How to Fit Fitness Into Your Holiday Plans


I know, I know- you probably don’t want to see “fitness” and “holiday plans” in the same line, because if you’re like most people (even a fitness guru like me), you think of the holidays as a time to hang out with friends and family, stuff yourself on a giant holiday feast and all the inevitable baked goods, just relax. Relaxing and exercising don’t seem to go together. In fact, they’re basically polar opposites. One requires you to unwind and do absolutely nothing, while the other is about giving it all you’ve got to the point of pain and exhaustion. Even if you’re someone who incorporates working out into your daily routine, you’re probably more inclined to veg out than to feel the burn over your precious free time around the holidays.

Staying fit is vital for your health, however, and you don’t have to sacrifice your health to enjoy the holiday season. Personal trainers report seeing a drop-off in physical activity around this time of year due to holiday obligations, but according to the American Heart Association and The Centers for Disease Control, adults should engage in moderately intense workouts for a minimum of 150 minutes each week to maintain their health.

Between all the holiday parties, gift shopping, cooking, baking, holiday movie specials, and family gatherings, how are you supposed to fit in trips to the gym? Well, I have some good news. If you’re hard-pressed to find time to exercise due to your busy holiday schedule, you can cheat a little. Yes, cheat. I do not endorse cheating in any other aspect of your life, but if you need to cut back on your fitness plan a little in order to fit it in, then go for it! It’s better to cut back than to cut it out completely.

Now I’m not saying that even on Christmas day, you should cut your time with your family short in order to fit in a quick workout, but instead of lounging around the next few days feeling guilty about the copious amounts of food you consumed, why not work off those cookies and pie with some simple, mildly-strenuous physical activity? Here are three suggestions for prioritizing fitness, even when it may seem difficult or impossible to do so:

Get active with a workout buddy

Exercising is so much easier and more fun when you have someone to do it with, so find yourself an accountability partner (sibling, cousin, friend, whoever’s around) and motivate each other to get up off the couch, even if it’s just for a quick jog around the block or a walk in the park. Exercise can be a great way to catch up with someone you haven’t seen in awhile – much better than being glued to your phones or the television!

Prioritize efficiency and effectiveness

When you’re pressed for time, efficiency and effectiveness are the keys to a successful workout, so high-intensity interval training and circuit training will help you maximize your workout and burn the most calories. Interval training should always be done at a 1:2 ratio of rest to work. The intensity of the intervals will vary depending on one’s experience level, but an example would be a ten minute interval period alternating between 20 seconds of sprinting on the treadmill with 40 seconds of jogging. A simple circuit workout that can be done in a short amount of time is 10 repetitions of the following six exercises using weights: squats, deadlifts, lunges, shoulder presses, pull-ups, and pushups.


Yoga is one of the best things you can do to feel rested and rejuvenated, and you’ll feel so much better relaxing in a healthy way like this than spending all your time napping or parked in front of the tv. According to yoga instructor Jim Simonik, “Around the holidays there’s so much going on, there’s so many demands that really the last thing you want to do is to continue to deplete the body, and the mind, and the emotions.” So if you want to do both your body and your mind a favor, set aside about 20-30 minutes of your time, lay out a mat, and queue up a yoga video. It’s really that simple-yoga classes can be an excellent way to ensure you’re fitting this form of exercise into your schedule, but they’re not necessary!

Implement these tips, and you can rest assured that you’re doing everything you can to stay fit around the holidays. This busy time of year may curtail your normal fitness routine, but being busy is no excuse for disregarding your personal fitness entirely. For even more holiday fitness tips, check out this helpful list!

5 Healthy Tips For the Holidays

It’s that time of year again: family, friends, fun, and full bellies. Many of us overindulge our appetites during this time, and because we may be dissuaded by the cold from going outside, our mass increases accordingly. But do not be afraid! There are some surefire tips you can use to stay slim during these nippy months.

Healthy Habit Focus: Specifically, you should only be zeroing in on one habit that will keep you healthy, instead of juggling too many practices. For example, personal trainer Gunnar Peterson (of Kardashian and Vergara Fame) will choose to abstain from alcohol, or pass on appetizers or desserts. By limiting yourself to stick with the elimination of just one vice, you’re more likely to stick to your own rules.

New Playlist: When you’re working out, don’t worry about playing the same playlist over and over again. Instead load up with new music, but make sure the time totals the number of minutes you plan on working out. So, if you’re going on a 30 minute jog, load up six five-minute songs. That way, as soon as the music stops, you can too.

Go skinny on the buffet: If you’re in a buffet style setting, wander through first, so you know what you want to grab– as opposed to loading up from the start on anything your eyes fall upon. Also sit a considerable distance away from the food.

Approach Water Differently: It’s an absolute must that you stay hydrated. Also, it turns out that a lot of times when you’re hungry, you’re actually thirsty. Health recommends that you carry a glass of water with you in one hand, and your phone or bag in the other. By keeping both hands full, you’ll be less inclined to reach for that plate of hors d’oeuvres or sugary snack. Also, try drinking a spritzer made with seltzer and a twist of lemon or lime as a drink in between cocktails.

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