Fitness Hacks for Combatting Weight Gain
I don’t know about you, but one of the first things to go out the window for me during the busy holiday season is my workout routine. I justify filling the time I would have spent exercising with all of those extra tasks that haunt us between November and January. Heck, I’m lucky if I can get enough sleep to feel rested and energized, so fitting in a workout can seem like a luxury I can’t afford at this time of year. But sadly, skipping my workouts means I feel even more tired, stressed and disappointed with myself. I even get a little resentful of my sweet husband who has a very normal 9-5 schedule with plenty of time for hitting the gym. How unfair is that?!
What I’ve learned over the years is that my workouts are not a luxury, they’re a necessity! By starting my day with a good workout I have more energy all day long, I feel good about myself, I have more mental clarity, and I’m WAY more productive. I also sleep better at night and wake up feeling more rested, so there’s really no down side.
The hard part is making my workout a non-negotiable priority in the same way that I would a crucial work meeting or doctor’s appointment and showing up reliably. That said, flexibility is the key to success when it comes to staying consistent during crunch times, holidays, or any other time when we have extra demands on our time and energy. It’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to spend an hour plus at the gym when we desperately need more hours in the day. That’s when the flexibility comes into play; Instead of doing an hour-long workout 5-6 days a week, do 15-30 minutes 3-4 times a week instead. You may not see major improvement, but you certainly won’t lose ground!
For some of you it may be too late to prevent that extra few holiday pounds, but don’t fret! You don’t need to start a crash diet on New Year’s Day in order to start feeling and looking better now, and you don’t have to spend hours in the gym either. Trust me It’s all about strategy and efficiency and you’ll be surprised at how much you can get out of just 15 minutes of intense exercise! Read on to learn my top hacks for getting more results in less time.
- Don’t workout longer, workout smarter.
- Do shorter, more intense workouts like Tabatas or HIIT training (high intensity interval training).
- Try a “rest-based” training This means that you go all out as intensely as possible during a sprint or interval until you have to rest, and then you rest until you feel you can go at that pace again. If you do it right 15-20 minutes is plenty!
- Lift heavier weights with fewer reps and/or do compound exercises. Compound exercises are moves where you are doing upper and lower body exercises simultaneously. 2 for 1!
- Incorporate stress-reducing exercise like yoga and walking
- Even doing a few minutes of stretching and deep breathing before bed helps bring circulation and oxygen into your muscles. It also reduces muscle tension and stress and calms the nervous system helping you sleep more soundly.
- Yoga and walking are great for fat burning because they reduce stress hormone production. Less stress = more fat burning! Yoga is also be excellent for flexibility and strengthening, especially for your core.
- Sweat It Out
- Sweating may not be glamourous, but it will help your body detoxify which is necessary for healthy, glowing skin and a lean body. Sweating open the pores allowing the toxins and impurities under the skin to escape that would otherwise cause acne and breakouts.
- Our bodies store toxins in our fat cells so if you aren’t detoxing enough your body is more likely to store fat than to burn it off.
- Make exercise a priority on big meal days
- Getting your heart rate up and sweating will help you feel less bloated and sluggish and can even help motivate you to make healthier food choices.
- Find Something You Love
- Don’t force yourself to do activities that you hate! This will just create a negative association with exercise in your mind. Find something fun that you look forward to and change it up if you get bored. Keeping your workouts fun and fresh is the only way to stay consistent.
Probably the biggest benefit of exercise is that it just makes you feel good and it can actually be addictive (in a healthy way)! When we exercise our brains produce endorphins, also known as those “feel good” hormones that we also get from sex and chocolate. So give yourself a little gift a few days a week and prioritize time to move your body. Other than eating nutritious, real food, it’s the best form of self-care out there. Your body is made to move so show it some love for taking such good care of you all these years.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips over the last couple of months!
If you’re feeling the need for a total body reset, join me for my winter 21-day Reboot starting January 9. This is no ordinary cleanse! You’ll enjoy 3 weeks of delicious food while learning and creating habits that will last far beyond the program. This is a fun and transformational program with one-on-one coaching from me and I hope you’ll join us! As a Kari Gran customer I’m giving you 20% off. Just enter coupon code KariGran17 at checkout. Click here to learn more.
Jeannie Oliver is a certified Holistic Nutrition and Wellness Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Personal Trainer and classically trained chef. She develops individualized strategies for her clients, empowering them to reshape their relationship with food, feel great about their bodies and transform their lives – deliciously!