(Enlisting friends for fun fitness challenges keeps things fresh!)
It's that time of year: holiday parties and food and drink-centered celebrations at every turn. The temperature has dropped, making staying indoors seem more appealing than venturing out into the elements for a run. The days have gotten shorter, and with the sun setting around 4:30pm, heading home to the couch may sound better than your usual post-work gym session.
I totally get it. And sure, sometimes giving into the urge to hibernate, or nest is totally fine; it's one of the things that makes winter bearable. But skip your workout too often, and indulge in too many holiday hors d'oeuvres, and your fitness can start to nosedive.
So how can you re-invigorate your healthy lifestyle when everything in your environment seems to want to bring you down? Try these tips!
1) Purchase a new piece of workout clothing or shoes. I feel a bit guilty for suggesting consumerism, but the studies show that indulging in a bit of workout-themed retail therapy will make you much more apt to hit the gym or pavement.
2) Read a fitness magazine or blog. I don't know about you, but every time I read about other people working out and feeling great, I experience some serious FOMO and it makes ME want to feel that great, too! On more than one occasion, I have quit reading a fitness magazine in the middle of an article because I just HAVE to go for a run or do a few rounds of squats!
3) Make healthy dates. It is just as easy to make a plan to workout as it is to make happy hour plans. Also, research shows that working out with others greatly increases positive feelings, leading to the likelihood of repeating the experience. I know that for me, when I work out with a client, the workout seems to go quicker and I often feel more satisfied afterwards than I would had I just workout out on my own.
4) Try a new healthy recipe. There are a plethora of clean-eating IG accounts and blogs for every diet under the sun (gluten-free, vegan, paleo, etc). Choose a new dish in line with your diet and try cooking something new. Not only does this promote your continued commitment to wellness, but it also opens up creative pathways in your brain, and creativity leads to a greater sense of well-being, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of staying on the beam in terms of health. Whew!
5) Take on a challenge. I currently have several clients who are engaged in fitness challenges at their respective work places, and I've watched each of them step up their wellness game as a result. Challenges bring out the competition in even the easiest-going, and they're fun! So, why not join your office's month long push-up challenge? And if your office isn't promoting fitness, perhaps you could start a challenge. Could be as simple as comparing your fitness trackers for number of weekly steps. And if you don't work in an office, why not start a little healthy fitness competition amongst your friends? These challenges are also a great way to build camaraderie.
So, there you go. Do you have any additional tips for re-enlivening your wellness plan this time of year? Drop me a note or post in the comments!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!