Fit in Fitness This Holiday Season

It seems like the holidays get busier every year! With the hustle and bustle of the festivities—all the shopping, baking, and merrymaking—your regular routine may fall by the wayside. Add in all those delicious goodies that start circulating at the office and a whole round of parties, and it’s no wonder that people can gain between five and seven pounds during the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Even if you feel like you don’t have a moment to spare, you can still find some ways to sneak in a little fitness along with the parties. Here are a few of my favorite tips to keep you moving!

Find ways to multitask. Don’t waste your time searching for a close-up parking space at crowded stores—park as far away as possible, so you can sneak in a brisk walk through the parking lot. Speed walk through the shops as you’re searching for gifts, and consider ditching the cart for a basket so you can give your arms a killer strength-training workout. Planning on checking out all of the holiday lights in your town? Bundle up and walk through your town instead of driving around. You’ll fit in a workout while having fun!

Take your workout to go. The holidays usually involve a bit of traveling – but that doesn’t mean you can abandon your workout routine! If you’re staying at a hotel, you’ll likely have a fitness center and even an indoor pool at your disposal for a quick workout. If you’re a house guest somewhere, pack along lightweight, portable fitness gear, like resistance bands and a jump rope, so you can take your workout wherever you go. If you think you might have time to squeeze in a trip to a gym, find out if your gym has relationships with any near your destination, or consider splurging on a guest pass so you can work out. You can always bring a workout DVD like my, Fat Burning Walk, and pop that in at the in-law’ house, or at a hotel! As you can see, you really have many options to choose from!

Set smaller goals. It’s okay to cut back to something more realistic for your current schedule–maybe it’s 10 minutes per day versus your usual 30 minutes. That 10 minutes is still helping you get closer to your fitness goals. (Just don’t forget to go back to your regularly scheduled workouts once the holidays end!)

Start a new tradition. Find a fun way to add some fitness to your celebrations! Start a family football game after your holiday meal, sign the family up for a local holiday 5K walk or run, or plan an ice skating or skiing excursion while your kids are out of school on break. Get all generations involved in making snow angels and having a big snowball fight! (All that snow throwing is great for your arms!)

Put some new fitness gear on your wish list. Whether you’re due for a new pair of running shoes or want to freshen up your routine with a new workout DVD, set of weights, or even a pedometer – new gear may make you even more excited to get moving. And that great fitness gift will definitely come in handy when those New Year’s resolutions sneak up a week later!

Don’t be hard on yourself. Let’s face it—at this time of year, you probably won’t have the time to make big strides forward with your fitness. So don’t get upset if you indulge in a glass of eggnog or a few cookies. If your jump rope gathers dust for a week or two, it’s not the end of the world. Take the time to enjoy your family this season, try to fit in fitness wherever you can, but then come back to your workouts refreshed and ready to take on new challenges in 2014!

Written for Rite Aid by

Posted in Wellness Resources