Vacation-proof your health with these 10 skilled suggestions | Well being

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The holiday season can be a lot of fun, but maintaining your health and fitness can be a challenge. Between the added pressures of social events and opportunities to pamper yourself, it’s all too easy to throw in the towel and hit the road again in the New Year.

But the holidays don’t have to be an all-or-nothing deal. With the right mindset, you can enjoy the season without sabotaging your wellbeing.

To help you keep your fitness level while on vacation, I took the expert advice of my friend, star trainer Don Saladino, who works with some of the great Hollywood stars including Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Anne Hathaway and John Krasinski. Since parties are no stranger to celebrities, I asked Saladino to share tips he gives his clients to sail through the season without breaking their health conscious goals.

Celebrity or not, we all need to focus on smart strategies to keep vacation stress and luxury foods from being overturned. Here is advice you can put into action right now.

1. Maintain a healthy mindset

“Your goal should be to actively enjoy the holidays while being in full control of your decisions,” said Saladino.

This time of year is meant to be enjoyed, but too many of us lose sight of it and spend a lot of time beating ourselves up to celebrate. It’s okay to enjoy seasonal goodies – so let go of your guilty feelings.

Do you know those cookies that mom baked with love? You don’t have to deny yourself. Remind yourself that you are in control; You can eat one or two without devouring a dozen. Remember, you are happy – not guilty – to make decisions.

2. Do the math

Too many fit people spend time unnecessarily stressing themselves over a small percentage of the delicious meals they eat during the holidays, Saladino said. He asks them to “do the math”.

There are around 45 days from mid-November to January 1st. If you ate an average of three meals a day, that’s 135 meals. A few brunches and several decadent dinners over this time won’t hurt your fitness if your other meals are kept healthy. Let’s say you’ve had a dozen large holiday meals – that’s still less than 9% of your total meals.

3. Do not punish yourself with exercise

This goes hand in hand with a healthy mindset. Sport should not be used to overcome “bad” vacation behavior. In fact, Saladino said he was reducing his clients’ exercise volume and frequency during vacations to reduce demand for their schedules while maintaining consistency. The most important thing is to keep them in the “right mood,” he said, so urge them to keep the workout under 40 minutes just to work up a sweat and help them manage stress.

4. Stay full

Another tip Saladino gives to all of its customers is to stay full so they don’t greedily come to holiday events where there are limited healthy options. If you’ve ever tried shopping hungry and ended up with lots of unhealthy snacks in your shopping cart, you know why this is good advice.

If possible, eat a healthy meal, or at least a filling snack, like nuts or yogurt, before going to a party.

5. Hydrate

Staying hydrated will also fill you up and keep you from reaching for food when you are actually thirsty. The biggest stressor that dehydration inflicts on your body is not just fluid loss, but the significant amount of electrolytes that it entails. Electrolytes are essential minerals that are responsible for the electrical energy involved in body functions such as muscle contractions, including heart activity, and nerve impulses. The loss of electrolytes due to dehydration makes you feel exhausted and contributes to that hangover feeling (if you also drink too much alcohol).

In colder weather, drier indoor air, and increased chances of drinking celebratory cocktails, dehydration will be easier easier, so try to have a bottle of electrolyte-enriched water or other sugar-free beverage handy.

6. Drink strategically

Speaking of drinking alcohol, Saladino gives his unpopular but effective advice:

“Instead of focusing on the calories in the drink, choose heavier beverages that you need to drink that will make you feel full so you drink less overall.” Think eggnog with spikes over the candy cane martini.

According to Saladino, the biggest problem with alcohol isn’t so much caloric intake, but overall intake – resulting in a lack of self-control that can lead to poor diet and life choices.

7. Keep the stress at bay

Whether it’s the effects of shorter, darker days and increased appointment requirements, or family fears, the holidays can take their toll. Additional stress can lead to poor decision making, stress eating, and physical tension. This is why it is important to be proactive in practicing self-care.

Take a few minutes a day for meditation, breath focus, or gratitude. Studies have shown that just five minutes of this mindfulness practice per day reduce stress and anxiety. In addition to the workouts recommended by Saladino, take measures to release even more tension with techniques such as foam rolling and massage.

8. Sneak into consistent daily exercise

At this busy time of year, I also recommend training smarter, not harder. That means opting for consistency over quantity, exercising each day where it makes most sense in your lifestyle and schedule. One of the most effective ways to incorporate training is to pile it on top of another daily habit. For example, I’ve been doing push-ups before showering and doing squats with body weight while brushing my teeth for years – every time, every day.

9. Don’t give in until the New Year!

With all the ways to pamper yourself, you may be overdoing it at a Christmas party and let go of your self-control in the moment. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of ​​”new year, new you”. But remember, the calendar has nothing to do with changing your health and fitness.

You get a fresh start every day – not every year. “Don’t give up. Get back on track the next day,” says Saladino.

10. Get enough sleep

To properly process these holiday meals and avoid seasonal illness, you need to prioritize rest times. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try these breathing techniques to help.

Remember, being healthy is your lifestyle, not your purpose. If you follow the tips above, you can enjoy the vacation without harming your health and well-being.

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Dana Santas, known as “Mobility Maker”, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist as well as mind-body coach in professional sports and author of the book “Practical Solutions for Back Pain Relief”.