You're busy, you're stressed, it's chilly out ... so why not just take a break from your fitness program until the New Year? Sure, you can always come up with an excuse not to exercise. Slacking off on your fitness program during the holidays will only leave you with more pounds -- and more stress -
- come the New Year. Trying to stick to an exercise program this time of year is difficult for many people, so here are some suggestions to keep you motivated and disciplined.
The first step, is acknowledging the holidays probably will affect your exercise program to some
extent so make adjustments that will help you stay fit during the season. For example, if you usually
take exercise classes only offered at a certain time, skip the classes and take a hike or go to your
local gym and work out on the treadmill, elliptical or do circuit training. Any amount of exercise is
better than none at all.
Take an honest look at your schedule, and instead of trying to squeeze exercise into your schedule,
take other things out. The goal is not to do more (as we all have a tendency to do this time of year),
but to do less, but do it all well. Squeezing too much in at this time only leaves you frustrated,
anxious and then not sleeping well. Whether or not you already have well-established exercise
habits, make sure you actually schedule time into your day for your exercise. Physically add it to
your calendar so that you don’t lose site of your workout routine. Missing a work out is like missing
an important meeting with a client.
Eating more than usual around this time of year is typical, but it also means staying with your
exercise routine is especially important. Strive to add an extra workout session or two whenever
possible. Not only will this make a difference physically, it will mentally remind you that your No. 1
objective is to lose weight and to stay healthy.
Be Flexible and Mix It Up
Here are some tips for staying fit during the time-crunched, temptation-packed holiday season:
Be flexible when your days get busy, Instead of simply blowing off your 5 p.m. trip to the gym
in favor of an office party at the same time, wake up an hour early and walk or jog before work
or fit a brisk walk into your lunch hour.
Mix up your routine to avoid boredom. If you usually run four days a week, try running once,
doing the elliptical once, and lifting weights twice. The novelty of the new exercise will hopefully
be a stronger motivator than the 'need' to do something else during your normal exercise time.
Muscle confusion also burns more fat.
To save time, combine exercise and family commitments. For example, hauling the kids up a
hill a few times can make a sledding trip as beneficial as a jog. Taking the family cross-country
skiing, or on a hiking will provide exercise as well as quality time.
Book a long weekend getaway at a warm destination for January or February. This will
motivate you to keep exercise a priority. When you're tempted to slack off, envision yourself
looking good on the beach.
Create a holiday wish list for one or more improved body area(s), Keep your discipline
Be ready for the mistletoe!!! People are attracted to a strong, healthy body. Your confidence
will show if you've been keeping up with your eating and exercise habits. PUCKER UP!!!
Creating a home workout routine for those times you can't make it to the gym. Crunches,
push-ups, and many other exercises can be done without any gym equipment.
Increase your time management skills over the holiday season. Organize your day the
evening before. Prioritizing your tasks beforehand will help you find time to exercise. Each
week, make it a priority to fit in three exercise sessions.
Walking is an exercise that can go anywhere, from the woods to the mall. Always have a pair
of running or walking shoes with you, and a clean pair of socks.
Ask for Personal Training for Christmas. email@example.com or 860-928-9218
Until next time, stay fit, stay strong and stay healthy.
Val is a certified personal trainer at Midtown Fitness and Martial Arts in Putnam
(www.midtown-fitness.com for more information)