The holidays are special time filled with laughter, relaxation and good food. However, they can be a bad time for your waistline — all that fattening food combined with snowy weather and family reunions can sap your drive and willingness to maintain your exercise regimen. What’s worse is that these bad habits can carry over into the new year, making it even more difficult to get back on track to your health and fitness goals. Here are a few handy tips for those who want to keep their workout routine even during the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Workout with your family
Spending time with your family is one of the best perks of the holidays. However, there is no reason to spend that time together sitting inside the house. Instead, dress up and go outside — walking, sledding, and snowshoeing are great exercises that help burn those extra holiday calories while allowing you to spend time with your loved ones. To push you and your family even more, start your day with a 15 to 30 minute yoga session before breakfast.
2. Exercise before meals
Do a 5-minute workout before each meal to boost your metabolism. Pick five exercises and repeat each for one minute before you sit down on the table. You can choose from squats, pushups, abs, running in place, or jumping rope — anything that will get your body moving and calories burning. By the end of the day you have performed a 15 to 20 minute workout.
3. Condense your normal workout
If you’re exceptionally strapped for time, you can shorten your normal exercise routine by condensing it into a smaller number of more intense exercises. For best results, your condensed workout should consist of three upper body exercises and three lower body exercises. Start by jogging in place or doing a fast walk and then perform the main exercises, starting with the ones that target your lower body. End the routine by jogging in place again to cool down. Repeat the entire routine two or three times and end with stretches. This workout will maintain your fitness levels without being terribly time-consuming.
4. Work out in the airport
If you’re traveling during the holidays, you will be spending a lot of time in airports with nothing to do. Make a use of that time by doing a workout on the move. Doing a full-body workout is impractical, but you can always walk around the terminal. Ditch the train or convey belts and walk from gate to gate or use the stairs and carry your luggage instead of pulling it behind you.
5. Do a workout while sitting in the car
If you are driving long distances during the holidays, you can always do a workout in the car. Contract the muscles in your shoulders, abs or legs for 15 to 30 seconds, relax, and then repeat as many times as you can. You can also bring along small weights and do biceps, triceps and wrists curls if you are not driving. Before you know it, you have performed a 30-minute workout.
The holiday season doesn’t have to spell doom to your exercise routine and healthy lifestyle. By following these tips, you can stay active and on track to your fitness and health goals. Always remember to stay active, because the only person who can take you to your fitness goals is you.