Staying fit during the holidays

During the holiday season, the already challenging endeavor of making time for fitness becomes even more difficult.

From Christmas and New Year’s all the way through the summer months, it is very easy to overindulge in holiday goodies and neglect your fitness goals. By the time the new year rolls around, many of us feel regret and out of shape.

It doesn’t have to be like that. There are some simple things you can do to maintain your fitness at this time of year and still enjoy the holiday cheer.

Check out these six ways to stay fit during the holidays so you start the new year feeling energized rather than sluggish:

  1. Schedule time to work out. Let’s be honest, the holiday season is very busy. Just as you would schedule time for a meeting at work or holiday shopping, when you make time on your calendar for exercise, it’s more likely to happen. Review your week ahead and figure out the most practical times and days to exercise, such as in the morning before the day gets away from you or on the weekend.

  2. Find creative ways to be active. There are ways to squeeze in fitness that don’t have to be a traditional workout at the gym. When holiday shopping, park a bit farther away from the mall so you’re forced to walk more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Bundle up and take a walk with your family to look at the Christmas lights. Build physical activity into your holiday traditions.

  3. Squeeze in some activity, it’s better than none. If you can’t find time to hit the gym, don’t skip exercising altogether. A quick workout is better than no workout. Try to incorporate even just 10 minutes of physical activity a day whether it be going for a run or skipping in your yard. High-intensity interval training is a great way to get in a quick and effective workout.

  4. Work out with a friend. Staying motivated is one of the hardest parts about committing to fitness — especially in the winter and around the holidays. Putting it off to another day is easy when it’s just you. If you get a friend involved in your fitness process it can help you stick with it. Take a fitness class together, go for a scenic walk, just move your body.

  5. Hydrate and eat sensibly. Eating well is part of staying fit. You don’t have to abstain completely from your favorite seasonal treats, just watch your portion sizes and try to find alternatives. Drink plenty of water, especially alongside alcohol. Eat something small before you head to that holiday party so you won’t arrive on an empty stomach and make bad choices.

  6. Set goals, track your progress, and have rewards. Thanks to advancements in technology, including fitness trackers and calorie counters, keeping track of your progress is easier than ever. Setting goals and challenges, along with a reward system, will hold you accountable and ensure your fitness success.