The holidays wreak havoc on schedules. That can make it hard to fit in a cardio session or some time on your yoga mat. And that also disrupts our sleeping patterns and our ability to battle stress – and those are just as important to stay healthy during this time of year. Check out the ways you can stay fit over the holidays:
Break a sweat
We know that squeezing in time for a workout is a great way to stay fit over the holidays. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day! Make time for a cardio session by working out in the morning.
This can be especially tough if you’re not a morning person. Embrace your non-early bird tendencies and go work out at 9:30 AM, not 6:30 AM. That may require carving out time away from your family – but your mind and body will thank you. For runners, you can hit the pavement and train for an upcoming race using the Couch to 5K app. For non-runners, online exercise routines like Zumba are portable and fun. Find your favorite form of exercise – you’ll be more eager to make time for it as a result.
Still need some additional motivation? Find a workout partner. Whether it’s before the rest of the house has woken up or while the family is huddled under a throw blanket after dinner, working out with a buddy can be a great social activity. It makes it much easier to handle running in the snow when you’ve got a right hand man or woman to keep you motivated, noted Men’s Fitness – and it’s a great opportunity to catch up with a close friend or family member. If you’re determined to feel the burn, try these resistance kickbacks from Greatist. All you need is a resistance band, which you can fit into any carry on.
To help keep your stress levels low, try meditating. The Telegraph reported that those who meditate while on vacation see longer lasting effects than those who just kick back in their fuzzy slippers. If you’re just starting meditation you may find it difficult to sit and focus on your breathing for extended periods of time. Try it for one minute at a time, slowly working up to five or ten minutes per day. You’ll likely notice a difference in your stress levels.
Take a deep breath
And with all of the holiday parties – full of delicious food and good wine – it’s easy to feel out of control. Instead of panicking, practice self-kindness. Offering ourselves a bit of kindness is the best way to stay fit. Sip a glass of wine with friends or hit the snooze button. In an article in Shape magazine, writer Sarah Angle noted that in the tug-of-war between sleep and exercise, sometimes sleep wins out. Your body needs sleep in order to keep you in tip-top condition throughout the holiday season. So sleep in. Your body will thank you for it.
Here’s to surviving the holidays with friends, family and a lot of tasty food!