This is it folks- the final stretch! It’s the end of 2023 and yet another holiday season and if you’re anything like us, that means you’re finishing off with too many holiday travel miles, ugly sweater parties, and frosted cookies to count. While we certainly love things like family time, school breaks, and sleeping in after a night out, it can be really challenging to maintain any sort of routine whether we’re talking sleep, nutrition and hydration, exercise, etc. or all the above.
Let this serve as a gentle reminder for you to take care of your body and brain as we round out the year. See below for a few tips on some important aspects of our health and fitness to keep in mind. Remember, one healthy decision will certainly influence the next, but one (or a few) unhealthy decisions doesn’t need to ruin your day or your week- you can always turn it around.
Prioritize getting 6-8hrs/night (not significantly more or less than your usual).
If you don’t get your beauty rest, don’t be afraid to take a mid-day snooze, but limit your nap to 20-40min to feel maximally recharged without waking up groggy. (Pro-tip: drink a caffeinated tea/beverage just before your nap so it takes effect right around the time you wake up).
Get moving during the day. Ideally, you’d be outside for at least some portion of it, and it's even better if you can get outside within the first 30-60min that you’re awake in the morning.
Maintain your water intake. An easy way to stay on track is to drink about 1oz/lb bodyweight (200oz/day if you weigh 200lbs) especially if you’re exercising or drinking alcohol. You could get by with .5-1oz/lb on a low-activity, no-alcohol day.
Remember your electrolytes. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, and others help your body absorb the water you drink instead of it just passing right through. While we aim to get this through a normal diet, supplements can be helpful (especially when our diet is anything but normal). Look for brands like Nuun, Liquid IV, Drip Drop, LMNT, and others to help you out.
This one is a big challenge, especially when attending parties, traveling, and coming home to grandma’s secret recipe (psst… it’s butter- that’s the secret). To be honest, a few days of eating cookies for breakfast, gravy for dinner, and a few extra meals in between is not going to break you. You’ll feel it, but your body will bounce back quickly. Enjoy within reason and don't punish yourself for enjoying these goodies. A week of your entire life, does not define your health. Listen to your body and make intuitive decisions about meals, treats, desserts, and drinks.
One tip we try to take advantage of is healthy travel snacks. It only takes a few minutes to pack a few homemade sandwiches, a bag of grapes, veggies and hummus, or some jerky, and your wallet, your belly, your kids, and your travel time will thank you for it every time.
Walk. Perhaps the most underrated exercise of all time is walking. There are so many benefits and reasons we love it, we could (and maybe we will) do a whole blog post on it! It also makes for a great low intensity, post-dinner activity to help you digest and wind down. Aim for 10,000 steps/day- a lofty goal, but an important threshold to hit- we’ll tell you why in that next blog post. 😉
Build a few simple workouts to do at home. Our recommendation is to focus on hitting each foundational movement at least 2x/week. See below for a list of these types of movements with exercise examples for each. To build a workout, pick one from each category (get creative with what space and equipment you have) and aim for 3-5 sets of 10-20 reps each.
Squat (goblet or barbell front/back/zombie squat, banded squat, single leg squat, jump squats, box jumps, etc.)
Hinge (conventional/romanian/single-leg/split stance deadlifts, glute bridge/hip thrusts, KB swings, good mornings, etc.)
Lunge (fwd/rev/side/walking lunges, jump lunges, step-ups, bulgarian split squats, etc.)
Push (push-ups, barbell or dumbbell bench press/overhead press, plyo push-ups, med ball chest toss, skull crushers, etc.)
Pull (upright or bent over rows, pull-ups, high pulls, bicep curls, tricep pull-downs, lat pull-downs, shrugs etc.)
Carry (farmers carry, suitcase carry, overhead carry, waiters carry, (these could all be with standing/marching/walking), etc.)
Rotate (skaters, lateral RDL/lunge/row, pallof progressions, rotational med ball toss/slam, triplanar band exercises, russian twists, etc.)
Lastly, don’t forget to travel safely, cherish your time with family and friends, indulge in your favorite treats, and spread some holiday cheer! Happy holidays from Snowbeast Performance!