Active holiday season

Sticking to your workout routine during holidays can be a challenge.  Staying active will give you energy and reduce stress, along with burning any extra calories you might have eaten.  These quick tips can help you plan ahead and prepare you to stay active this holiday season:

If you are traveling, planning ahead can make all the difference. Take some time to figure out what your options are so you’re ready for anything:

  • Search for walking, running, or park trails nearby
  • Look up information about the hotel you’re staying at and find out if they have an exercise room
  • If you’re staying with family, ask if they have any fitness equipment
  • If that’s not an option, find nearby gyms and ask if they let guests use their facility
  • Talk to your family in advance and suggest taking a walk or doing something active together
  • Plan simple workouts that don’t require much space or equipment. If you’re traveling or have visitors, you may be able to sneak in a workout in the basement without bothering anyone.
Try to plan your workout schedule beforehand. Even if you have to change it (which is likely when you’re traveling), you’ve already made a commitment to exercise. It’s easier to stick with it when you have it planned than to squeeze it in later.

Get Prepared

If you’re not sure about your schedule or whether you’ll even have time to get in a workout, plan for the worst-case scenario. That may be staying in grandma’s basement with no equipment and only 10 or 15 minutes to yourself. Try these quick tips for squeezing in a workout even when you only have minutes to spare:

  • Bring a workout plan with you. Plan a routine of 10 exercises and do each for 1 minute (squats, lunges, push ups, jumping jacks)
  • Bring resistance bands with you.  They travel well and you can use them for quick strength exercises whenever you catch a few minutes.
  • If you have a laptop, bring along a workout DVD or try streaming workouts online
  • If guests are staying with you, move your equipment (weights or bands) into your bedroom so you can sneak in some exercise at night or in the morning
  • Wear your running or walking shoes as much as you can. You may find a 20-minute window when people are napping or before dinner for a quick walk or run

You may even want to invite some family members for a walk. Sometimes there are others who’d love to workout, but they’re just waiting for someone else to step up first.

Use Every Opportunity

Planning and preparing are nice, but even the best-laid plans get derailed, especially during the holidays.

If you find there’s just no way to get in a workout, get creative and find ways to move your body any way you can:

  • Walk as much as possible. Take extra laps at the mall, use the stairs, volunteer to walk the dog.
  • If you’re hanging out with kids, set up a game of football, tag or hide and seek.
  • Offer to help with the housework, shoveling snow or raking leaves.
  • If everybody’s sitting around watching football, get on the floor for some situps or pushups. If that’s too weird, try isometric exercises — squeeze and hold the abs, the glutes or even press the hands together to engage the chest.
  • If you don’t have equipment, pick up some full water bottles or soup cans to use for weights.  Something is always better than nothing.

Yesterday was a winter wonderland in the cascade mountains.  It was a perfect day to get outside and enjoy the snow!

2 thoughts on “Active holiday season

  1. Hi Jan,

    There’s something wrong with your post this morning. I can only read the 1st paragraph. I love reading your blog, so I’m missing it !


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