Ready or not, December is upon us. You’ve survived Halloween and Thanksgiving and now it’s time to make sure you get through Christmas and the New Year without ruining all of your hard work over the past year. Finding time for fitness can sometimes be a challenge during your average, everyday life. Finding time for fitness throughout the holidays can seem downright daunting. We are here to offer a little help. Instead of ignoring the extra pounds that sneakily creep on and throwing your workout goals to the snow-covered curb, get yourself in the right mindset and get ready to rock your fitness routine all the way into the New Year.
Decide to make fitness a priority.
Every year the holidays seem to sneak up on us and make us wonder where the past year went. For some, it nearly starts a panic mode with all of the things that still need to get done before the year’s end. Combine that with festive holiday parties, family gatherings, and food…everywhere you turn…and the next thing you know you’ve completely thrown your fitness to that snow-covered curb we mentioned earlier. Don’t let that happen again this year. Sit down with your calendar – right now if you have to – and schedule in time for fitness around your other holiday obligations. Finding time for fitness might not be easy, but if you really dissect your calendar and set it as a priority, you’ll find the time. By literally scheduling it into your calendar now, you’ll avoid the mishap of either forgetting your workout or simply running out of time.
Identify your obstacles.
You’ve got your workouts penciled in your calendar, but you’re still a little worried about finding time for fitness. Ask yourself this: What is it that keeps you from working out? Literally put pen to paper and write down your fitness obstacles. Once you’ve identified them, you can make a plan to overcome them. Do you need to exercise in the morning during the holiday season but wake up too tired? Try going to bed half an hour earlier. Do you have smaller pockets of time available for exercise throughout the holidays, but not enough time to get to the gym and back for it? Create a workout backup plan. Whatever excuse you anticipate yourself facing, identify it, write it down, and assign a solution that will be ready and waiting if and when that obstacle gets in your way.
Squeeze in mini workouts.
Since your schedule will busier than normal during the holidays, sneak in mini workouts whenever you can. Sure, they won’t be as vigorous of a workout as usual, but every bit of activity helps. Studies have shown that walking just over a mile a day or doing three four-minute bouts of high-intensity exercise per week may be enough to help you maintain your weight and fitness level. If you can squeeze in 30-minute increments, even better. Regardless of how much time you have to dedicate to fitness over the holidays, any amount of activity will be to your benefit.
Make fitness a family affair.
Sometimes the challenge in finding time for fitness can linger because you’re always around a crowd during the holidays. Instead of letting that get in your way, invite everyone to join you. If you’ve just wrapped up a delectable family meal, round up the whole family and go for a walk. After a splendid day with the grandparents, take the kids sledding. Out for drinks with friends? Pull all of them on to the dance floor with you. There are ways to find fitness without having a “traditional” workout. And as the saying goes, the more the merrier!