Between the food, the shopping, the drinking, the travel, the partying, and well, more food, it can be hard to find time to squeeze in your routine workouts during the holiday season. It’s easy to find excuses to let your hard work falter for a few weeks too, because why not let yourself go and start fresh at the New Year?
Ultimately, it’s your health and wellbeing that pays the price when you ditch push-ups for pies. If you’re looking for helpful ways to stick with your workouts over the holidays, don’t miss this list:
Set a goal
Whether it’s hitting a new personal record for lifting weights or simply staying in shape to train for an early spring marathon, a hard and fast goal can play an important role in motivating you to stay on track with your exercise and nutrition. Make lists, mark calendars, register for athletic events . . . whatever you do, set a goal you’ll want to work toward.
Incorporate more activity into your day
New research is showing that in general, adults simply don’t move enough during the day. Hitting your exercise goals for the week may be as simple as incorporating more movement into your workday, whether it’s taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing squats at your standing desk, or walking to different holiday events instead of driving.
Make healthy eating choices
An easy way to back out of your holiday workout is to literally eat or drink yourself out of it. While the holidays taste delicious, they are also filled with lots of rich, fatty, sugary foods and drinks that can ramp up the inflammation factor in your body and leave you feeling sluggish and bloated. Fill your plate this holiday season with just as many fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based proteins like nuts, seeds, and legumes to avoid the ‘food coma’ that keeps you from staying active.
Pack for success
If the holidays have you packing light and traveling far, don’t forget to include items that will power your workouts no matter where you are. Resistance bands, jump ropes, running shoes, a bathing suit . . . when you have equipment with you to go swimming, running, or do some strength training, it will be harder to say no.
Be smart about sleep
Do the holidays leave you exhausted and lethargic during the day? Late nights spent celebrating and catching up with friends can leave your sleep schedule completely out of whack which is the last thing your body needs when it’s looking for excuses not to exercise. Stick with your regular sleep schedule and you’ll see the difference in your energy and motivation levels.
Track your progress
Utilize wearable fitness technology, or even simply the Health app on your smartphone, and track your progress over the holidays including counting the number of steps you take, the distance you cover, the calories you burn, and so forth. Seeing the effects of your hard work as data points could be the inspiration you need to move more and eat healthier.
Address aches and pains
If a nagging fitness injury or joint-stressing winter weather has you hunkering down instead of hulking out on your regular exercise activities, you’ve got a problem. Address aches and pains that are keeping you from working out by chatting with your doctor about them, cross-training in more low-impact activities, and using orthotic supports like knee sleeves and ankle braces. For a list of the best ankle braces, click here: https://www.vivehealth.com/
Prepare for delays
Whether it’s a long layover at the airport or simply waiting for your Lyft to another holiday party, have a plan of action for delays. Do laps around the airport, a short burst of calisthenics in an empty gate, or bang out a few minutes of planks, push-ups, chair dips, and squats.
Ask friends to join you
Make your fitness habit accountable to others by asking friends and family to join you in setting goals and working out during the holidays. Perhaps you can coordinate a family winter hike. Or use private group chats to share daily running mileage or laps swam. Whatever it is, exercise can feel much more attractive when it is transformed into a fun group activity you share with others.
Hire a private trainer
Few things motivate people quite like money so chances are if you’re spending your own cash on a personal trainer over the holidays, you’ll feel motivated to show up at the gym. Private trainers don’t just hold you accountable but they can help you kickstart your health and fitness goals for the next year too!