The holidays are a busy time of year for everyone. Don’t let that get in the way of your exercise routine. Exercising will help you cope with any additional stress and it will also help keep you from packing on those holiday pounds. Here are a few tips that might make the days after Thanksgiving to Christmas less of a pound gainer and more of a lifestyle changer.
There are a few things that come together that help make it easy for you to gain a few pounds during the holiday season. One of the biggest ones is (not that you’re going to be eating more,,,, Cause you Will!!) but the lack of daylight hours, the SUN!!. When the sun starts to go down earlier and earlier in the fall, our bodies have a tendency to react to it. We are used to being more active in daylight than at night. So with the sun setting a bit earlier each day until Christmas we tend to slack off on being active.One way to change this way of thinking is getting yourself into the regular routine of a scheduled exercise routine.
- Schedule your workout like you would an appointment. Its an important date so treat it accordingly
- Meet a friend and go for a walk instead of going to lunch. This is an easy method to adopt and gets you outside and enjoying the clean crisp air of the season.
- Turn a room of your house into a home gym so you don’t have to travel far to get in your workout. You don’t need much in the way of equipment, in fact use what you have in your house. Use a couple of #404 cans in place of dumb-bells and do some arm extensions while sitting on a chair.. Sit-ups and leg-raisers can also be done while listening to the news.. You get the idea. But plan it for maybe 3 nights or mornings each week. But keep at it.
- Set your alarm earlier so you can get out of the house and get in that run before anyone is awake. Now it will be dark outside but don’t let that stop you. Keep telling yourself that you are taking advantage of the best time of the day and you have it all to yourself. Make some plans for the day, mentally put together your holiday greeting card list, but do it while you’re moving.
- Sign up for a race in the beginning of January. A goal is a great motivator. Without one, we have a tendency of putting things off. With a goal like a half marathon, it gives you something to work towards and you can take this activity more serious.
- Get the whole family outside for a morning of soccer or flag football. Ok, its past Thanksgiving and working towards Christmas and New Year’s. That doesn’t mean that there are days without a blinding snowstorm. How many times have you seen on the news about a group of guys and gals playing some tackle or touch football for a good cause. This is another opportunity to get yourself active with a goal and have your family and friends join in and get them moving for their health at the same time. I’ll bet you afterwards, you had so much fun that you and your friends will be talking about next year’s game !
- Enjoy the cooler temperatures on your run because you know they won’t last. You know after the holidays, the seasons change and the weather starts to warm up. Now is the time to enjoy those chilly winter mornings that make you feel alive as you put yourself through the paces
- Try a new exercise class that you’re excited to go to. This is a great time of year to take advantage of local or nationally franchised gyms and health centers New Year’s membership fees. You can get in at a low introductory price and lock it in for the whole year if you’re interested. So you can keep those holiday pounds at bay while you you use state of the art equipment to keep yourself in shape.
- Make one less dozen cookies and take that time to go for a jog. You have always been told moderation is the key. If your not making the cookies then hold down your consumption to just a few so you get the taste of them. Remember it is happening only once a year, so go ahead, indulge yourself, but keep things in moderation and you won’t have to shop for a larger belt.
- Use a Fitbit or exercise app to help keep you on track. This is a no brainer. A Fitbit like the Fitbit Charge monitor just how much you are doing activity wise and with this type of monitor, you can also keep track of the calories burned or how many you need to burn in order to keep yourself at your weight goal
- Find a workout partner to keep you accountable. This goes back to one we mentioned before. It is a lot harder to blow-off a workout if you are by yourself. But, if you have a buddy that is also going through the holiday maintenance process. You will find that you don’t want to let him/her down by begging off your morning run or lunch walk-around. This is a great motivator to help you stay on track.
- Promise to do at least 30 minutes of cardio each day to maintain your fitness. Once you get started you may notice you’re more motivated to keep going.
This ties into everything we mentioned before. If you maintain your exercise routing for the holiday season, you will find that it will be a lot easier to keep it going after the ball has dropped on New Years Day.
So enjoy yourself this holiday season. Attend those festive parties with your friends and families and know that you won’t be kicking yourself a month from now cause you ARE maintaining your weight and will probably be losing a few inches, besides adding some definition to that figure of yours.. Know what, if you keep this going through the Spring, then you will be in great shape (Literally) for bathing suite season…. Merry Christmas!