The end of one year and the start of a new one, the holiday season is a time of the year to celebrate with family, friends, and food. It’s also a time of the year where you can reset your fitness goals while at the same time appreciating what you’ve accomplished this year, both the big and little wins. It’s a time of the year for relaxing, taking a break, and not being too hard on yourself if you don’t stick to your typical daily workout and meal routine.
It’s also ok to want to stay on track and still work out over this time. It may just be the mental and physical boosts you need to stay sane when visiting your hometown. While your routine will inevitably be altered, here’s how to maintain your fitness and remain flexible to the busy holiday schedule.
1. Plan Your Workouts Ahead of Time
Especially if you’re traveling, scheduling your workouts in advance is the way to go. If you’re staying with family or even if you’re in a hotel, research local gyms and workout facilities in the area—and don’t rule out your dad’s home gym or the hotel facilities either. It helps to physically write out your workout schedule for those weeks or put them in your phone so it’s easier to stick to the plan.
2. Get Creative
When you’re in holiday mode, make your workouts convenient so you can maximize your time with family and friends and do the most for your fitness with as little space and tools as possible. Bring any equipment that you may need with you in your suitcase—a jump rope, resistance bands, a weighted vest, and, of course, a bangin’ playlist. And if your suitcase is already is already jam-packed with presents, try some bodyweight workouts from your favorite trainer or workout app, find the nearest staircase for a killer stair workout, or even just take the dog on long walks—just move where you can, when you can.
3. Bring a Buddy
You might get lucky where you’re traveling, or if you’re staying home, you might get lucky on who is also staying home over the holidays. Either way, grab your nearest workout buddy to hold you accountable over these couple of weeks. And if you don’t have a designated workout buddy, don’t be afraid to get the fam involved—rope your siblings into a core workout, play tag outside with your little nieces and nephews, or go on a run with your dad.
4. Take Advantage of Downtime
If there’s a lull in the board game day or if it’s nap time after a big meal, use that time to your advantage and sneak in a workout. If it’s snowing and you see an opportunity to help out a relative or friend, shoveling is a great workout. Even just running errands for your mom on foot is a great way to get in some movement.
5. Go Small (For Once)
Us fitness people can get really intense and maybe a little too formulaic about our fitness sometimes, so it’s probably actually great for our sanity that we take a forced break from our regularly scheduled workout program. Sometimes, getting in a two-hour workout on a busy holiday isn’t realistic. If all you have that day is 20 minutes, then maximize those 20 minutes, and don’t sweat it for the rest of the day because you know that missing one two-hour workout day (or week or two) won’t kill you or even affect your fitness much at all.
6. Try Some Winter Sports
We think shoveling snow could be considered a winter sport, but there’s also definitely more exciting winter sports out there. If you’re near mountains, hit the slopes, or if you’re near frozen ponds, hit the rink. And if all you have is snow in your front yard, go ahead and start a snowball fight.
7. Sign Up for a Race
There very well could be a Santa-themed 5K wherever you’re headed for the holidays. Shop around online, see what you can find, and don’t forget to pack your Santa hat. If you can’t find any local races happening near you, plan your own running or walking route around the neighborhood.
8. Catch Up on Sleep
By now, you’ve probably heard all of your coaches and trainers say many times before that resting is just as important of a part of your workout routine as the actual workout. Here’s a chance to actually put rest on the forefront—even if it’s in your childhood twin bed. And an early bedtime makes for a potential early morning workout the next day before the rest of the family wakes up.
9. Indulge a Little
You can snack on your grandma’s famous cookies for one day without completely falling off the healthy eating wagon. The holidays are a time of the year when you can step off the gas for a second with your meal plan and just enjoy a sweet treat or two. If you don’t eat the way you normally would for a few days, don’t beat yourself up about—and know that it won’t negatively affect your overall health.
10. Stay Hydrated
Eggnog and hot chocolate aren’t super hydrating drinks, so make sure to fill up your water bottle and keep it with you during these holidays functions. Another way to make sure you’re staying hydrated throughout the holidays is to pour yourself a large glass of water to have before or during big meals. It doesn’t hurt to have PWR LIFT on hand for an electrolyte boost, either.
11. Sneak In Protein
Not all holiday foods are high in protein. Since you’ll still be working out but your normal protein sources potentially won’t be on the menu, make sure you’re getting in protein where you can to help those muscles recover. If you have to take matters into your own hands, you can sneak in a quick 10g of protein with a PWR LIFT.