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Don't sleep on the holiday season…5 ways to stay motivated

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..to eat, drink and be merry. But don’t let a little holiday spirit turn into a setback. 2020 holidays definitely look a little different this year. You may be spending more time at home, and not traveling. But spending more time at home can easily turn into extra time sitting, and snacking, until our stretchy sweats aren’t feeling quite so stretchy anymore. (Or if you’re like me, you put on jeans for the first time in a while and decide to only stand while wearing them, yep.)

Now is the time to take a load off, spend time with loved ones, and treat yourself, no doubt! But there are actually sneakily simple ways to stay healthy over the holidays. Everything in moderation (our 2021 mantra, please!), and we’re here to walk you through some practical advice that you can implement today to curb the Christmas crawl. Here’s 5 quick tips you can start now to keep you on track and ready to enter 2021 feeling better.

Plan ahead. Got a holiday party, or family dinner you’re attending? Plan a small healthy snack right before you go (smoothies or protein shakes are clutch for this!)  Make sure your smoothie has healthy fats, fiber and protein to keep you full (not a sugar bomb!). Fruit is great, but try to limit to half a cup or so. We love adding avocado for fat and fiber, and it adds a smooth, creamy texture.

Toss in one more veggie (frozen zucchini, cauliflower rice or a handful or spinach is virtually tasteless!), plant-based milk or coconut water, and protein powder of choice and you’re done! This will curb your appetite before you even set foot in front of the cheese board. And try alternating your alcohol consumption with a non-alcoholic spritzer. We are big fans of low-sugar Kombucha and Topochico with a lime and splash of grapefruit or cranberry.

Outside of diet, remember to plan time to take time off! Build in rest and times to decompress. Yes, exercise is a great way to complete the stress cycle, but your body and mind also need plenty of sleep and something you truly enjoy that relaxes you. This also includes powering down emails, social and even the TV (at least 30 minutes before bed), so you can truly slow down.

Remember that you’re human and no-one is perfect. This is not the time to judge or shame yourself. Don’t let one bad decision, meal, or skipped workout snowball into an extended period of time. Each day, each meal, even each decision  is your chance to pivot. So treat it that way. Not tomorrow, not Monday, not January – NOW!

Rise and shine. If you’re anything like us, it feels less and less likely that you’ll work out the longer the day progresses. The sun’s already out bright and early this time of year. And chances are you probably haven’t fully recovered from Daylight Savings. So capitalize on that precious time you’re already up and scrolling through your phone in bed, and hit the mat! Get in a quick barre30 class and you’ll be amazed at how your day changes when you start it with movement. There’s countless studies on the benefits of a morning workout (more overall energy, better mood, supports weight loss, and so on.) Again, 30 minutes will get the job done here.

Another option is to get it done throughout the day (but remember you actually have to do it multiple times!) So for example you may set 3, 10 minute timers when you know you can take a break. Maybe for you that’s 7 am, 1 pm and 6 pm. Complete a 10 minute circuit each time the alarm goes off (this can be a 1 minute warm-up, a 2 minute plank, 2 minutes of burpees or push-ups (think biceps then triceps), 2 minutes of knee dancing and 3 minutes of back dancing for example.) Repeat 3 times, and you’ve done it!

Get others involved. You’re way more likely to start, and finish, a workout when it’s with a group or a friend. In fact, you’re 42% more likely to maintain your weight (loss), when you work out with others! Remember, this doesn’t even have to be “face-to-face”, since Zoom is the new GNO, gym, and office space of choice these days. Researchers also found working out in a group lowers stress by 26 percent and significantly improved quality of life – meaning better physical and mental health than doing it solo. So make a plan for at least once a week to take a group workout class, or set a workout date with a buddy virtually. We promise you’ll have more fun, out of your head and less distracted (in the best way!), and will likely have had a better workout for doing so.

Remember that you can refer a friend any time to take their first class free! This includes both in-studio and livestream, so whether your friend is in your neighborhood or seven states away, they can tone what they own too 😉

Another idea is to consider joining a like-minded group, even on social, to help keep you motivated, accountable and inspired! Have you joined our free Neighborhood Barre Collective group on Facebook yet? Get in on live Q&A’s, mini-workouts, health tips, free virtual classes and more by clicking here to join.

Walk the line (indulge, and resist). We don’t think anything should be off limits, ever. But we do think quality control, or more specifically quantity control, is imperative. Do you usually eat out of the bag, the pint, or sleeve, when snacking? This is a big no-no. If you want to have a cookie, eat a cookie! But take one and put the rest back. Out of sight, out of mind is a legitimate super power. Try drinking some water and waiting at least 10 minutes before you get more. Chances are you’ll no longer be craving a second, third, or fourth cookie if you put them up, and wait.

This philosophy also works for big holiday meals. Start building your plate with your protein and anything green you can find on the table first. A protein and green or non-starchy vegetable should take up at least half your plate. Then fill in from there with a small serving size of casseroles, bread and desert to round out your plate. Again, drink at least 8 oz of water and wait at least 10 minutes before heading back for round 2.

Go virtual. Nothing can replace the benefits of an in-person, group workout. But that is literally not even an option for some of us right now – whether voluntary or involuntary. And with the frigid temps moving in, those long, leisurely neighborhood walks seem less likely too. So what’s a gal to do? You can still reap the benefits of group exercise from home (chances are you’ve already tried this in 2020.)

A group exercise class adds structure, with an instructor versed in proper warm-ups, cool downs and modifications that protect your body and help you avoid an injury. Ever feel like you do the “same thing” when you work out on your own from home? We add fresh, new workouts weekly in both our livestream and on-demand platforms. What’s the difference? On-demand has a library of usually quick, mini-workouts (in addition to complete classes) that you do on your own, in your own time.

Livestream means you’re getting the studio experience, just from your living room, basement or bedroom. You have the option of interactive, 2-way instruction (cameras ON! It really does boost energy, improve form and ultimately results) and the benefit of working out with other people together, with an instructor performing the moves alongside you in real time. This means you can still maintain that sense of community (hence some of the mental benefits we mentioned above with group classes), even when at home.

Try out either platform free at neighborhoodbarre.com or reach out to your local studio for livestream intro offers. Remember, we’re all in this together!! Happy holidays from our neighborhood to yours and we can’t wait to help you feel your best in 2021!