The holidays can be a tough time for anyone who is trying to be health-conscious. So many delicious things to eat and drink... and family and friends in town making it hard to go to the gym. So as the new year rolls around, Coach Duke has some tips for burning fat in your workouts.
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With the holiday season well under way, there are bountiful opportunities to overindulge on sweets, carbs, and holiday foods, and just as many chances to ‘under-indulge’ at the gym. Staying active and eating well during the holiday season is particularly challenging, but we’ve got some tips for you that might help you button those skinny jeans on January 1st.
1. Try new classes wherever you are
Many studios and gyms run holiday specials, with discounts or bonuses added into packages, so if your local fitness spots are doing them, take advantage! If not, then make a point to try out a new place you’ve always wanted to go to.
If you’re traveling, Google is a wonderful thing! You can almost always get free day passes or free/discounted first-timer classes at local gyms and studios wherever you are during the season.
2. Change your mindset
Often when we think of the holidays, we think of endless amounts of food at the dinner table, open bar holiday parties with trays of delicious food being passed around by servers, and dessert tables that could give you the sugar high of a lifetime. But just because it’s there and it’s free, doesn’t mean you have to overeat.
We often use holidays as an excuse to stuff ourselves and to eat foods that we normally don’t, but you don’t have to think about it that way. Instead, focus on where you are and who you’re with. You’ll end up feeling happier and more connected to the people you’re sharing the holidays with, and you might not even want that second piece of pie… even though it’s there and it’s free.
3. Stay active with family
Encourage your friends and family to go for walks with you after big holiday meals. If you don’t already have Fitbits, they make great gifts and then you can all track your steps together. Make a goal of at least 8,000 steps a day over a period of a few days, and plan a fun group activity, like bowling or a spa day, at the end to celebrate you hitting the goal.
4. Drink more water and less sugar
You’ve heard this all before, but drinking lots of water will not only make you feel better, it’ll help you feel fuller. And when confronted with an open bar at a holiday party or access to Dad’s liquor cabinet at home, try to stay away from the sugary drinks and mixers, like margaritas, long island ice teas, and anything with a lot of sour mix, juice, or sodas.
My personal favorite drink combo is Stoli Raz, club soda, with a splash of cranberry juice: light, refreshing, and low in calories.
5. Set revised goals
Instead of a weight loss goal, or a strict diet goal, set more reasonable and attainable goals. Most people have trouble sticking to their regular workout regimen and eating habits during November and December, so think more realistically.
For example, your revised eating goal for the season could be to just be more mindful about what you eat. This will help take off the pressure of being perfect, while still giving you something to work towards.
Written by Ros
One on one with the Fashletics founder, Sarah Wilson:
Ketanga: Which quote from your designs is the most meaningful for you?
Ketanga: What kind of process (mentally and physically) does it take to create a new piece?
Sarah: I design and create a prototype of each piece by hand in my Miami studio. I have been working as a Metalsmith/jewelry designer for over 10 years. I use different techniques depending on the design, but I always tend to lean towards techniques that lend themselves to a more rough and rugged look. I think it captures the spirit of the hard work, grit and relentless dedication it takes to build a strong and fit body. Once the original prototype is created, there is a lengthy process that follows in order to get the piece into production.
I love everything about the design process. It is challenging, but I love it so much that I hardly ever recognize the difficulty. In a lot of ways it's similar to how I feel when I train- It's a grind but there is also an adrenaline rush that occurs where all of the sudden I forget that I'm "doing work" and am only thinking about the end result and the sense of accomplishment I will feel when I am finished. Designing and training are incredibly rewarding because I feel like I am building something out of nothing - whether it is muscle or metal, it is easy to see that the result is a direct reflection of the effort put in.
Ketanga: What do you do when you aren't making jewelry?... You obviously work out!
Written by Stacy
Holiday shopping can be tough - just finding the time to shop can be a challenge. So we've compiled a list of our 10 favorite gifts that we would love to get ourselves! These fitness and travel-related goods can all be purchased online to save time so you can catch that spin class after work (instead of pushing through crowds and standing in line).
1) The most important meal of the day - made your friend's way!
Imagine having 100 different ingredients in the kitchen to make delicious and healthy breakfast every morning. Who has the space, right?... or budget, or patience! MixMyOwn has solved this with a pretty awesome concept: design your own healthy cereal and have it delivered to your home! You choose your preferred museli base, add fruits, nuts, and other goodies like bee pollen powder or chia seeds, and your unique mix is delivered straight away. They also offer gift cards so your friends can make their own mixture!
2) Gift the gift of empowerment... and a wearable kettle bell
We know how much you LOVE kettle bells, so why wouldn't you want to wear one around your neck? But really now, Fashletics® is one of our favorite brands because they thought to combine empowerment, inspiration, and fashion with their love for fitness! We love the mini kettle bells too - only time I'd ever call one 'cute'.
3) For the shake aficionado on the go
Whether traveling to the gym or to Mexico, Blender Bottle offers a solution to anyone who likes a good protein shake after a workout. The GoStak jars allow you to take just the right amount of supplements (or even snacks) along with your water, so they're ready whenever you are.
4) For the yogi who has it all
Or does she? How about a personalized yoga mat and carrying case? Perfect for standing out in class or carrying on a flight to an upcoming Ketanga Fitness Retreat! You can find these in the MyCustomYogaMat store on Etsy. And if your friend is a Deadhead, rejoice! They happen to have a few versions of Grateful Dead-inspired mats as well.
5) The ultimate activity tracker with a fancy new look
There are many activity trackers on the market because they are great tools to help people monitor their stats and achieve goals. But Fitbit has always been a favorite with its sleek and simple design, ease of use, and moderate price point. Now, with a Tory Burch partnership, the Fitbit Flex activity trackers are looking as great as they work!
6) Inspiration in your closet
Who doesn't love a good quote on their shirt at the gym? Especially when they are quirky, funny, or inspirational. Chin-Up Apparel is all three! They have t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tanks for men and women, so chances are you'll find something on their site for just about anyone on your list.
7) Look hot from work to workout with Carbon 38
Carbon 38 is the place to go to get someone on your list the best looking and best quality workout gear around. They pick the most functional - and flattering - looks from over 40 leading fitness apparel brands like Alala and Onzie to sell on their site, and they have a variety of accessories like sweat bands and gym bags, so there is something for anyone and any budget.
8) For your marathon-running friend who swears by compression products
Sleefs to the rescue! This company - other than having a great name - has a great product. They sell compression sleeves that are antibacterial, seamless, and protect against the sun with UPF 50! What really sets these sleeves apart? They come in over 50 patterns from flags to teams to abstract designs, and if you don't find one you love, you can customize your own! Now THAT's a thought that counts.
9) A hula hoop for the road!
Who doesn't love hula hooping? Even if your workout-loving, world-traveling friend hasn't hooped since childhood, this convenient 'to-go' kit from Hoopnotica makes it easy to take on the road (and practice in the comfort of the hotel room!). The hoop is easy to put together and comes with a convenient strap, so you can really take it anywhere! You can even get your friend a package that comes with a DVD to get the most out of this fun - albeit a bit unique - exercise technique.
10) A new meaning for 'stocking' stuffers
Socks from The Sox Box are made for people who work out. They're colorful and fun, and they are made to fit over muscular calves! Designed by a CrossFit-loving couple, and covered with words meant to represent strong CrossFitters around the world, these socks are the next best thing in fitness apparel. And as the cherry on top, 20% of all profits goes to the Independence Fund, a non-profit helping wounded and injured service members.
Written by Stacy
Part of the fun of traveling is experiencing the local cultures and flavors without having to hold back. But all those pasteis de Belem in Portugal, empanadas in Argentina and local beer... everywhere, makes it tough to fit into those jeans you packed. Bottom line: Trying local food and drink is necessary, not naughty!
But with limited time in new and exciting places, even a fitness lover doesn't want to spend the afternoon in a hotel gym. So I've put together some of my favorite ways to stay active while traveling that are fun, easy and cultural! Let me know what you think!
1) Active Tours
2) Local Sports
3) Bike Share
4) Exercise Apps
5) Keep Up Your Hobby
Adapted from original post on StacyTakesFlight.com, by Stacy (co-founder of Ketanga Fitness Retreats)