Hectic as this time of year may be, staying active is still well worth the time and effort. In fact, a workout might be just the antidote you need before dinner with your in-laws or a long week of end-of-the-year deadlines. Exercise is about the closest you’ll get to a “miracle drug” when it comes to boosting mood and energy levels (in a dead heat with sleep).
Think of physical activity as being a pro-health boost to help compensate for some of the other splurges and stresses the season invariably brings, from extra slices of Christmas ham to transportation headaches.
Of course, keeping your workout routine on track during one of the busiest times of the year is easier said than done. Here, we are sharing 11 tips for making movement a consistent — and positive — part of your holiday season.
Set Realistic Expectations
If your health and exercise goals include losing weight, building muscle, or boosting your performance (say, for running a race), cut yourself some slack during the holidays. While you might be able to stick to daily workouts, pack healthy lunches, and make steady progress throughout the rest of the year, it’s just not always possible during the holiday season — and that’s okay.
During busy holiday weeks (especially those that involve travel), look ahead and map out when (and where!) you can fit in some exercise. Figure out where you are going to work out, whether it’s a relative’s house, outside, or at a hotel gym. This way, you can prepare for what workout equipment may or may not be available to you (and what apparel you may need to pack) and head into the week with realistic expectations and the comfort of having a plan.
Schedule Your Workouts
To help ensure that you prioritise those workouts, schedule them in your planner or phone calendar, right alongside work meetings and family gatherings. Studies have shown that scheduling workouts increases the likelihood that you will do them.
Rise and Get to It
Whether you’ve got an office holiday party or just a million errands to run after work, there are plenty of holiday events and to-dos that threaten to derail afternoon or evening workouts.