Indulgence is often synonymous with the holiday season. You stuff your face during Thanksgiving and then attend various Christmas parties through the end of December. You may also skip workouts because you are too busy gift shopping and planning your own holiday bash. The best way to maximize your holiday season fitness is to pay attention to your habits each and every day.
It is no wonder that many people gain weight toward the end of each year. You do not have to fall victim to this pattern, however. Here are nine ways to stay fit during the holidays.
1. Find Travel-Friendly Hotels
Holiday travel should not get in the way of your fitness plans. Before you get out your American Express credit card and book a hotel, find out if the property has a pool or exercise room for guests to use. If there are no workout accommodations available, you and your family should stay elsewhere.
2. Make a Plan
Before your schedule gets too full of holiday activities, sit down and make a daily schedule that includes regular workouts. Put your exercise routine in your calendar as if it is an important meeting. This will make you more likely to follow through with your fitness plan. You can even set an alarm on your phone or put up notes in your office reminding you when to work out.
3. Find Time to Exercise
Of course, even if you plan to go to the gym at a certain time, unexpected distractions could prevent you from doing so. This does not mean that you have to skip your workout entirely. You may only have 10 minutes of free time, but you can still use those minutes to do a short, high interval workout. Some kettlebell swings or body-weight exercises can get you sweating in a hurry.
4. Keep Moving
Prolonged sitting is bad for your health. Unfortunately, it is easy to spend much of the holidays sitting and eating or watching football. Try to stand up and pace around your house every 30 to 60 minutes. This will get your blood pumping. You can even do basic exercises such as squats or jumping jacks during these exercise breaks.
5. Get Creative
You can stay active as you do your holiday chores. Use the stairs instead of the elevator at the mall. You should also park further away from the entrance. This way, you will have a longer walk to and from your car.
To get the whole family involved, join a group fitness class or take a stroll around the neighborhood. Instead of watching football while you wait for dinner to be ready, play basketball or football in the backyard.
6. Grab a Friend
If your relatives do not want to get involved in your fitness journey, you should find a friend who does. Working out with a buddy will hold you accountable, increasing your chances of success.
7. Set Goals
Setting concrete goals will give both yourself and your fitness partner something to work toward. Hold a contest where you and your friend get money or another tangible reward for every workout. You can also promise to buy a gift for yourself if you exercise a certain amount of time during the holidays. This will motivate you to keep up with your fitness even when you do not feel like doing so.
8. Wake up Early
Set your alarm clock for 30 minutes earlier than your usual wake-up time. Use these extra minutes for a quick workout or jog around the neighborhood. This will help you relieve stress and burn calories. Be sure to go to bed early so you still get enough sleep.
Your mind may confuse hunger with thirst. To avoid going overboard during holiday meals, drink two large glasses of water beforehand. You should also consume six to eight glasses of water each day.
Many people gain 10 or 15 pounds over the holidays and spend the next few months trying to work off that weight. Instead of falling into this cycle, follow the above suggestions. They should help you with your holiday season fitness as you celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.