5 Tips for Exercising Over the Holidays

                This week kicks off the Holiday Season; 6 weeks of parties, large meals, shopping, decorating, and traveling. It can also be the toughest time of year to stay committed to the health goals you set back in January. Research has shown that taking time off from exercise can lead to metabolic changes and even a small amount of weight gain can have serious health implications. So how do you balance the season of indulgence while maintaining your health? Check out our 5 tips below to help you stay on track this holiday season.

Tip #1: Schedule Your Exercise

                We’ve said it time and time again. The best way to ensure exercise consistency is to put it on your schedule. This is especially important this time of year when there will be extra activities vying for your time. Remember that your exercise time is “non-negotiable, you time” that allows you to focus on your health, arguably your most valuable asset. Give yourself the gift of increased longevity and improved quality of life this holiday season!

                If you’ll be traveling away from home, remember to pack your workout clothes, shoes, and headphones. Before you leave, check to see if your hotel has a gym or look into gyms near where you will be staying. Also, let family members know you’re committed to staying on track and you’ll be taking time to exercise.  Who knows; maybe they’ll want to join you!

Tip #2: Walk

                Instead of sitting around the living room after another holiday meal, grab your family members and head out for a walk around the block. The fresh air and exercise will help you digest that big meal! Use the family time together to explore the town by foot and see new sights. Weather too cold? Hit the local mall and get in a few laps. If you’re travel plans include the airport, pass on the people movers and use your feet. Walk the terminal, take the stairs, and park further away to get in extra steps.

Tip #3: Take Advantage of Holiday Offerings

                Check your local community listings for holiday themed exercise events such as a 5K Turkey Trot, Holiday themed workouts, or a special New Year’s Day Kick-off workout.  Inquire at your local gym to see if they are offering specials. The holiday season is notoriously light at big box gyms so it’s a good time of year to get a deal! The holiday season can be a great time to try a new form of exercise. Try ice skating, snowshoeing, rock climbing, or hit the slopes for some skiing and snowboarding.

Tip #4: Aim to include both Cardiovascular and Strength Training

                The special parties, fancy clothes, and large meals may lead you to parking it on the treadmill this time of year. Be sure to balance your time between cardio and strength training. As stated above, taking a break from muscle building, even for a short period of time, can lead to negative health changes. Aim for at least 2 strength training workouts per week and 150 minutes of moderate cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio. Short on time; combine a few strength training moves with some vigorous cardio in a HIIT workout lasting 15-30 minutes.

Tip #5: Get Back On Track

                Be realistic and go easy on yourself if you miss a workout or overindulge at a party. Get yourself back on track when it’s over or you return home. Remember the goals you set for yourself and why your health matters to you. The holidays can be a wonderful time of year without destroying your health and the goals you set. Finish the year strong and come New Year’s Day, you’ll be glad you’re starting the year in better shape!


Looking for more exercise tips to help you stay on track? Check out our previous blog “Tips for Exercising on Vacation.”