“Exercise during the holidays is my most favorite thing,” said no one ever.
Here’s the thing: starting and maintaining a workout routine is quite challenging for most. The holiday season is especially a difficult hurdle in doing so.
This time for celebration and rest from work or school is often also seen as an excuse to skip workouts.
This could be problematic as you might eventually lose control and indulge in a sedentary lifestyle altogether.
So in this article, we’ll discuss our favorite easy tips that’ll help you make time to exercise during the holidays. With these, you can boast of toned muscles as your holiday gains instead of fat and weight.
Let’s dive in!
1. Plan ahead, set goals
Yes, let’s talk about planning for a second. Without a (tiny) bit of a plan, you won’t be able to escape the stressful claws of the holidays.
Before the holidays, aim to follow a consistent workout regimen. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive or and feel restricting.
You can set a simple goal as going for a run 10 minutes each day. Let the fitness goal reflect the changes you want to see.
You may have to make some adjustments to it during vacation times but keep it aligned with your set goal and you’ll have no problem maintaining your progress.
2. Use habit formation techniques
Making workouts a daily habit is a very helpful way to adhere to your fitness plan.
One way to make a healthy habit is through the association of action. Let me explain.
Link an automatic response to a contextual cue like how people automatically put on a seatbelt (action) once inside a car (contextual cue).
In your case, working out will be the action and you can assign any personal contextual cue. This cue will differ from person to person.
For example, you may use eating breakfast as a cue that you need to exercise right after, whatever works for you.
Another habit-forming technique is repetition.
A study found that an exercise habit can already be established if an individual exercise for at least four times a week for 6 weeks.
With these approaches, you can build a good workout habit that will be hard to ignore even during holidays.
3. Turn chores into exercise
Put your muscles into work by volunteering to do chores around the house.
Cleaning is still physical activity and a 30-min heavy cleaning burns 135 calories in a 125-pound individual, with heavier individuals burning much higher amounts of calories doing the same work.
Not only are you able to sweat, but you also helped maintain the cleanliness of your home. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!
4. Play with the kids
Who knew that volunteering to watch over your younger relatives can be a good exercise opportunity during the holidays!
This could also be a great time to teach the next generation about the importance of health and an active lifestyle. There’s no better holiday exercise motivation than this.
5. Work out with your family
When you have several guests or family members in the house during the holidays, you might think that’s a good place for exercising.
But here’s the thing: you can turn this situation around by getting them (maybe some, not all) to workout with you instead.
With a group exercise, you can set up your house that’s fit for a workout session where every family member will be involved.
Explain to them how working out can benefit their health and make it a daily family bonding activity.
6. Exercise indoors
Are the gyms closed because of the holiday? No worries! You can always work out in your own home.
Bring out a puzzle mat and play some beats. Make your room as lively and well-ventilated as possible and you’ll be able to work out just fine. (Related: Should You Exercise Before Bed?)
7. Try new sports
Want to spice up your workout routines? Try incorporating winter sports into your exercise regimen during the cold seasons.
Call your childhood friends or invite your neighbors and organize a friendly game of ice hockey.
With this, you can have your regular physical activity while catching up with old friends at the same time. That’s one way to stay warm and active during the cold holidays!
8. Try de-stressing with yoga
If you’re looking to de-stress during the holidays, yoga could be the perfect exercise to do just that.
Doing exercises is associated with mental wellness and physical health. Practicing yoga can help you relax and regain energy during your vacation.
9. Sign-up for a holiday fun run or marathon
Holiday races are a good way to make your holiday exciting. You get to meet new people and reconnect with old friends and neighbors while burning calories around your hometown.
Furthermore, fun runs usually support advocacies for your community, making your running more fruitful and enjoyable.
And if you are feeling a bit competitive, you can opt to challenge a marathon where you will have to work out to prepare yourself days before the event.
10. Work out with a mobile device
Your phone or smartwatch are useful on-the-go devices that can greatly help you be on track with your exercise routines whenever and wherever you go.
Keep your ready-made workout program in an app on your mobile device. And set daily alarms so even if you aren’t home during the holidays, you are always reminded to adhere and attend your regular workout sessions.
Being healthy starts with you. You can do that by making healthier choices every day even with small matters.
For example, choosing to park further or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. (Also read: 21 Tips for Eating Smart During the Holidays).
Obstacles may arise but then, nobody said that working out, especially during the holidays, is a breeze.
But it is also not impossible. With your own will to keep a healthy lifestyle and a little help from one or all of these ten tips, you can make having a healthy lifestyle a lot easier and fun to do.