Christmas season is often described as the “most wonderful time of the year.” However, between all the parties for hosting and marshmallows for toasting, many of us find that two unwanted things seem to creep in with all that holiday cheer: increased stress and extra weight.
Whether it is the lack of sleep, the traffic, or having to spend time with relatives we don’t like, we often end December with a bigger waist size and less hair. But not all hope is lost. There are a few quick and easy tips we can all follow to make sure this is the hap-happiest season of all!
4 Ways To Shed The Holiday Pounds & Stress At The Same Time
1. Maximize Our Time
A big reason we pack on the holiday pounds is because there is just not enough time to make it to the gym. Between shopping, cooking and decorating, our time at the gym goes down faster than that first glass of eggnog. Lack of exercise has been proven to increase stress. While we may not be able to magically create extra time, we can maximize the time we do have by fitting in some exercises without hitting the gym.
Perhaps you are watching a Christmas movie marathon on the Hallmark Channel — try doing a few sit-ups during the commercials. Take a quick break after you finish wrapping each present to mix in a few pushups. If you are feeling extra bold, try doing squats while you are waiting in the long lines at the department store. You may look a little odd at the mall, but it’ll make you look better in the mirror.
2. Park Far Away
Parking at the mall during the holiday rush is the worst! Rather than fighting for a spot near the front, only to become mad and delayed when you drive around for 30 minutes and still cannot find one, try heading right to the back of the parking lot. Depending on how big the lot is, you can add a few hundred steps to your Fitbit this way. On your return trip to the car, your arms will get an extended workout from carrying those shopping bags. Plus, you are probably going to end up at the end of the lot anyway. This way you can burn a few extra calories and save yourself from road rage.
3. Go For A Jog
Are you becoming stressed because you can’t think of what present to get for Uncle Ronnie? Your mind may be a little too cluttered. Instead of surfing Amazon for the 12th time with the hopes that a gift idea will jump out at you, go for a jog. Aerobic exercise has been shown to clear distractions and increase cognitive clarity. That perfect gift idea may hit you while you are running off the five Christmas cookies you ate last night.
4. Think Small
Does your grandma makes sure everyone eats seconds in the same fashion that a prison warden makes sure all the inmates are locked up at night? If so, she does it out of love, but it makes it difficult to limit how much we eat. One way to show Grandma that you love her green bean casserole without overeating is to grab a smaller plate. Studies have shown that bigger plates cause us to take larger portions and eat more. With a smaller plate, we can take less food on the first go-round and not feel as guilty when we clear our plates. The best part is we can make grandma happy when she sees us going back for seconds.