How Can I Stay Active During the Holidays?

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The holiday season is such a fun time of year. There are parties, decorations and so many reasons to enjoy life. But a lot of times, all the celebrations come with a cost. It can be easy to fall out of your fitness routine and healthy eating habits during the holidays. Here are some tips on how to stay active during the holidays. 

Keep Exercising

First off, do your best to stay in your fitness routine. Even if you’re out of your regular day-to-day routine, make a plan to keep going to the gym or participate in your favorite workouts. Simply staying active can make a huge difference.

If it’s impossible for you to keep up with your regular gym visits, try creating a routine just for the weeks when your routine is disrupted. For instance, maybe you work in a different city, and your gym is near work or on your way home. It won’t work for you to drive all the way to the gym, so drop in at a nearby gym or try a different sort of class near you. If you only have time for a quick workout at home, perhaps some HIIT training would be the way to go.

Have Gym Equipment at Home

If you’re a big runner or love working out outside, the holidays may bring an extra set of challenges with bad weather. Sure holiday lights brighten dark and cold winter days, but the lights aren’t going to make it any easier for you to get outside for a run. Having equipment at home can make a big difference. 

A garage gym with stationary equipment can make a huge difference. Another option is a heated swimming pool, which is really a year-round investment. Inground swimming pool costs are less expensive during the winter months and make a great holiday gift. 

Eat Right as Often as Possible

In addition to staying in your fitness routine, eating well is also important to stay active during the holidays. This can be extremely challenging when you’re outside of your routine, have family visiting, and are attending numerous social engagements. If you make a plan and stick to it, it’s possible to enjoy the parties and family time without putting on a lot of extra pounds. 

Have a Plan

First off, it’s important to have a plan. One nice thing about holiday gatherings is that they’re planned in advance, so you know when you have to go to each one. This allows you to plan for what you’re going to eat during the day in preparation for a holiday gathering.

This doesn’t mean you should go to a party on an empty stomach, though. That’ll just lead to overeating. Instead, fill up on lean protein and engage in some physical activity before the party. At the party, pick your favorite thing and enjoy it. Otherwise, stick to lean and whole snacks as much as possible. 

Limit Alcohol, Increase Hydration

Another way you gain weight without realizing it is by consuming added calories through cocktails and alcoholic beverages. Drinking spiked eggnog, warm apple cider-based drinks and other cocktails of the season are laden with fat and sugar. Instead, stick to wine or liquor drinks with water-based mixers. 

In addition, drink water between drinks. Make it a practice to drink a full glass of water between every alcoholic beverage you consume. This will keep you from getting overly tipsy, which could lead to more drinking and eating. It’ll also save you from hangovers and keep you feeling fuller, which means you’re less likely to over snack. Plus, water between cocktails means you’re consuming fewer calories from cocktails. 

Drinking enough water will just leave you feeling altogether better as well. When you wake up hydrated, you’re more likely to feel motivated to work out and make healthy choices the next day. It’s easy to get out of the routine of drinking water in the colder months when you’re sweating less, so make it a habit and go about drinking water intentionally. 

Final Thoughts

With a little intention and discipline, it’s doable to stay fit during the holidays. Using a combination of exercise and nutrition, along with lifestyle habits like hydration and proper sleep, you should be able to stay active during the holidays and hit January feeling some level of fit and healthy. At least better than if you had blown off the whole season for snacks, drinks, and couch-life.

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