Even if you normally stick to a fairly consistent workout schedule, this time of year can throw all kinds of wrenches into your training plan.
Between gift shopping, parties, and bubbly bubbles, it can be tough adjusting to fitness during the holiday season.
The good news?
While it can be difficult to find time to exercise during the holidays, it’s not impossible – and when holiday stress sets in (and the number of sugar cookies you’ve eaten begins to accumulate), you will be More glad you crushed those sweat sessions.
We’ve rounded up the best tips and tricks to help you fit fitness into your hectic vacation plans.
1. Embrace the morning workout
The holiday season is full of happy hours, festive dinners, and late-night gift-wrapping sessions.
Do you notice a trend? Not much happens in the morning, so exercising in the morning can prevent your workouts from being derailed by vacation plans.
“Start your day with a workout,” says Kara Tatelbaum, author and founder of Lazy Girl Pilates. “Whether it’s yoga poses before breakfast or a brisk run around the block, take advantage of this time each morning to move your body.”
2. Put your workouts on the calendar
You probably won’t to find time to exercise, so you will need to Craft time.
Put your workouts on your schedule — like all your other vacation commitments — so they’re less likely to be put on the back burner.
Once you commit to your workouts, do what it takes to make them happen, says Kyra Williamsa NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a USA Powerlifting Coach.
“Maybe that means using your lunch break to take a walk or skipping that last glass of wine at the end of the night to get up more easily for your morning workout. If you make exercise a priority, you’ll be there. succeed,” advises Williams.
3. Make fitness a family tradition
We get it – you don’t want to ignore your favorite holiday traditions for the sake of working out.
But why not find a fun physical activity that can become a new tradition for your friends and family?
“Gather all your girlfriends for a spinning class or sign up your family for a Turkey Trot,” suggests Erin Wathencertified weight loss coach and author of Why can’t I follow my diet?
You’ll be able to exercise without feeling like you’re sacrificing time with your favorite people.
“Few things bind people together better than sweat,” says Trevor Thieme, CSCS, executive director of fitness and nutrition content at Beachbody. “Instead of sitting around watching holiday specials on TV, have a hike or a game of touch football.”
Bonus: you will all be in a better mood around the dinner table.
4. Find a friend responsible for the holidays
Everyone struggles to stay on track this holiday season, so find a like-minded friend and schedule workouts together so you can hold each other accountable.
Whether you’re planning on going for a run or doing an early morning HIIT session, it’s much harder to skip a workout when you know someone’s waiting for you.
“If you can’t meet in person, FaceTime works too,” Tatelbaum says. “It’s a great way to stay connected across the states with your family and friends.”
Put on those headphones, start a video chat with your best friend, and record your steps together.
5. Set realistic expectations
For most of us, December isn’t the perfect time to try to lose 10 pounds, train for a half marathon, or attempt a cleanse.
The holidays are pretty hectic, so it’s okay to keep your goals low-key right now, like hitting your 10,000 step goal or getting 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
“Keep in mind that the average holiday weight gain is only one pound,” Thieme says. “So you probably won’t have much to ‘work on’ in the new year, even if you let things slide more than expected.”
Focus on the big picture and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or have a second piece of pie.
6. Be flexible
Vacation plans can upset your usual workout schedule, so flexibility is key.
“If you’re used to hitting the gym, but have no idea how it’s going to be this holiday season, try something new,” suggests Shanda Domango, personal trainer and certified health coach. NASM at Domango Training.
That could mean going from an after-work spin class to a lunchtime bootcamp for the next few weeks, or using a streaming fitness subscription so you can work out when and where you have the time and convenience. ‘space.
7. Condense your workouts
When it comes to increasing your fitness level, training density is more important than duration.
“There’s really no need to spend hours in a gym if you’re not there to socialize,” says Thieme. “Shorten your rest periods, focusing primarily on compound exercises (like the squat, deadlift, pull-ups, dips, and bench press) instead of isolation exercises (like the dumbbell curl or the bench press). extension) Doing supersets and/or circuits instead of traditional weightlifting sets will save you time and help you get fitter faster.
8. Nix the all-or-nothing approach
Don’t have time to train for an hour? No worries – focus on shorter exercise sessions here and there throughout the day.
“Set up two or three 10-minute workouts,” recommends cary williamsOlympic-level boxing trainer and owner of The Stables boxing studio in Santa Monica, California. “This can include squats, walking lunges, brisk walking and even just getting up and down from your chair a bunch of times. [a.k.a. squatting].”
And don’t overlook opportunities for bursts of activity while preparing for the holidays.
Clean your house before your guests arrive. Quickly browse the mall rather than shopping online. Do a series of 30 bodyweight lunges as you check your holiday ham in the oven.
“All moves count!” said Katy Lush, Certified Pilates Instructor and Founder of Lush Living. “We all need to move more, not just exercise more.”
So do your best to maintain your normal training schedule – or at least do as many workouts as possible – but also try not to spend too much time sitting on your butt.
“When it comes to losing weight, the trick is not just to exercise more, but also to move more throughout the day,” says Thieme. “Scientists and fitness professionals call it Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (or just NEAT), and it can be your secret weapon for weight gain and for weight loss.”