By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
The holiday season is right around the corner, and so is the jam-packed schedule, endless events, and stress that comes with this joyous time of year. I find that so many clients get anxious about losing their healthy living momentum when the holidays come around. With some strategizing and planning, you can stay healthy and motivated.
One of the biggest issues that people face when they travel or adjust their schedule for holiday-related events is maintaining a regular exercise schedule.
Here are 10 tips I share with people to help them stay motivated to move and exercise throughout the holidays.
1. Set your alarm for earlier than usual.
There’s no time like the morning to get it done. Research shows that people who work out in the morning are more likely to keep a consistent routine and sleep more soundly at night.
2. Bring your gym shoes with you.
I get a lot of excuses from clients about their luggage being too small to fit their shoes. Get a bigger bag. If you have your shoes and your correct workout clothes, it’ll make the process of getting you to the gym easier! No question.
3. Schedule your workouts.
Sticking to a schedule is by far one of the most effective ways to stay on your game when it comes to working out especially during a busy time of year. Schedule your workouts in advance and sign up for the classes you want to take part in. Often having it on the calendar is enough to keep you going. Just don’t let the time pass without having a plan-
4. Think outside the gym.
Just because you may not be able to get to the gym doesn’t mean that you’re out of luck when it comes to your workout. Remember that walking, shopping, swimming, and hanging Christmas/holiday decorations all involve being active.
5. Try a countertop workout.
You can utilize time preparing holiday meals for an easy time to slip in some light resistance training. Heel lifts while standing at the kitchen counter, and simple countertop pushups while standing around the kitchen can both be great when it comes to helping you stay toned.
6. Look for new ways to get active.
You may not be able to make your usual classes, but there are other great ways to stay fit (that the family can enjoy too)—like bowling, indoor rock-climbing, hiking or dance classes—to name a few!
7. Skip the elevator.
Not only will the wait time at the department store (or anywhere else you may be shopping) be long and frustrating to wait in, but you will get more steps by taking the stairs.
8. Participate in a holiday-themed run.
There are plenty of events like runs and walks you can participate in this time of year. Some benefitting charities and local organizations, and some just for fun. For example, many towns and communities hold Turkey Trot runs, running events that take place on or around Thanksgiving Day. Sign up and walk or run.
9. Set up a family challenge.
Enough of us have smart phones and tracking devices that you can challenge family members (or friends) to a steps challenge. Sometimes the competitive nature of the event can be enough to make us do it. Set a fun prize for the winner and let the games begin!
10. Use online resources.
One of the easiest ways to ensure a movement session is to have a selection of easy-to-do workouts that you can perform anywhere. Here are a few of my favorites:
Have a happy and fit holiday season!