As the holiday season approaches, there’s probably a lot on your mind. From buying gifts to planning the perfect family getaway, or maybe you’re in charge of hosting the dinner party with your friends this year. On top of all of that, if you’re an active person, you’re probably already stressing out about your fitness goals, and we get it!
Between the free time and all the food, staying active during the holidays can be challenging, even more so if you’ll be spending that time away from home. Sticking to your usual fitness routine might not be entirely possible – but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch it completely.
We have a few tips to help you stay on track this holiday season so you can enjoy the time with your loved ones while still accomplishing your goals and maintaining your good habits. And if you want to make the most out of the upcoming holidays, make sure to check our healthy strategies for dieting during the holiday season!
Plan around your busy days
A huge part of staying on track this time of year is planning, planning, planning. Because you’re usually busy between travel, family gatherings, and other activities, squeezing in some time to work out can be a challenge – but it’s not impossible!
Even though the holidays can be somewhat unpredictable, try to schedule your workouts around already-planned activities. For example, if you know you’ll spend a full day at a cabin with your family, you can wake up early that day and do a few bodyweight exercises before you leave, or squeeze in a quick cardio session before showering that night.
If you find it difficult to stick to your usual training split, focus instead on full-body workouts that you can do anywhere at any time. That said, sometimes holidays get so busy that you don’t have time for a full workout, even if you planned for it beforehand – and that’s completely OK! Just do what you can when you can, even if it’s just for 15 minutes in the middle of a busy day.
Stay active even if it doesn’t include training
Having a full workout during the holidays can be difficult, especially if you’re traveling or busy with family activities. But the good news is: you don’t have to!
Yes, you can plan around holiday activities as we mentioned before, but when that doesn’t work out, the next best thing that you can do is stay active however you can. Get creative and keep your body moving throughout the day, no matter how. Remember, you’re on holiday, so try to make it fun!
If there are kids, you can play games with them that involve moving around, like hide and seek or a fun ball game. Have a family dog? Get some miles in by walking them or take them to the dog park while you jog a few laps.
You can even stay active by simply helping around with housework, like keeping the house clean or shoveling snow from the driveway. Just keep moving!
Bring workout essentials with you
If you’re away from home during the holidays, packing a few fitness essentials can be a smart move!
Of course, we’re not talking about whole fitness stations or free weights that make your suitcase heavier and bulkier. Think resistance bands, a jump rope, light clothing, and a good pair of workout shoes that you can wear on a nice day out in case you can squeeze in a short run in the middle of the day.
Having these with you will not only motivate you to work out while you’re on holiday but also make it easier for you to do so. After all, motivation isn’t everything, especially if you’re on vacation, so having everything in plain sight will remind you of how easy it can be to just get up and jump the rope for a few minutes or do some banded exercises!
Find an accountability buddy
Staying accountable can get more difficult depending on where you’re spending your holidays. If you’re at home, you can simply slip into your workout clothes and have a full workout at your home gym. But what if you’re at a cozy lodge, or sipping on some coconut water at the beach?
Having an accountability buddy can help you stay on track by reminding you to work out and encouraging you to do it. After all, doing things in the company of others tends to be more enjoyable than doing them alone, so try asking your friends and family if they want to help keep you accountable.
Maybe someone around you also wants to stay active so you can work out together, or they need to finish other activities too but lack the motivation, like picking up scattered toys. Accountability helps you stay on track, so try to find a partner to do things with or simply someone who can encourage you!
Be prepared to fight excuses
This is a big one that often gets overlooked. Staying on track isn’t always about having all planned out and being motivated, but it’s also about being prepared because it’s easier to make excuses for yourself when you’re on holiday.
For example, if you plan to work out early the next morning, place your workout clothes right next to your bed so that when you get up that’s the first thing you see and you can get ready faster without having second thoughts.
You can also bring your workout shoes and a resistance band with you wherever you go and leave them in your bag or the car. This way, you can avoid making up excuses like “I didn’t come prepared” or “I’ll wait until I get back”. You’ll already have everything you need, you just need to start!
Last but not least… Give yourself a break! The best way to stay on track is to be realistic and not push yourself too hard so you can still enjoy the holidays.
If you miss your daily workout completely, don’t make a big deal out of it, just do what you can the next day! You don’t need to work out every single day or compensate with a tougher workout if you didn’t do much the day before or if you indulged a little with your favorite foods.
Remember, a few quick workouts spread throughout the week are better than none at all, so take it easy on yourself and don’t throw the towel just because you’re not able to work out as much as you’re used to. Try to stay flexible and make an effort to stay active whenever you can!
Need some help creating a flexible exercise routine for the holidays?
The Fit With Iulia app has all you need! Every week, Iulia creates goal-focused workouts with a variety of different exercises to help you get closer to your fitness goals, whether you’re focusing on building muscle mass, weight loss, or both. Simply download the Fit With Iulia app and try our 7-day free trial today!