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Remember to ENJOY the season: set realistic expectations for yourself and your family

The holiday craze is upon us!

As magical as this time of year is, it can dial the stress levels WAY up with social gatherings, financial expenses like gifts and extra food items, hosting family, etc--- but it doesn’t have to. Having realistic expectations will help keep you and your family mentally and physically healthy this holiday and let you truly appreciate the season’s magic.

You might have an extra piece of pie every now and then, and that’s OKAY. Already have an event to attend on the weekend?

Respectfully decline the other invite. On a budget? Don’t think that your gifts have to be bought. Sentimental items, like a picture with a nice note or something homemade (maybe their favourite snack that you two used to make all the time), or planning a hangout can be a much more appreciated gift! After all, they’re your loved one because they love YOU, not the things that you buy them.

Remember, this season is about love and unity. Your health and happiness is all that your family, friends and coworkers care about-- so if things don’t go as planned, take a breath and appreciate that you have some disappointment because you have your health, your loved ones and some things to worry about! Then shake it off and move forward into the (hopefully soon-to-be) winter wonderland.

Just keep moving!

You’ve been dedicated to your weekly workout routine for a few months now and are nervous that the ample holiday shenanigans will throw you off course.

Relax. Taking a day or two off from the gym isn’t going to ruin your progress. In fact, having a few more rest days can be both physically and mentally beneficial. What’s more, you can maintain the great progress you’ve made with as little as working out 2 times per week.

If fitting in two 1-2 hour workouts each week seems daunting, opt for frequent mini-workouts and daily activity. You can check-out the two December workouts here and here.

Or, mindfully add a little more activity to your day. Take the stairs at work. Park as far as you can from the grocery store entrance. Add an extra block to your dog’s walk. You can even choose an exercise or two to do throughout the day: do 10-20 squats prior to meals, at breaks, waiting for your kids, etc. You’ll be amazed at how many reps you do by the end of the day!

Don’t skip meals to “save room” for later

If you’re anything like us, you STUFF your face as fast as possible when you’re starving.

It can up to 20 minutes for your body to signal that it’s full, so, more times than not, skipping meals drops your blood sugar which causes you to become irritable, fatigued and even foggy. When you finally get to the big meal, you’ll likely quicken your eating rate, leading to overconsumption and that not-so-great “stuffed” feeling (and sometimes even guilt for overindulging)-- none of which is fun during the festive season.

Instead, stick to your routine: eat your regular meals that focus on protein, veggies and fruit. This will keep your blood sugar stable and your energy high throughout the day, and will still allow you to comfortably enjoy the delicious meals (and even a dessert or two ;) ).

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