During the holidays, we can get so busy decorating the house, buying presents, attending parties, and entertaining guests that the last thing on our minds is our exercise program. But if you’ve worked hard all year to achieve your current fitness level, the last thing you want to do is take the “all or nothing” approach during the holidays. Starting from scratch come January is never fun!
Having a few days off from exercise over the holidays is OK. It may help give your mind and body a rest and help to motivate you to work harder in the New Year. But, if you don’t want to get out of the rhythm of your exercise commitment, here’s a few tips to help you stick to your program when there are so many other responsibilities demanding your attention (quick workouts during the holidays is key):
Reduce your frequency and time:
- If your program usually calls for 5 workouts a week, reduce it to 2 or 3 good, solid workouts during the busy weeks ahead. If you normally perform an hour workout, reduce it to a 30-minute hard effort. If you normally do 3 sets of each weight lifting exercise, reduce it to one good set. Studies show that if you just do 1-2 hard workouts a week during a busy season, you can maintain your current fitness level for a number of weeks. So instead of doing nothing, do something but do it good!
Workout at home:
- Save driving, parking and ‘waiting for equipment’ time at the gym by exercising at home when you just don’t have the time to get to the gym. Go for a walk or run around the neighborhood. Pop in an exercise DVD. Perform a set of chair squats, staircase step-ups, pushups, tricep chair dips and crunches. You can give yourself an amazing, time-efficient workout right from the privacy of your own home using no equipment whatsoever!
Exercise in the morning:
- If you wait to do your workout later in the day, it’s more likely that an errand will surface that needs to get done. Your workout will be put on the back burner and you’ll most likely skip it all together. Instead, set your alarm a half hour earlier and invest this time in yourself.
- When you can’t commit to your normal exercise routine, continue expending calories by ‘exercising’ when you’re not really exercising. Take the stairs instead of the escalators at the mall. Park at the edge of the parking lot. Walk to perform a number of your errands. All these extra calories add up meaning you’ll be less likely to put on the additional 8-10 holiday pounds that most people experience.
Active quality time:
- You’ve got family visiting, kids are home from school…how in the world are you going to fit in your workouts? Schedule a family snowshoe trip on Mount St. Helens, a tobogganing outing at Government Camp, a ski day at Timberline, a walk along the Columbian, a hike through Forest Park…there are so many active adventures awaiting you here in the Northwest. Take advantage of the mild winters and get outside and enjoy!
Yours in Health & Fitness,
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