The holiday season is here, which means disruptions to our fitness routines. Even worse, from now through New Year’s Day, it will be extremely easy to overindulge in holiday goodies. There’s a reason we set New Year’s resolutions, and it often has to do with how bloated we feel by the time the calendar turns from December to January.
There is hope – and help – however. Check out these five ways to stay fit during the holidays, so you start the new year feeling energized rather than sluggish.
1. Find Creative Ways to Be Active
If you can’t get in a traditional workout – and even if you can – there are several ways you can squeeze in some untraditional exercise. For instance, take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator, park farther away from store entrances when doing your holiday shopping, and take a walk with your family throughout the neighborhood to see the holiday lights and decorations. Even better: If you're spending time with kids, set up a game of football, tag, or hide and seek. Just keep your body moving – even when you can’t hit the gym. Your body will thank you for it.
2. Put Your Workouts on Your Calendar
If you schedule time for your workout, it’s more likely to happen. So, every Sunday, review your upcoming week and find two or three spots on your calendar where you can fit in a trip to the gym – and then make it happen.
3. Grab a Quick Workout at Home or Office
Okay, so scheduling your workouts isn’t going to become a reality this holiday season. However, an effective workout doesn’t always need to be at the gym. Even a 10-minute high-intensity interval training session on your back patio is better than no workout at all. So, plan several 10-minute routines you can do right in your office or bedroom and grab a quick workout when time permits. Choose 10 exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and jumping jacks and do each one for one minute.
4. Sweat with Your Bestie
One of the most effective ways to keep working out through the holidays is by committing to working out with a friend. When someone else expects you to show up, you do. When the only commitment you make is to yourself, it’s easy to say, “I’ll work out tomorrow.” The only problem is that tomorrow turns into next week, and next week turns into the new year.
5. Stay Hydrated
Enough workout advice already; let’s talk about all those holiday parties that are already filling your schedule. To keep yourself from overindulging, curb your food cravings by drinking plenty of water – especially if you are also drinking alcohol – and eat something small before heading to the holiday party. If you arrive on an empty stomach, you’re bound to make some bad choices.
Staying active this holiday season and watching what you eat will give you the energy you need to make it to the new year. It can also reduce the stress and tension of the holiday season. Even if you don't exercise as much this season as you do during the rest of the year, getting some activity will provide many benefits as you head into 2023.