Staying Fit From Christmas to New Years

“No thanks, I’ll wait until mid-January to change.” Nope. Not this time.

Top off that blonde roast twice, maybe three times, throw your galoshes on and keep moving forward. People still wear galoshes, right?

You’re not destined to be a couch potato. Just yell “It’s a trap!” when you start to feel the cushions lure you in. We’re conditioned to think a certain way; “If I’m not at the gym, it doesn’t count!” Untrue. As long as you’re moving and expressing some type of strength, you’re doing good.

So what can you do to keep from looking like Santa this year?

Enjoy 7 Days of Fitness for Free!

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Don’t be a Scrooge!

1) Be Childish

Act like a kid again! When you “adult,” you don’t let loose, you think of all the reasons why you “shouldn’t” or “can’t”. Well here’s your permission. Throw a snowball at your neighbor (is that considered assault?), go ice skating, watch your dog go crazy in the snow, build a fort outside for your children. PLAY! Playing, laughing and smiling are all part of learning and experiencing movement. If you can have a good time and burn calories, why wouldn’t you?

2) Winter Sports

Ever talk to someone who skis or snowboards? Those nerds enjoy winter. How odd! But you can be a nerd too! Try skiing, snowboarding or even snowshoeing. These sports can get pricey if you buy equipment and want  season passes, so go for resorts that offer daily rentals and deals on lift tickets.

3) Challenge Yourself

The holiday season seems like a poor time to invest in yourself because of all types of restrictions, but it’s actually the best time. If you can get through the end of the year without gaining any weight while improving your movement and performance, the likelihood of you carrying that momentum for the rest of the year can increase tenfold.

You can start by challenging yourself to workout ‘X’ amount of days per week or tracking your effort using a heart rate monitor. For you more advanced movers, do a time-bound challenge like one hundred kettlebell swings in five minutes. Try to beat your best time!

4) Fitness Snacks

Moving whenever you can is just a good idea. Little bite sized pieces of exercise are not only adorable but doable!

Here’s how: Park further away, take the stairs whenever possible, shovel your driveway (yuck), get up from your desk every hour or do some bodyweight squats while eating cupcakes and Christmas cookies.

5) Stay Accountable

Ever say to yourself “Mmm, I don’t think I’ll workout today. I have to do X, Y and Z…”? Don’t lie, we’ve all been there before!

A good thing about having family and friends that are active and enjoy any kind of movement is that you have people to encourage you when you don’t feel like exercising. Start a fitness tradition with loved ones. Similar to point three, challenge them to some sort of physical competition. Just don’t be mad when Uncle Henry can squat fifty pounds more than you.

6) Goal Setting

What kind of ‘end of the year’ list would that be if we didn’t mention goals? At this point it may seem like setting goals is futile. Well, only if you allow that to happen.

Creating specific, measurable and attainable goals for yourself will help enhance your movement practice and even boost productivity outside of that realm. If you have somewhere to go, there’s less of a chance you’ll f*** around and waste time.

Begin by choosing a small goal that you can practice everyday until that’s habitual, then add more things to check off until you’re knee deep in success.

7) Gym Deals

Join a gym. Our gym. Take advantage of the time of year. Many gyms have specials and promotions at the end of the year. Why wait for the new year? Why not start now? Find a gym that caters to your needs, keeps your goals in mind and has a good community. Either that or create your own sketchy garage gym with chainsaws and PVC pipes.

Working out doesn’t have to fit into a neat little box. It can be messy and fun. Finding ways to stay active during the colder months can be as simple as getting outside or playing with your kids. The bottom line: Just move!

Booze Choose: Optimizing Your Alcohol Intake

Do This, Not That, When You’re Thirsty for a Beverage!

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With countless holiday parties friends, co-workers and loved ones, combined with peer pressure, daylight savings and less outdoor activity, your goals fly away on Santa’s sled.

Alcohol is a fun way to break the ice with people you don’t know or would rather not be around (hello family). It’s okay to drink and have a good time, but what’s the cost? Can you still party like it’s 1999 and drop some lb’s?

What does eggnog, coquito, apple cider, Irish coffee and a hot buttered rum all have in common?

They’re all delicious belly warming drinks to sip in colder months. Unfortunately they’re high in calories. Dessert-type libations tend to have a good amount of fat in them. Sadly, fat has about nine calories per gram, compared to carbohydrates and protein that have approximately four calories per gram. So you can see how the alcohol choices you make are important if you’re trying to manage the calories you ingest.

If you want to party, be smart about it…

Don’t Let Your Goals Get Wasted

1) What’s Wrong with Tea?

If you’re feeling cold, you actually have some healthy options to drink. Tea, black coffee and even a hot toddy can hit the spot. Try adding warming spices to your food and beverages. Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne and cardamom are all good choices to keep the chilliness away.

2) Good Alcohol, Bad Alcohol

Many alcohols contain the infamous gluten (cue horror movie scream). If you want to keep your body’s inflammatory response to a minimum, try vodka which is made from potatoes or tequila that comes from the agave plant.

Alcohols like whiskey, scotch, rum and wine may not always have gluten but they’re higher in sugar.

3) Mind the Dessert Table

It’s quite alright if you’re indulging in a few spirits over the holidays, but watch doubling up on other empty calories. Foods that don’t have much nutritional value aren’t the best choice to eat while you’re drinking. Processed food and sugary desserts are the main culprits to watch out for.

The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration. It can be difficult sometimes to have fitness goals AND have a life. Luckily, you don’t have to choose. Make one good choice after another and they’ll stack up. If all else fails, throw back several shots and pray you still look good in the morning!

Are You Making These Fitness Mistakes?

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Four Ratios of Food and Fitness

Use These Four Ideas to Balance Exercise and Calories

Not exercising and eating a lot means the scale goes up. But did you know that it’s also unhealthy to workout more and eat less?

Say whaaaaaaat!?

Finding time for fitness is hard enough. Then add traditions like counting calories and meal prepping and you’re ready to pull your hair out. It seems impossible to keep your head above the water.

Relax, take a deep breath! There is a way to keep it simple!

Keep reading to learn about the four ratios to fitness…

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The Math, Simplified

  1. Eat More, Train Less - Bad

2. Eat Less, Train More - Bad

3. Eat More, Train More - Good

4. Eat Less, Train Less - Good

Depending on how often you exercise and how strenuous those workouts are, you will need to eat accordingly.

Ratio #1: Eat More, Train Less

This is the classic example of an unhealthy lifestyle. The person who eats more calories and barely exercises, if they do at all. This combination means you will add unwanted body fat.

If a person doesn’t exercise very much and has a sedentary job, they don’t need to eat very much to maintain energy during their daily activities. This can even go for the avid exerciser as well. If there are days where you don’t plan on training, you don’t have to eat as much food. It’s ok.

Ratio #2: Eat Less, Train More

You may be thinking: “Wait a second, isn’t this how I lose weight!?” Yes and no. More exercise, less calories is effective to a certain extent, but keep in mind that healthy weight loss is slow and steady.

To lose weight you do have to be in a caloric deficit but that only works in short stints. We’ve had members follow restrictive meal plans for months at a time. They were effective in the beginning and the person is happy! Then 6 months later they’re upset that the diet isn’t working any more.

Your body needs calories for repair and daily activity. If you’re working your butt off to lose some of your unwanted butt, you have to plan to eat a little more on those days to keep the process sustainable.

Choose 4-8 week blocks that may be more calorie restrictive, then back off for 8 to 12 weeks.

Ratio #3: Eat More, Train More

If you’re someone who is working out A LOT, you’ll need more calories than someone who doesn’t. Eating more will ensure that your energy levels stay up, you can keep up with your training schedule without burning out and you’re fueling your muscles.

This feels like the toughest pill to swallow for most members because they’re so used to Ratio #2. Eating more got them to this place in the first place, so why would it work now? We get it but we still need you to try eating a little more. A little more protein. A little more vegetables. Even a little more carbs. How’s that sound?

Ratio #4: Eat Less, Train Less

Say you’re someone who usually exercises frequently but is coming off of an injury, pregnancy, surgery or simply has a bad week and you have no time to workout. In this scenario, you’re moving less and therefore don’t need to eat as much.

Awareness is the key here. Be cognizant of lulls in your training routine. Maybe there are weeks you lift less on purpose or you run a few extra miles. Eat accordingly. When we get in the mindset that eating is important to sustain our exercise frequency we get blinded by our ambition and we end up over eating. One week of over eating isn’t the worst thing in the world, but you’ll have to pivot if it’s a prolonged period of less activity.

If this whole equation seems abstract and too complex, that’s okay! Like we said, this is a simplified version of these ideas. Of course a lot depends on your own body and how it works. Make sure to talk to a coach or find someone you trust with your fitness and nutrition goals. To simplify the process even further, get a good amount of sleep, eat nutritious foods, move your body often and find a way to de-stress daily.



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