5 Body-Positive Wellness Tips To Help You Enjoy the Holidays
For those with anxiety around weight gain, enjoying the holidays can be tough. Many feel pressured to not eat or indulge in activities in fear of resorting to a less than ideal version of themselves. This can lead to a lack of enjoyment during a festive time that is meant to be spent giving thanks and appreciating quality moments with those we love.
Below, Christa Janine—a wellness advocate and fitness Instructor for Alo Moves—shares 5 easy ways for getting some movement in during the holidays while still having a guilt-free celebration.
Even a Few Minutes of Exercise Is Enough
Get into the mindset of taking a few minutes out of your day to include opportunities to move your body. You don’t need to work out for an extended length of time—even a few minutes go a long way.
A Gym Isn’t Necessary to Work out
When visiting home or traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas, there are low-stress exercises you can do right where you are.
“There are exercises you can do anytime, anywhere. Let’s say you’re in the kitchen cooking and while you’re waiting for a pot to simmer, you can easily do 25 squats while standing. The same thing is true for counter or wall push ups. You don’t need a lot of space and they can be done on any available wall, in the kitchen, or the airport,” shares the wellness professional. “Something that I personally enjoy doing is holding a plank for like 30 to 45 seconds and doing four or five rounds of that. Again, it’s not gonna take up a lot of time, but it’s like it’s your body active and your blood flowing.”
She also suggests using practices like yoga to decompress if you find yourself overwhelmed with the holiday hustle and bustle. “You can go into a straight up downward dog pose or sit with your head between your legs. It might sound crazy but it actually does activate the body in a way that I don’t think a lot of people realize. It’s great for your oxygen levels, blood flow and increasing energy levels.
Enlist Others and Make It Fun
After “the itis” hits and bellies are full, the traditional after dinner walk is not an uncommon thing to do. What may seem as a mindless act is an example of a communal activity that takes the intimidation out of exercise.
“I always encourage people to find the joy in the movement. Over Memorial Day weekend, my son and I went to visit my parents. When we got there, my son, my dad and I were doing planks in the living room. It was fun, we were laughing and still working our body,” shares Christa Janine. “Find something that everybody can do together that is quick but also fun and intentional.”
Don’t Deprive Yourself
Without question, health is wealth but striving to be healthy should not consume one’s every waking thought. The holidays are for taking advantage of good company and being merry. Obsessing over body image is not worth it.
“Movement should not only be a source of losing weight. It should bring you joy in some way, shape or form. I feel most people move or want to be physically active to achieve a specific body aesthetic, but movement is so good for you for many other reasons. There are still nutritional factors that are in your power to control—not over-indulging, staying hydrated and ultimately knowing your limits,” advises the Alo Moves wellness expert. “When you’re good and full, it’s okay to not get more. Be mindful of what you’re eating, but not stressed out about it. This discipline can also help you to enact behaviors that will carry over into the new year, too.”
Give Yourself Grace
“On average, most people only gain about five pounds between Thanksgiving and the new year but there’s so much misinformation. You’re not gaining 20 pounds in six weeks unless something’s extremely wrong,” explains Christa Janine. “But people are so fearful of that because of all the false information that’s been given. Enjoy your family, enjoy the food and the memories that come with that food. Tomorrow is not promised so being stressed out about eating sweet potato pie is not worth it. You’ll be fine.”