My recent relocation from the 24 degree weather of Boston, MA to the sunshine and beaches of Southern California got me to thinking about the differences and the similarities of the holiday season for people around the country.
In Boston right now, we’re celebrating the Patriots win and getting ready for a cold Turkey Day.
In Southern California, we may not have had as much luck considering the Chargers loss, but we’re also getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner followed by a stroll along the Pacific Ocean.
Whatever your location, there are several truths to the holiday season.
The truth of the matter is that most people tend to put on some extra pounds starting with Halloween and continuing through the New Year.
And every year, many of us go through the same thought process.
You may have found yourself saying:
“This year is going to be different.”
“I’m going to eat less. I won’t have 2 desserts.”
“I’m going to start exercising before the holidays.”
“I’m going to stick to my New Year’s resolution(s).”
To help you out this holiday season, we’ve put together a list of the 5 biggest health and fitness mistakes people everywhere are making and what you can do to make sure you don’t fall into a weight gain trap.
Here are the Top 5 Health and Fitness Mistakes You May Be Making…
Health and Fitness Mistake #1
Not Having or Not Changing Your Cardio Exercise Program
Many people hit plateaus in the quest for better fitness. Sometimes it’s a weightlifting plateau and sometimes it is a cardiovascular fitness plateau.
Remember, your heart is a muscle, too – the most important one.
If you aren’t working it at all or if you keep doing the same cardio routine over and over again, then your heart is never challenged in a good way.
To make sure that you are training your cardiovascular system correctly, you’ll want to cross train by employing several different cardiovascular activities.
Here are a few to get you started during the holiday season:
* Walking – Take a walk with family members before and/or after your holiday meals. It’s a great way to burn a few extra calories and will warm your body up a bit (especially those of you in Boston and the colder climates).
* Cross Training – If you’re at the gym, test out a machine you don’t normally use.
If you’ve been using the treadmill forever, the muscles you can see (your legs) and the muscles you can’t see (your heart) are probably getting comfortable.
Switching exercise machines will keep those muscles guessing and can even make the time seem to go by faster.
Health and Fitness Mistake #2
Only Doing Cardio
Cardiovascular activity will help your heart get stronger and help you to burn some fat and carbohydrate calories, but a faster and more efficient way to get to your health and weight loss goals is to couple your cardio with a weight lifting routine.
Weight lifting will help to build some lean muscle throughout your body.
Having a little more muscle on your frame will help you burn more calories throughout the day.
Health and Fitness Mistake #3
Eating the Wrong Foods…And Too Much of Them
It’s hard enough to eat the right foods in the right amounts throughout the year.
During the holidays, offices and kitchens are often bombarded with sweet and sugary treats. It can be almost impossible to resist.
That’s why so many people put on anywhere from 5 – 20 extra pounds during the holiday season.
If you’re concerned about gaining weight during the holidays, these 2 tricks will help.
1) Increase or maintain your water and fruit intake -
Once you are at a holiday dinner party it may be tougher to resist the food temptations.
Before you leave the house be sure to drink a glass of water and/or have a piece of fruit. This will help quench at least part of your appetite and leave a little less room in your stomach for that extra cupcake.
2) Bring healthy treats to the office -
If there is only one choice, then that’s the one you’ll make.
By having a selection, it will be easier to make some heart healthy, lower calorie choices.
Having fruit salad rather than a bowl of chocolates is a great way to stick to a sound nutritional plan.
Health and Fitness Mistake #4
Concentrating on Muscles One at a Time
Long gone are the days of working the biceps only.
Split routines (a staple of bodybuilding) are being replaced by various total-body workout strategies.
Not only do you burn more calories, but you can get more done in less time.
Health and Fitness Mistake #5
Not Asking for Help When You Need It
With so much information available in magazines and yes, on the internet, it can be difficult to know what information to trust.
Too often we keep plugging away, too proud to ask for guidance or assistance.
If you’ve been stuck in the holiday cycle of gaining weight and losing weight, only to gain more weight, then lose it again, and you’re ready for change, then don’t be afraid to ask for guidance from a certified health and fitness professional.
The Manhattan Beach Personal Trainer Team has over 10 years of experience in creating effective fat loss and weight loss programs.
We’ve successfully helped hundreds of clients through the holiday season and are ready to help you.
Schedule your complimentary consultation here.
I’m looking forward to speaking with you soon.
David “Boh” Bohmiller is the owner of My Personal Trainer School [http://www.my-personal-trainer-school.com], a group of personal trainers in Manhattan Beach, CA. He is well known for his effective fitness program design for athletes and clients of all ages and all skill levels.