A guide to staying fit during the holidays

Staying fit at any time of the year is a challenge, but that’s especially so during the holidays. It’s that time of year when cookies, candy and large family meals can consume you. Is the impossible actually possible? Can you stay fit during the holidays?

Woman working out

Staying fit during the holidays can be a daunting and uphill battle for many. While it’s easier to stay inside and avoid that cold outdoor weather and it’s always tempting to have one more cookie or drink, fitness experts say you’ll regret it come the new year. Here are some expert tips that will help keep your health on track no matter the time of year.

Be prepared

The holidays often mean ordering out food or heading to restaurants with relatives. According to O2 Fitness Clubs, look at the menu beforehand so you make smarter choices instead of impulsive ones.

If you’re attending a party, eat a little something before you get there. If you arrive hungry, you are much more likely to overindulge.

Exercise on the go

Are you one of millions who travel over the holidays? Even if you’re staying in a hotel room, that’s no excuse not to use what you have in front of you to exercise.

Trainer Shay Kostabi is a spokesperson for Rexist 360 and says even in hotel rooms you can do jumping jacks, air squats and push-ups. To do shoulder presses, kneel on the edge of the bed, hands on the floor in an elevated downward-dog position, and lift and lower your upper body by bending the elbows, pressing up from the tops of the shoulders.

She adds bicep curls can be done by lifting a heavy object found in the hotel room.

“Twenty to 30 minutes a day is all you need to keep toned if you are smart about it,” she said. “Women are brilliant multitaskers; we just have to get a little creative.”

Get outside

Before going for an outdoor run or workout in the cold, Kostabi recommends spending at least 5 minutes getting your heart rate up and warming up your entire body.

“Jogging in place, jumping jacks, squats and mountain climbers can all be done in the living room and will raise your body temp quickly,” she said.

Drink plenty of water also, she adds. “Just because the temperature dropped and beads of sweat aren’t running down your face doesn’t mean that you can’t get dehydrated.”

O2 Fitness also recommends banishing cotton in the cold weather. It holds on to moisture and sets you up for a wet, cold, uncomfortable run.

Don’t overindulge

What better place to overindulge than a holiday party? To prevent this, Kostabi recommends negotiating with yourself ahead of time.

“I don’t like to feel deprived and I hate saying, ‘No, sorry, I’m on a diet,'” she said. “So I decide to only go for one treat. If I have bread at dinner, I’ll skip dessert. If I know I want that pumpkin pie, I stay away from the potatoes. If I want to have a few drinks, I load my plate up with greens to skimp on the carbs.”

Nobody else notices, she says, and you feel good about keeping a promise to yourself while still having fun.

More holiday fitness articles

Bob Greene’s fitness tips for holiday health
Hotel fitness programs for healthy holiday travel
10 Tips to stick to your workout during holiday travel


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