There is no doubt that sticking to your normal exercise routine during the holidays can be tough. Kids are off of school, holiday parties with treats and alcohol, traveling to visit family and friends. All of these holiday activities can throw you off your routine. So how can you make it through these next few weeks and still feel healthy? Check out these simple tips:
The reality is you might not make it to the gym as much as you typically do, and you might eat more cookies this time of the year than others, and you need to understand that it is OKAY. Holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy – go to the parties, enjoy some eggnog, sleep in a little late on Sunday. The problem is when you use the Holidays as an overall excuse to just stop your health and fitness routine.
Look at your calendar and see how holiday activities will alter your current routine – what spin classes are you going to miss because you are out of town, what parties or luncheons are you attending that you know will have “unhealthy” snacks – and write them down. Try and make up the things that you are going to miss, with something else at a time where you know it will fit. Don’t wait until the day of to figure out when you can get a run in, plan it out for the week and block off time.
Looking at your calendar and still feeling short on time? Try shortening your workout durations, but making them more intense to still get a great calorie burn. If you typically go to the gym for an hour, try going for half an hour, but completing a high-intensity workout. If you normally go for a 4 mile run, go for 2 miles but try and increase your pace time by 30 seconds. Not a gym member? No worries – at home bodyweight exercises can still get you the same sweat results as a gym workout.
This time of year, gyms and fitness clubs are typically doing “New Year” promotions and offering memberships and personal training at a discounted rate. Find one that is local to you and test it out! It will hold you accountable because you have spent the money, and now you have a reason to workout.
Use your friends and family as a support system, and get them to join you. Try a few new activities this year that are a bit more fitness focused, but still fun at the same time. Go for a long walk or hike before a big family meal. Sign up for a Holiday race after Christmas. Volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dogs. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Try and make a tradition out of them so you can look forward to it next year.
Utilizing this tips will help you stay on track over the holidays. Most importantly, do what works best for you – whatever you are comfortable with that provides balance. If you want to indulge in your favorite chocolate cake, go for it! Just make sure you get a good workout in before.
Nate Costa is President of FX Studios, a fitness brand that operates the Under Armour Performance Centers powered by FX Fitness.