The holiday season is a festive time of year with seemingly countless opportunities to cheat on your diet and/or skip a workout. For many, weight gain and falling off the edge is a substantial part of this season, owing to the profuse food tables, family gatherings, and office parties – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
As busy as you might be this time of the year, staying active and sticking to your fitness tips and routine is still well worth the time and effort. In fact, an excellent shredded workout might be just the thing you need before a long week of end-of-the-year deadlines or even a dinner at the in-laws.
We know that keeping your fitness routine on track and staying focused during the holidays is easier said than done. That’s why we’ve brought you seven foolproof fitness tips and tricks that will ensure you don’t wholly jeopardize your fitness routine.
Here are 7 Fitness Tips and Tricks for the Holidays:
Tip 1: Start Planning Before the Holidays Arrive
Plan ahead and make time for your workout sessions just as you’d make time for all your festive gatherings. During busy weeks, look ahead and decide when and where you can fit in some workout.
Bonus tip – map out all of it on the calendar. Planning your fitness routine ahead of time by adding the workouts to a schedule will ensure they fit right into your day. As most of the holiday lunches/brunches/dinners/parties and whatnot occur in the evening, we recommend you set aside time every morning for runs, visits to the gym, or for a good stretch at home.
Tip 2: Fill Up on Lean Protein and Veggies
When attending a holiday party or feast, don’t rush. Instead, take your time and vigilantly consider all available options. Most of all, be smart about the choices you make. If that cheesy or sugary finger food looks delectable, keep walking. Some things just are not worth it.
Now, don’t get us wrong. We aren’t telling you to not indulge at all – ‘tis the season of merriment, after all – but if you want to relish a bit, ensure it is with your favorite foods. Don’t waste the calories eating foods you know you won’t enjoy that much. Make each calorie count. Have a small serving and move on. We know this requires good self-control, but there is nothing you cannot do when your heart is set.
Tip 3: Plan Short, Quick Workouts
As your calendar fills up with holiday plans, parties, and activities, you may not always have sufficient time for a full 40/60-minute workout. Do not be afraid to break your workout session into smaller, more doable chunks on such days.
Instead of an hour-long stay at the gym, pencil a quick 15/20-minute run before the office, and then hit the gym for an additional 20 minutes on your way back home. Remember: a little physical activity is always better than no activity at all.
To reap benefits, you do not have always have to undergo a lengthy workout. A focused 20-minute workout will do the trick equally well. Moreover, it will keep you consistent and all set to get back on track with your regular routine once the holiday season is over.
Tip 4: Understand the Actual Holidays Aren’t the Problem
What you do (or eat) on the actual days of Thanksgiving or Christmas should not be your primary concern. However, what you do during all the other days in between is what you should actually be worried about. After all, they’ll determine whether your holidays are healthful or not.
You’ll come across various holiday treats randomly at work or even at home when a kind neighbor or friend brings you a home-baked pie. It is important to note that these situations are more frequent and far more detrimental to your fitness goals than an innocent binge on holiday.
We’re trying to say here that overeating yourself on Christmas day will not get you out of shape. Just like exercising only one day during the holiday season won’t get you in shape. Every day, the little things you do determine whether you’re moving forward in your fitness journey or away from it.
Tip 5: Find A Workout Partner
“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” is a phrase we are sure you’ve come across at least once in your lifetime, and it couldn’t fit more perfectly than this context. Even if it is just for the holidays, having a workout buddy can significantly help you stay motivated and accountable.
You will be more likely to hit the gym when you know there’s somebody already there waiting to train with you. To make things more interesting and motivating, make a bet: if you skip a workout, you will owe your workout partner $20 and vice versa. A little fun and competition can go a long way in boosting everybody’s fitness motivation.
Tip 6: Hit the Floor
Be the life of the party. This does not in any way means that you should be doing keg stands with friends. Alcohol is the biggest enemy of your fitness diet, so pick your beverage wisely. One of our top favorites is a nice glass of champagne with around 80 calories per glass. Keep reminding yourself that you can have all the fun in the world even without getting wasted.
Plus, if your mouth is busy socializing, there will be fewer chances for you to be overeating in some corner. Oh, and if there is a dance floor at the party, hit it and burn some extra calories.
Tip 7: Strictly for Runners/Joggers! Sign Up for A Holiday Race
The holiday season brings with it several events, including holiday races. Registering for one of these races will keep you accountable for your fitness goals and is a great outlet to have some holiday fun with friends and family. So, get your matching reindeer antler headbands, Santa hats, or Christmas leggings to laugh your way through a 2K or 5K marathon.
We hope these seven fitness tips for the holiday season will keep you up and about on your toes and help you accomplish fitness goals while enjoying the upcoming festive season.