How Parents Can Stay Healthy During the Holidays


Published:

Photo by Maridav/Shutterstock

It starts at the end of October with Halloween and a few "fun-sized" chocolate bars. Then Daylight Savings arrives in early November, bringing later sunrises and earlier sunsets. By Thanksgiving, you may drive to and from work in the dark, which can really demotivate your best intentions to work out. Enter Thanksgiving feasts, holiday cookies and cocktails, Christmas meals, a New Year's party (or two), and ... bam! All your hard work in the fall is out the window, and you're trying to renew your commitment to get back in shape.

That’s the reality for most adults. The six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day are primetime for easing up on your fitness routine and letting go of healthy nutritional habits. Most adults don't resume their regular fitness routine until April, leaving the six months between Halloween and springtime lost to colder weather and darker days.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Get yourself off the hamster wheel of winter weight gain and springtime recommitment. Head into the holiday season and winter months with clear goals and a plan.

Here are FIT4MOM Chapel Hill’s top tips for staying on track during the holidays and winter months:

1. Know your goals.

Do you want to maintain your current fitness level heading into 2018? Perhaps not gain weight between Halloween and New Year's Day? Or maybe beat a certain fitness or health goal? Whatever your motivation is, write it down. It's the only way you can make a plan for how you'll achieve it.

2. Book it.

What's your workout routine going to be in November, December and January? What classes are you going to attend? What at-home workouts will you do? What days and what time? Write it down, tell your spouse, tell your friends and stick to your plan. Cross it off day-by-day, just like your "Days 'Til Santa" countdown. Make your plan go through January. This takes the guesswork out of finding your motivation when the post-holiday crash sets in.

3. Don't be afraid of the dark.

The sun won't rise until after 7 a.m., and it will be dark by 4:30 p.m. Don't let this deter you from your goals. You'll need to be committed to your goals to get our your warm bed in the pitch dark during the 5 o'clock hour or head back out after work/dinner at home for your evening workout. Be stronger than your strongest excuse. Winter workouts are all about showing up. Once you show up, you'll be glad you did by the end of the workout. The best news is: If you make it through the darker, colder days, then springtime workouts are a treat!

4. Find the best choice.

Staying on track doesn't mean missing out on fun holiday events or parties. Aim to pick the best choice of your available options. Look for protein and veggies at parties. Drink a big glass of water between each alcoholic drink. Pick the one thing you really want to enjoy (dessert, booze or seconds of your favorite dish), and enjoy it. It's when we enjoy all the options that we find ourselves dehydrated, bloated and exhausted the next day.

5. Track your actions.

Find a system that works for you to record your daily workouts, water intake, meals, snacks and how you felt. There are lots of apps for this or use the old-fashioned pen and paper. This process can be a game changer in bringing mindfulness to your behaviors and actions. 

Go into the holiday season and winter months prepared, and you'll be thrilled with your ability to enjoy the holidays while maintaining your fitness goals! You've got this!


Amy Rosso founded FIT4MOM Chapel Hill in 2015. FIT4MOM offers exercise programs for moms at any stage of motherhood and fitness. More importantly, it provides camaraderie and support. Whether someone wants to start running, wants to become a faster runner, wants to do a stroller workout with their kids in tow, needs some nutritional coaching, wants to do yoga or wants to do high-intensity interval training, there’s a class for them. Learn more at chapelhill.fit4mom.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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June 2019

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Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #124691.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
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137 W Margaret Ln
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: Free

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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
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Cost: See website for fees

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Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
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East Regional Library
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White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
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Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
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Cost: Free

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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
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Cost: See website for fees

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Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
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Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Enjoy tea time for the whole family. Samples of hot tea, cold tea, and kombucha will be provided, along with games and family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
IngenuiTea Kombucha Coffee & Tea
514 E Williams St
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
Contact Name: Mark Poole
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Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Sponsor: White Plains UMC
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Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
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Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Cost: $9/resident, $11/nonresident

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Bond Park Community Center
801 High House Rd.
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Cost: Free

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Downtown Park
319 S. Academy St.
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Cost: Free

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N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
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Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Marti Kane
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Cost: Free

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Optimist Aquatic Center
5902 Whittier Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
Website »

More information

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Show Less...

Every year on June 21, we enjoy the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. Discover the science and cultural celebrations behind this special summer day. Make a pretty sun catcher to hang in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Pine State Coffee
1614 Automotive Way
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Sponsor: Raleigh Night Market
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Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
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Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Every year on June 21, we enjoy the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. Discover the science and cultural celebrations behind this special summer day. Make a pretty sun catcher to hang in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: $12/person. Free for ages 2 and younger.

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: Free

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2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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More information

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Cost: Free

Where:
NC Cooperative Extension
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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (6 - under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 5-8 embrace science and nature while developing skills and knowledge about the natural world. Register online. Choose course #124927.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: $12 advance tickets, $15 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger

Where:
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Bunn, NC  27508
View map »


Sponsor: Vollmer Farm
Telephone: 919-496-3076
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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