(WHTM) — There are so many things to look forward to during the holidays, and food is definitely one of them. From Thanksgiving dinner to holiday sweets, how can we enjoy everything on the table but still maintain a healthy mindset?
“You need to treat yourself, but you also have to remind yourself, physical and mental health are also super important,” said Planet Fitness personal trainer Noell Long.
Long said it’s OK to eat Thanksgiving dinner — and dessert, too — but exercise is important, especially during the winter months.
“You also have to remember, exercise gives you serotonin just like sunlight does. In the winter, it’s going to get darker quicker, we’re not going to have sunlight, so we have to keep our physical and mental health intact. Going to the gym, Planet Fitness, any gym, is a great place to do that,” Long said.
But if you can’t get to the gym in between holiday prep and visits from friends and family, there are some holiday activities you’re already doing that can count toward your overall wellness.
“Exercise comes in all forms, so baking cookies, you can do calf raises, you can do simple knee ups while you’re baking cookies. Walking and checking out the lights,” Long said. And yes, holiday shopping counts, too, as long as you’re doing it in person and not online.
“At home, you can just do simple knee raises, you can do calf raises, you can even just do a walk around your house,” Long suggested. “Engage your core, you can just do planks, situps, have the kids do it with you.”
When it comes to keeping those upcoming New Year’s resolutions to head to the gym more often, Long says setting goals and even using smartphone apps that track your progress are key. She also recommends working out with a friend.
Long says to manage the stress that comes with the holidays, it’s important to recognize the little things you do for yourself while you’re focused on doing and planning things for other people.