December is just around the corner. For many of us, that means that the holiday season are drawing near. For others, holidays may have already started! It is the time where we get to spend time catching up and having fun with family and friends. This is the time of the year where people travel, going back to their hometowns or visiting foreign lands. Even for those who choose not to go abroad during this peak travel season, your schedules are probably packed with many Christmas or end-of-year get-togethers and celebrations, more likely than not, involving sumptuous meals! So how on earth can you stay fit and lean over the holiday without wrecking all the hard work you have put in since the start of the year?

In this post, we share 7 ways to help you stay fit and lean over the holiday:

1. Schedule your holiday workouts

Schedule your holiday workouts

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

Just because it is the holiday season, doesn’t mean we should neglect your fitness. A good way to ensure that you stay active is to schedule your workouts, just as you schedule all your get-togethers! As much as possible, block off “protected time” for your workout. For example, you may decide to block off Monday and Wednesday evenings 7-9pm for your workout. Let your friends and family know and try to plan your gatherings around that. Of course, there may be occasions where the timing of your gathering coincides with the time that you had blocked off. Do you best to find an alternative time slot and get your workout in!

2. Bring along your workout attire when you travel

Pack your workout attire

Pack one or two sets of workout attire into your luggage. You are more likely to be active if you have right attire with you. It is useful to find out if your travel accommodation has gym facilities that you can use. Even if the accommodation does not have gym facilities, you can still do some bodyweight exercises such as squats, push-ups, skipping, burpees, just to name a few.

3. Visit a local gym

Visit a local gym

Here’s a gym I visited in October 2017 – Muscle Factory in Bangkok.

One of the things that I like to do before I travel is to research what gyms are in the area that I will be travelling to. Do note however that not every gym allows drop-ins or pay-per-entry visits. To avoid any disappointments, make sure to check the opening hours of the gym and that they allow drop-ins before you rock up at their door.

4. Go for a hike or visit a local park

Go for a hike or visit a local park
Photo by James Chou on Unsplash

For those who prefer the outdoors, find out if there are any routes where you can go hiking or trekking. This is a great way to experience the nature and scenery of the country you are visiting. Even if you are in an urban area, many cities also have local parks that you can explore.

5. Walk more

Walk more

One of my favourite ways to experience a foreign land when I travel is to walk (provided it is safe to do so). Instead of rushing and shuttling between destinations in taxis all the time, I often enjoy taking the public transport and walking. Not only does it keep me active, it helps me burn off some calories from trying out the local food and allows me to take in more of the local sights, sounds, smells, atmosphere and vibes as I explore the different destinations.

6. Ensure you have healthy food options

Ensure you have healthy food options

Whether you are travelling or catching-up with friends and family in Singapore during this holiday season, food is likely to play a role in your experience. Have you ever found yourself in a situation after the holiday season where you have piled on a few kilos and all your clothes seem to have shrunk? I have! Fortunately, I have figured out some hacks to prevent or at least “mitigate the damage”. It all boils down to a little bit of planning to ensure you have healthy food options so that you don’t have to chow down on everything that is presented to you. If you are travelling, this could mean doing a little research on eateries and restaurants that serve up healthier options. Likewise, if you are having a get-together in Singapore, check-out the menu and food reviews to see if there are healthier options. If you are having a potluck, bring a healthier dish that you enjoy.

7. Sample, not binge!

Sample, not binge.

Does that mean you have to completely deprive yourself of the famous local fare if you are travelling, or the festive foods when you catch-up with friends and family back at home? Of course not! That would take the fun out of the holiday season, wouldn’t it? Weight gain happens when you consume more calories than you burn. So, while you can have some of these yummy food, watch the portion sizes! Here’s how I work around it – I like to share! For me, I enjoy trying a variety of food to experience the tastes, aromas and textures, rather than consuming a large quantity of each item. Sometimes we get carried away with “inhaling” all the fabulous food, so pause and remind yourselves, “Sample, not binge!”

So from us to you, have a happy, fit and lean holiday!!