The holiday season is nearing its end, but tis always the season for the twelve ways of fitness. Healthy eating and exercise habits can 
make you a stronger and happier person year round. 
  1. Find a friend to keep you accountable. Everyone is feeling the heat during this busy season, but it’s much easier to stick to your healthy habits by having someone who is in it with you. Whether that’s a friend you share healthy recipes with for holiday gatherings, or someone you meet weekly to get that run in on those cold mornings, social support will keep you motivated.
  2. Remember that moderation really is everything.  It’s impossible to go to a holiday party and not drink a glass of eggnog or indulge in those festive sugar cookies, but three glasses and four cookies later and you’ll convince yourself the entire month is shot and donuts for breakfast the next day is okay.  If you follow the mindset that a little goes a long way, you’ll be having your cake (just a small piece) and eating it, too.
  3. If moderation isn’t in your vocabulary, consider just saying no. When you think of this most wonderful time of the year, does some special treat come to mind? If so, make exceptions just for that, but if you could take or leave the bread pudding, just leave it and wait for your something special to come along.
  4. Savor the goodies. Are you at a party walking around grabbing bites here and there while talking to friends? If so, you’re not able to really enjoy the treats, and you’ll probably eat more than you planned.  Find a place and a moment to sit down and truly taste and relish in your favorite delicacies. 
  5. Don’t make excuses. Figure out what is stopping you from meeting your goals and find your solution.
  6. If you’re in to outdoor fitness (#SLAM), invest in some gloves and a hat. Keeping up with outdoor runs in brutal temperatures is challenging, but you’ll be more apt to get out there if you are dressed appropriately. You’ll warm up fast and you may even run faster to beat the cold.
  7. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. By starting on the right foot in the mornings, you’re less likely to convince yourself that your day has already been ruined allowing yourself to let the whole day go in to the abyss. Oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas or Greek yogurt with berries are two great simple options.
  8. Throw those resolutions out the window. By holding on to that notion that everything will get better in January, you’re creating the mindset that you can do whatever you want before then. Even if you do get back in the saddle in the New Year, it’s harder to bounce back than if you just choose to make every day a healthy choice with some holiday hiccups along the way.
  9. If you can’t make it to SLAM every day, find other ways to get moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park as far away as you can when at the store, do planks or situps when watching the Netflix. Just get that heart racing.
  10. Drink water. And lots of it. When you’re busy it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated, but the more water you drink, the clearer your mind, the fuller your belly, and the happier you are. Aim for half your bodyweight in ounces.
  11. Eat your fruits and veggies. Of course, this is grade-school level nutrition, but if you’re getting your fill of the good stuff, you may be eating less of the bad stuff, and getting the proper vitamins throughout this flu season will keep you healthier. Keep apples and clementines in your car for a quick snack while on the go.
  12. Take the time to soak up the chaos. Sometimes you just need to remember to breathe and focus on what’s important and the people you love, including yourself. If that means taking time for a meditating yoga class, or taking a long walk to appreciate the fresh air, find the time. Seasons of life go by so fast and your mental health is important. Remember to find time for you and Balance Like A Mother.  

adapted from Sand and Pine mag