Along with the joy, merriment, and festivities of the holiday season, this time of year can also mean packed schedules, increased stress, and rich food-focused gatherings – all of which can threaten to derail your employees’ fitness commitments. However, this doesn’t mean that they are doomed to undo all of their hard work – nor does it mean that they must increase their resolve and avoid attending New Years Eve parties. With foresight, planning, and the willingness to be a bit flexible, your employees can create a plan to enjoy their holidays while staying on track to carry their fitness routines into the new year.
Stick to a Routine
Maintaining a fitness routine during the holiday season is more important than ever; with more temptations and less free time, keeping a routine can help employees stay on track. But with the busy, hectic schedules that often come along with the holiday season – including parties, errands, travel, or hosting visitors – it can often be difficult to maintain the fitness routine established and followed throughout the rest of the year. The key is flexibility. During this time, encourage employees to create a modified version of their usual routine that takes holiday obligations and time constraints into consideration. While they may not have time for their usual long evening walks and extended workouts at the gym, they might be able to manage two shorter daily walks, and quick “mini sessions” of strength training at the office or around the house.
Everything in Moderation
Beginning in late November and continuing on through New Years Day celebrations, the holiday season can present endless temptations that threaten the resolve of anyone who struggles to resist sweet, salty, or bubbly treats. Employees may be tempted by a slice of pie, a plate of cookies, or a glass of champagne – and that’s perfectly fine. Having a taste of holiday treats won’t ruin a diet, as long as it’s done in moderation. Suggest that your employees choose one favorite holiday indulgence – sugar cookies, for instance – and limit themselves to indulging on a small occasional serving of that treat. To help avoid overindulging, remind employees to eat healthy meals before attending parties and festivities so they won’t be led astray by hunger.
When a dieter indulges in something considered unhealthy or that doesn’t meet their normal list of approved foods, it’s generally referred to as “cheating”. The very term conjures up feelings of guilt, shame and failure – the same feelings dieters often experience after enjoying a forbidden food. During the holidays, however, a little bit more of the forgiving spirit may be in order. In fact, many experts suggest that being too strict and hard on yourself can jeopardize long-term healthy habits. Reassure your employees that if they throw out the rulebook on healthy choices just one or two days out of the year, they are still on track to make excellent strides in living a healthy, happy life.
Focus on Benefits
Even for employees with a well-established regimen, trying to maintain their routine during with a busy and stressful holiday schedule can make fitness activities seem like a chore rather than an enjoyable activity. Use this opportunity to remind employees of the stress-relieving and mood-enhancing benefits of walking and other fitness activities. During a time of increased stress and exhaustion, taking the time to keep active can actually make them feel calmer and happier throughout the season.
At Walkingspree, we provide superior corporate wellness solutions centered on the numerous benefits of our corporate walking program. Our customized health and fitness solutions combine advanced monitoring and tracking technology with the built-in-fun of motivating incentives, rewards, and social interactions for programs that result in high engagement, healthier employees, and positive ROI. To learn more about the significant benefits that your company and your employees can realize with our corporate walking program, contact Walkingspree today.