Between buying presents, cooking fancy dinners and entertaining guests, the holidays can be a busy time. And that can make keeping up with your fitness regime difficult, which isn’t good considering the extra food you’re likely to consume at this time of year.
Here are some tips to make sure you keep your exercise routine on track during the holidays.
Work out with family and friends
For many women, a big deterrent from working out over the holidays is the fact that they’ll miss out on special times with family and friends. But if you work out with your loved ones, you won’t have to worry about being without them. Take the kids to the park, and run around with them, or see if a family member or friend is interested in going for a jog with you. Chances are good that those around you want to keep up their fitness over the holidays too, so they’ll be more than happy to accompany you.
Make your holiday workout count
Though you may not always be able to fit in the style of workout you’re used to once you get busy over the holidays, you can still fit fitness into your everyday activities. When you go gift shopping, park your car at the back of the parking lot so you can take a brisk walk. Once inside, take the stairs rather than the escalator whenever possible, and walk with purpose rather than stroll aimlessly. At home, find spare moments in between tasks to work in a few strengthening exercises, such as squats and lunges. It’s as simple as working all the exercises you would usually do at the gym into your schedule at home.
Do it first thing
When you wake up in the morning, you have the whole day ahead of you, and that can make fitting in a workout seem more manageable. By the time noon rolls around, you’re likely feeling the pressure of half the day being gone and still having so much to accomplish. Getting your workout in first thing in the morning will energize you and make you feel good about yourself throughout the rest of the day, whereas continually putting it off will lead you to feel guilty and unproductive. So do it right away, and set yourself up for a day of success!
Focus on interval training
OK, so you can’t fit in the hour-long, steady cardio session you typically enjoy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t burn calories and rev up your metabolism in less time. Rely on interval training to keep you in shape over the holidays. That means alternating high-intensity bursts with recovery sections over the course of your cardio workout. You can do this running, biking, walking or while on the elliptical. It’s a great way to burn more calories in less time.
Eat to not be hungry
Unfortunately, with so little time to fit in your workouts, your waistline will feel the effects of the holidays if you don’t keep your food intake in check as well. With so many delicious dishes around you at this time of year, it can be hard to not overindulge, particularly if you manage to talk yourself into eating more because you’re “not quite full” or “have a little more room.” It’s easy to think you still have room for more and then suddenly discover you’ve eaten too much and you don’t feel well. So rather than eating until you’re full, think of it as eating to not be hungry. By all means, take a small sampling of all the goodies you really want to try. But once you’ve had a taste, ask yourself if you’re still hungry. If not, grab some water, and hold off on seconds.