‘Tis the season for calorie-laden adult libations, family dinners filled with rich courses of unforgiving fare and, oh yeah, don’t forget all those super-sweet cakes, cookies and brownies your co-workers insist on bringing into the office! Combine that with cold weather that hinders your outdoor workouts, and it’s almost as though we’re under strategic attack when it comes to celebrating the holidays. But here at SheKnows, we don’t take the holidays lying down (unless it’s in preparation for some leg lifts)! We turned to New York fitness expert Alex Matosov for potent yet practical fitness advice to stay in shape and ward off weight gain so you can stay fit during the holidays and beyond.
Holiday fitness tips from fitness pro Alex Matosov
Wake up every morning to 15 minutes of calisthenics
Even if you plan to work out later in the day, exercises such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, push-ups, high knees in place and other high-energy moves will spike your heart rate as well as your metabolism, helping you burn 20 percent more calories throughout the day.
Completely change your fitness routine during the holidays
If you’re a runner, start lifting, and if you’re a lifter, start running. If you haven’t been in the gym in years, get yourself in there! This change in routine will force your body to adapt to a new stimulus, thus promoting a higher calorie burn.
Add an extra set to each exercise of your workout
People tend to do three sets of an exercise, so adding a fourth will completely shock your body and burn more calories during the much-needed time of the holidays. Bonus: If you keep your diet intact, you’ll actually be even more fit this holiday season.
Take up an active hobby during the holidays
Instead of sticking to the kitchen to bake holiday cookies, use your free time to swim, play tennis (indoors, of course), play basketball, take salsa classes — basically anything that will spike your heart rate and burn some calories.
Recruit a holiday fitness buddy
It’s harder to slack off when someone else is also working out. And both of you will be more accountable to get a workout in when you’re feeling lazy. A fitness friend can also help you stick to those New Year’s resolutions.
As the Boy Scout motto states, be prepared — that’s half the battle. If you go into the holiday months knowing you’ll be doing a bit of indulging and that you’ll have to up your fitness game accordingly, you’ll have a master plan at the ready. Don’t let the holidays get the best of you, when you can enjoy life and still get the best out of the holiday season.
Watch: How to stick to your diet during the holidays
With all the parties and dinners during the holidays, sticking to your diet can be a daunting challenge. But it’s possible to survive the holidays without starving yourself.