At the Ashland Area YMCA, we believe that every person is a unique individual, worthy of love and respect. We work hard every day to help our members and their families achieve health in the body, mind and spirit.
December is perhaps one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year for most adults – and kids. In the spirit of helping you get through these trying times, we asked some of our Y leaders to share their tips on making it through the holidays. Here are their tips!
1. Don’t lose focus on your healthy living goals, but understand that one bad meal or missed workout is no reason to give up. Think of it as just a hiccup that will be overcome!
2. Make time for yourself every day.
3. Practice gratitude. Being grateful gives you the opportunity to reflect on how truly fortunate you are.
4. Write it down! Journaling your workouts and meals can help you focus, ensure accountability and help you achieve the changes you want.
5. Bundle up and get outside. There’s nothing like fresh air and a brisk walk to turn your day around.
6. It can be difficult to lose weight during the holidays; focus on maintaining instead.
7. Talk to a personal trainer about creating achievable goals. A trainer can hold you accountable to those goals. Take advantage of group exercise classes; camaraderie and can be a huge boost!
8. Learn something new, even if it’s nothing more than learning how to pair your new Bluetooth speakers with your iPhone.
9. Be charitable. We all have so much. Share what you can with those in need. Clean out your closets and donate things you don’t need to the Salvation Army, Goodwill or another charity of your choice.
10. Reach out to someone who is alone or struggling.
11. Read a book.
12. Holiday travel can make exercise difficult. Build exercise into your holiday plans. Instead of driving around to see the lights, bundle up, grab a friend and walk the neighborhood. You don’t always need equipment to exercise: squats, lunges, push-ups and planks will give you a nice workout. Add intervals into your inside workout with doing jumping jacks, jump rope or high knees.
13. Time your shopping trips to coincide with your mood and personality. If you’re an introvert, you may want to hit the stores at 5 a.m., when fewer people are around. If you’re an extrovert, plan for peak times and activity. Instead of cruising the parking lot for that close space, pull in one far away. You’ll add 50 or 100 steps to your day that easy! It adds up.
14. Drink a glass of water before you arrive at your holiday parties. You’ll feel full and be less tempted to overeat. In fact, drink more water. Period.
15. When it comes to those holiday spreads, restrain yourself … but don’t go into complete denial. Feeling like you’re missing out on something can wreck your diet.
16. Focus on preparing healthy meals at home. You will save money that you can then spend on experiences.
17. Get up from your desk and take a walk. It will help you focus, improve your mood and even make you more productive.
18. Sign up for a new class at the YMCA. Try something you’ve never tried before.
19. Get some sleep. Everyone’s different, but make an effort to get at least seven hours every night.
20. Put down your smartphones and tablets and engage with the people around you.
21. Limit screen time, especially in the hours before bed. The blue light emitted by our devices stimulates the wake cycle!
22. Make a habit of stretching before exercise.
23. Change up your exercise routine. Not sure how? Confused about the equipment? Stop by the membership desk at the Y and inquire about our personal trainers. They can help you get the most out of your workout routine and give you new challenges, too!
24. Enjoy a massage.
25. Look for fun runs and other holiday-themed events this time of year.
26. Sign your kids up for swimming lessons at the Y. Swimming is a lifelong skill that everyone needs.
27. If you miss a workout, don’t despair. Just get back to it the next day. Missing a workout doesn’t make you a bad person!
28. Set small goals – and celebrate when you achieve them.
29. Find a buddy to work out with you. You’ll keep each other “honest” and on track. Getting fit is double the fun!
30. Recommit to taking care of yourself: get a physical, visit your dentist, get your eyes examined.
31. Try yoga.
32. Make plans for you and your spouse to spend time together. It will be time well spent.
33. Reconnect with people you’ve not seen for years. Reminiscing is good for the soul.
35. Make a new friend. Group classes at the Y are a perfect place to start.
36. Not a Y member? Talk to us about a free pass to check it out.
37. Drive carefully and respectfully. Don’t let “crazy” drivers make you nuts. It’s all part of the game.
38. Give blood.
39. Smile more.
40. Let someone know you think they’re doing a great job.
41. Set a fitness goal and let the Y help you achieve it. Running a marathon? We can help. Learning to swim? We can help. Losing weight? We can help. Whatever your fitness goals are – the Y can help!
42. Introduce someone you know to the Y.
43. Schedule the kids’ birthday parties at the Y.
44. Invest in one of those stand up desks at work. Research has shown what we already knew – sitting is killing us!
45. Take a cycling class and spin yourself into great shape!
46. Get involved in something that matters to you! Volunteer at the Y; a local hospital; hospice; school.
47. Call your grandma.
48. Don’t neglect your spiritual health.
49. Think about how far you’ve come.
50. Don’t be too critical of yourself. You are a worthy human being and deserve to love and be loved … most especially, by yourself.