“It’s the holidays!” The magical time of year filled with chillier temps, holiday parties, festive decorating, Christmas shopping, baking, platters of delicious foods, cozy date nights sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace… and a dwindling workout routine. Haven’t worked up a sweat in a bit? Forgotten about your running shoes ditched in the corner? It’s easy to simply throw up your hands, shrug and say “it’s the holidays!”
But you don’t have to completely abandon your workout routine altogether. Instead, adjust it. Check out the following tips for working out during this stressful and busy season. Because your running shoes deserve love and attention during the happiest time of year too.
Fitness expert Shirley Archer, author of “Fitness 9 to 5” and “Weight Training for Dummies,” recommends approaching the holiday season as a time for maintenance. Avoid setting new goals or trying to be ambitious. You can also take a seasonal approach. Think of the holidays as your off-season for lower key or shorter workouts. This flexibility allows you to adjust your workouts without self-criticism or guilt, so you can happily indulge in a mug of eggnog and gingerbread cookie after cardio.
Only have a short amount of time to spare? Minimal time is the prerequisite for high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. These fast-paced workouts are designed to torch calories fast, describes Daily Burn. You’ll alternate between short periods of maximum effort followed by a short recovery. Workouts can range from 10 to 30 minutes, which means you can squeeze in a HIIT workout right at home before work or while waiting for a batch of Christmas cookies to bake. Check out these three HIIT workouts created by Daily Burn trainer Justin Rubin or a collection of HIIT workouts on Pinterest.
De-Stress While Away
Sometimes following a fitness plan during the holidays isn’t necessarily all about burning calories or managing your weight. Traveling and family gatherings can create stress and tension. Escaping with yoga or pilates, for example, helps channel any negative energy toward a more centered and peaceful mindset. Gyms like 24 Hour Fitness offer a variety of locations where members can attend classes as visitors. Need alone time to relax or an outlet to quiet your day? Mind-body exercises that focus on controlled breathing, structured stretching or gentle movements can rejuvenate and help you get back into the holiday spirit.
Schedule & Prioritize
During a busy day, your workout is typically the first thing to move down the list of priorities. Before you know it, you’ve decided to skip the workout due to tiredness or zero time. Designate a certain number of days on the best days possible. On these days, your workout takes number one priority. Communicate this priority and the scheduled days with your partner or family to ensure that this hour dedicated to yourself is non-negotiable.
If you need an extra boost of daily motivation, download the app FitQuote to receive motivational and inspiration quotes every day. You can even set reminder alerts for days you’re scheduled to work out to help keep you dedicated.
Choose Something Over Nothing
Some exercise or activity is always better than none. Extend the length of your daily walk with you dog. Put together a mini workout that you can do at home. These CrossFit “WOD at Home” workouts on Pinterest can inspire customizable and effective workouts that require no equipment. You can tailor these workouts and modify the movements to meet your time-frame and abilities. A combination of movements like air squats, sit-ups, push-ups, planks and burpees performed in a series of rounds (or even just one round) will get your heart pumping and make you sweat.
So tell me how you plan on staying fit and sane during the holidays!