The holiday season is upon us again. Am I the only one who feels like we just did the whole holiday parade of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s a few weeks ago? But, regardless of what it feels like, it appears we have no choice but to press on.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year. There’s something about the weather turning cold (if you’re somewhere that happens because it’s still 80 here and I’m just about over it) and leaves changing that gives me a renewed sense of vigor. But while I’m feeling ready to go, it seems like those around me are winding down for the year.
There starts to be a lot of chatter about overindulging in food, wine, and Netflix. And I hear this all the time from other people, especially women, and it drives me absolutely bonkers.
“I’ll start again in January.”
Hold. The. Phone.
Is that serious y’all?
You’re actually willing to throw in the towel and let everything you’ve worked for all year long go down the drain because it’s easier to stop trying and indulge in all the things?
Here’s the thing, I love you, and I’m not willing to let you do that. So while I’ll save holiday eating for another post entirely, today, we’re focusing on how to stick with your workout routine through the holidays. Trust me, I know it can be tough with a schedule that fills up faster than you can make appointments in your google calendar. But stay with me here; we’re gonna get through this together.
Set a new goal or revamp existing ones
Much of the reason people lose focus with exercising this time of year is that they don’t have anything to work toward. But come January 1st, you best believe all those spring races fill up pretty darn quick. So why not sign up now?
Commit to a fitness goal that you can continue to make progress on this year. That might mean signing up for a 5K walk, a triathlon, or a CrossFit competition at your local gym. Or you may decide to bump up that goal of doing 5 strict pull-ups from spring 2022 to December 2021. Whatever you choose, commit to it, put it down on paper, and tell a friend or loved one about it for some added accountability.
Make a plan
After you set a goal, sign up for a race, or whatever you decide to do, make a plan. Because I don’t even need to tell you about how failing to plan is planning to fail.
Schedule your days in the gym, just as you’ve done all year long. Pencil in rest days. Get a babysitter or dog walker on the schedule as needed to make sure that nothing is coming between you and getting in your workout.
Find ways to move
The thing about the holidays is that there will be more on your plate than usual (no pun intended), and you may find that you’re not even home for much of them. So if you’re planning to travel out of town or the kids being out of school means you don’t have time for the gym, get creative and find other ways to move that don’t require your regular equipment.
Walking is a fantastic way to exercise that requires nothing but the feet under you. Bonus points if you can get your kids and family members to walk with you. Then if you’re feeling frisky, throw in some bodyweight movements like push-ups, air squats, burpees, or lunges. Not everything you do needs to take place in a gym, so get comfortable with the idea of moving in other ways so you can recruit those movements as a stand-in if needed.
Give yourself grace
There is a very good chance that your holiday fitness routine is not going to look like the one you’re used to. And that’s 100% okay! So be kind to yourself if you don’t manage to get in a workout for a few days. It’s truly not the end of the world.
Do the best you can to get through this busy season. The whole point of moving during the last few months of the year is so you’re not starting at square one come January. Anything you do now gives you a leg up on next year’s fitness goals and will leave you feeling stronger and healthier during the holidays too.
The Main Thing About Sticking With Your Workout Routine Through the Holidays
Holidays are hard, especially if your family situation or excessive travel adds stress. But remember that moving your body is a kindness you can afford to yourself anywhere. And while it’s always good to stick with a regular routine when possible, sometimes life will happen and require you to switch it up. That’s why setting goals, making a plan, and finding alternative ways to move are so important. Then, when it all goes downhill, you’ve gotta roll with the punches and give yourself some grace when you need it. It’s not always going to look perfect, but simply moving your body can help you get through the holidays feeling your best.
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