym, a video and set of hand weights for you and a friend. You can be each other’s personal trainer by motivating each other to exercise. Rent an exercise machine for a month. This is an inexpensive way to stay motivated and fit during the cold months.

4. Turn up the music and tune out the TV! This is a wonderful time of year to celebrate with friends and family. Put on some hot dance music or holiday music and have a singing and dancing present wrapping party. By turning off the television for just one week you’ll be amazed by how much more active you and your children become!

HOLIDAY SURVIVAL GUIDE TO EATING:

Since holiday meals are usually set up as feasts, be frugal of your selections. Develop a game plan and stick to it. Social eating is the worst type for uncontrollable or what I like to call “unconscious” eating, i.e., wandering from dish to dish, snacking on various delectable, indulging in a whopping 2,000 calories of high fat, high sugar, and virtually nutrient-free foods!

Don’t buy sugary, high calorie snacks.

Ask friends not to give you food gifts, and you do the same. Instead, try making special pampering gifts like samplers of luxurious bath crystals rather than fudge.

Drink water before entering any party situation.

At parties, choose pretzels instead of nuts, & hard candy instead of chocolate.

Don’t skip meals in the day to compensate for evening indulgence. By eating fruit or protein in advance, you’ll help calm your appetite before blowing it on junk food.

Eat protein and high fiber meals throughout the entire day. These meals will help sustain your energy, balance your blood chemistry and increase your metabolism. You will eliminate unwanted cravings and while improving your overall eating habits throughout the day. This type of eating is perfect if you are ready to make a lifestyle change.

You are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for. With commitment, discipline and planning, you can stay on your program.

Yes, it will be difficult. Yes, it takes a lot of discipline. That’s okay, the lord knows you can handle the situations you are put into. You can call upon him to keep you healthy and strong during these busy times. Treat the holidays as a time of rejoicing and celebrating, NOT self-indulgence.

For releasing stress and toning up check out my new Stretch and Tone video. This gentle yet effective method of movement is similar to Power Yoga.

Here are some of the great benefits you will receive from Stretch & Tone

Improve Circulation
Increase flexibility
Improve muscle tone
Release stress
Beautiful relaxing soundtrack

Have an awesome week!

About the Author:

Victoria Johnson is the nation’s premier Health & Fitness and Wealth & Spirit “activist.” Victoria is the owner and president of Victoria Johnson Intl., a personal training, consulting, marketing and management company. She is not only a fitness guru, she’s a born and bred entrepreneur. She believes everyone should be healthy and prosperous. She has produced and starred in over 24 award-winning exercise and dance fitness DVD’s and videos, produced and starred in her own television show entitled “Victoria’s Body Shoppe” and most recently authored her third book, Body Revival, Lose Weight, Feel Great and Pump Up Your Faith! 


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