How to Keep Fit During the Holidays
Each year, the holiday season brings cross-country travel and gift-buying marathons that can cut
into our usual workout routines. Add in decadent holiday dishes and rich traditional desserts, and
its no wonder why so many people see their waistlines growing in the New Year. This winter,
avoid unnecessary holiday weight gain by making time to give your body the exercise and
nutrition it needs.
Avoid Overeating during the Holidays
On holidays like Thanksgiving, many of us make the mistake of fasting all day long in order to
try as many festive dishes as possible. This tactic works against us: Its a form of short-term
starvation that leads to overindulging.
Plan for a day of heavy eating by starting with a proper breakfast. Later, in the hours before a
large holiday meal, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables or healthy energy bars so youre less
likely to overdo it at the dinner table. Make sure to stay hydrated, too. Feeling thirsty can trick us
into thinking were hungry, which may lead to filling up on extra servings.
Maintain Regular Exercise
Dont let the frantic pace of the holiday season excuse missed sessions at the gym. Part of
staying fit through the winter months is maintaining your regular workout plan. Try these tips to
get your blood pumping, even when there are a dozen items on your to-do list:
Hit the a.m. Gym Cycle: Getting to the gym bright and early not only means free rein
with the elliptical machines, it also clears the rest of your day to focus on other items;
from last-minute gift shopping to holiday food preparation.
Create a Rewards System: When youre busy, it can be difficult to work up the
motivation needed for the gym. Try devising a system to earn rewards when you follow
through on regular exercise. For example, awarding a point for each set of reps completed
at the gym, or number of laps around the track. After reaching a certain number of points,
compensate yourself for a job well done by purchasing a new piece of workout
equipment or filling your plate with an extra slice of pumpkin pie.
Work Out on the Go: Worried about holiday travel cutting into your exercise routine?
Try non-conventional means of staying active, like booking hotels with workout rooms,
helping relatives clean the house before the annual Christmas party, or playing catch with
cousins during family functions. You can also park as far from the mall entrance as
possible during shopping trips, or skip the elevator in the parking garage in favor of the
stairs. Remember that any activity is better than no activity.
Get the Whole Family Involved