How Parents Can Stay Healthy During the Holidays


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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 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
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Cost: $18

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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Cost: $18

Where:
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1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Cost: Free

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Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
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Cost: $18

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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Nature Research Center
121 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Telephone: 919.707.8239
Contact Name: Rachel Smith
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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Age 6 & under free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Cost: Free

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4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Read stories together and enjoy an arts and crafts activity based on the books.

Cost: $5

Where:
Read With Me
111 E. Hargett St., #110
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Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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More information

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760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
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Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
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Cost: $5

Where:
Read With Me
111 E. Hargett St., #110
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Cost: Free

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5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
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10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
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Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
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Cost: Free

Where:
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5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
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Cost: $5

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Cost: $25/advance registration; $30/day of race

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WakeMed Soccer Park
201 Soccer Park Dr.
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Sponsor: Inter Development Futbol
Contact Name: Lydia Matombo
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PNC Arena
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Cost: See website for fees

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N.C. State Fairgrounds, Kerr Scott Building
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
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5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
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Cost: $10-$12

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3900 Bonsal Rd.
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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Age 6 & under free

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4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
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Cost: $17.25/person

Where:
Reynolds Industries Theater
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125 Science Dr.
Durham, NC
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Sponsor: American Dance Festival
Telephone: 919-684-6402
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Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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