If you are like most people out there, it’s easy to slip into unhealthy habits during the holiday season. Not only are there delicious treats everywhere you go, but it’s tough to maintain a consistent workout schedule when the calendar is packed with holiday parties and special events.
But there are ways to enjoy the season and still maintain your fitness goals at the same time. Instead of waiting for the new year to start working on your fitness goals, right now can be a great time to be implimenting the habits that make you look and feel great.
Plan Ahead for Meals and Workouts
When your schedule is full, it gets harder to make time for meal prep or workouts. So, don’t assume that you will “fit it in” when you have an extra hour. Instead, make it a priority to schedule time on your calendar for the most important activities that will contribute to your fitness goals.
Since holiday parties and events often happen in the evenings, it’s a good strategy to find time in the mornings or afternoons for your workouts. Even if you need to wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal, it’s worth the sacrifice to get in an exercise session before you start the day. Go to the gym, or do a quick at-home workout with online videos if you are short on time. Also, mark your calendar with time when you are planning on meal prep.
Every Little Bit Counts
Don’t have an all-or-nothing perspective with your fitness goals during the holidays. You might skip your workout if you are only thinking about a 90-minute session at the gym. The most important thing is that you are maintaining the routine, which could mean cutting down your workout settings to shorter appointments.
For example, a 20-minute weight lifting session at home is better than nothing at all. If you don’t think that you have time for a full workout, then look for ways to squeeze in a mini workout on your lunch break. Allow yourself a bit of flexibility during the holiday season, and prioritize maintaining the habit.
Switch Up the Activities
Think outside the box when you are planning your workouts this month. There are ways to move your body that might be different than your normal exercise routines. Even if it is cold outside, find ways to enjoy time outside so that you can move and get a bit of vitamin D at the same time.
If the kids are out of school, then it might seem challenging to make time for a gym workout. But you can still keep moving with fun family activities such as a weekend ski trip, ice skating, walking laps at the mall while holiday shopping, or taking everyone to an indoor swimming pool. This approach allows you to maximize the holiday break, create memories together, and feel good about your fitness goals at the same time.
Train for an Upcoming Event
One way to maintain motivation during the holidays is to have something that you are focusing on. For example, do you want to run a marathon or a shorter holiday race for the new year? Then right now can be a great time to start working on your fitness goals through a planned marathon training schedule.
Finding a reason “why” you are training gives you a good way to say focused on your goal and avoid the distractions. Map out your plan and remember the reason why you want to accomplish this big activity in the coming weeks or months.
Track Your Progress
It’s easy to fall off-track when you are nibbling on holiday treats throughout the day. Hold yourself accountable by logging your food and fitness activities. Keep it simple, but stay consistent about writing down everything you eat and the activities you are participating in.
Tracking your progress is a good way to see what you are doing throughout the day and ensure that your actions are aligning with your fitness goals. You can look at the record and find opportunities for improvement. Plus, tracking in December is a great way to identify areas of improvement you want to focus on when choosing your fitness goals for the new year.
Plan a Reward
Is there something that you have been wanting to do or buy? December can be a great time to treat yourself to something special. Set diet or fitness goals with a specific reward in mind if you meet your personal expectations. It could be something simple, such as adding $1 in a jar every time you complete a workout, then using that money to treat yourself to a nice dinner. Or, buy a new pair of leggings and put them under the Christmas tree.
Find an Accountability Partner
A workout buddy can often be the difference between whether you get out of bed and go to the gym or hit the snooze button. If you know that someone is meeting you for a workout, then it increases the likelihood that you will follow through with your plans. Talk to your friends and family to find someone else who is also working on their fitness goals, and ask if they are willing to be your accountability partner or buddy.
If you need a little more motivation, then you might put money on the line. For example, every time someone skips a workout, then they need to donate $2 to a charity.
Another way to find a workout buddy is by attending fitness classes at a local gym. If you are a “regular” at one of the fitness classes, then your friends in the class are often expecting you to show up each day.
Fun Fitness Through the Holiday Season
If you need help staying on track with your fitness goals, then join a local gym to connect with like-minded people. Fitness Nation offers everything you need to stay healthy and fit during the holidays and throughout the year Contact us to learn more about the available facilities and services.
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