We share expert advice on incorporating running into a healthy lifestyle.
From pumpkin spice lattes to the dessert table at the office holiday party, temptations (and excuses to bail on your training) abound this time of year. Keep your training on track through the holiday season with these tried-and-true tips.
Get Fresh Gear!
“New gear is a great way to motivate you and keep you excited for your workouts. Whether you are an avid fitness buff or new to the scene, adding some new gear to your wardrobe can give you that extra push you need to keep you moving. If you feel good in what you are wearing, your energy and enthusiasm for your workout will follow.” —Jenny Harkins, ACE-certified trainer, owner of Chicago fitness facility Treadfit
Prep Healthy, Easy-To-Reheat Food
“We are usually going 100 mph during the holidays, and grabbing quick food can just make things easier. But we all know we feel better when we eat better, so it’s super important to prep some healthy food for a few days—make a big pot of soup, roast some veggies, Crockpot some chicken—some staples that are ready to be heated up when it’s mealtime.” —Pam Sherman, personal trainer and founder of The Perfect Balance trainer
Work Out Early In The Day
“Run first thing in the morning when our willpower is at its strongest. As the day goes on, we start to get decision fatigue and make poorer choices by the end of the day. It also feels great to get it ticked off the ‘to-do’ list at the start of the day. Plus: Studies show that short, intense sessions of sprints aid fat loss plus give you the added benefit of burning more calories all day long with what is known as the ‘afterburn effect,’ so skip the longer runs and just run a mile as hard as you can.” —Tracy Bray, ISSA-certified sports nutritionist, ACE-certified personal trainer
Eat Before The Holiday Parties
“All of these events usually revolve around food and cocktails, and it is easy to overeat bite-size foods. So in order to control your cravings, prepare throughout the day: Do not skip meals—eat small meals or snacks all day so that you are not starving upon arriving. Eat a small, healthy snack with carbohydrates and protein right before the party (examples are a small energy bar, whole-grain crackers with string cheese, or a handful of nuts and berries). Use the small plate at the party, and don’t stand post by the food table—get your food and leave the area.” —Amy Goodson, R.D., board-certified sports dietitian
“Home is where the heart is and where old friends reside. Consider setting up a running date (or walking date) with an old friend with whom you want to reconnect. By doing so, you might not stay out as late or indulge as much because you know you have an early morning exercise the next day.” —Chris Heuisler, national run concierge for Westin Hotels & Resorts