6 Ways to Stay in Shape During the Holidays

The holidays can be busy and stressful, and while you may have worked hard the rest of the year to lose weight, it’s tempting to take a break from your workouts this time of year. This is actually one of the worst things you can do—that is, if you don’t want to join the majority of Americans who gain between five and ten pounds each holiday season.

Instead of coming up with reasons to skip your workouts, do the opposite and make sure they happen—and even increase—during the holiday season. It will stave off weight gain, keep you healthy and help you manage the stressors that accompany the holidays.

Read on for some tips for staying in shape this season.

  1. Book it. Maintaining your normal exercise schedule is even more important this time of year when you may indulge in a few more calories than usual. Schedule your workouts in your calendar and make them unmovable. Take them as seriously as you would a doctor’s appointment that you would get charged for missing.

  2. Squeeze out the excess. Instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule, remove some of the extraneous activities that are making your days too packed.

  3. Add a few sessions in. We know this may sound crazy, but if you want to maintain your results, do the opposite of slacking off and add in an a few extra workouts. This will remind you that your health and fitness is a priority, no matter what time of year it is.
  4. Mix it up. If you typically do the same thing every day, it’s going to be hard to stay committed or add workouts in when you’re thinking about everything you need to do. If you usually run every day or hit the gym, instead go to a new exercise class, hit the pool and swim laps, or visit your local Pilates studio. 

  5. Wake up early if you have to. If you usually exercise during your lunch break or after work but holiday festivities are taking place during your usual me-time, get up an hour earlier and go for that run or walk. 
  6. Combine family time with movement. Friends and relatives in town? Suggest a local hike or walk through town to look at holiday decorations instead of meeting at the bar for cocktails—or at least walk to the bar for cocktails.

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