The holidays are here and with that comes food, family, and fun. It seems your weekends are filled with holiday parties and events, and there are sweets everywhere you look. The holidays can seem like a stressful time when you feel like you have less time to workout and your diet might be a little off the tracks.
But the whole month of December does not need to be a wash. There are plenty of ways to fit a workout into your schedule whether it’s at home or in the gym. Forcing yourself to go to the gym after a long day of work, shopping, and other holiday activities will likely result in a poor workout, so how can you make sure you stay on track this season?
Planning & Preparing
Most people typically plan out their workouts as it is, so the holidays shouldn’t be any different. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Take a look at the week ahead and see which days you know you can make it to the gym, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Know you have an office party on Thursday? Have to set aside a day to decorate? Factor those days in first. Pick a day where heading to the gym isn’t going to feel like another chore. Maybe start your Saturday by heading to the gym so that you have the rest of the day to finish tasks.
HIIT & Creativity
High-Intensity Interval Training workouts are proven to be effective and are perfect for when you’re in a crunch for time. So improvising and being creative are the easiest ways to get your workouts in this season. If you’ve only got a small window of time in your day to fit your workout in, HIIT is the best way to get it done by burning more fat in less time.
If you don’t have time to make it to the gym because you’re doing things around the house, find a way to fit workouts in at home. If you’re in the kitchen baking holiday cookies, that means you’ve got anywhere from 8-12 minutes while they cook to get a quick round in.
30-second jump squat
1-minute bird dog
30-second jump knee touch
Repeat twice. Have a second batch of cookies?
Try this two times through:
30-second push ups
1-minute jumping jacks
30-second mountain climber
The best part about these quick HIIT workouts, besides the effective burn, is that they’re customizable to what works best for you. If they’re too challenging, you can switch to 1:4 Work:Rest methods, or 15 seconds of work for every 60 seconds of rest. If they’re too easy, switch to 1:1 Work:Rest methods, or 30 seconds of work for every 30 seconds of rest. You can also switch up the movements themselves adding or removing things like burpees, thrusters, dips, lunges, and more.
Want to be fit and festive? Try a workout game for fun during a movie or a holiday song. You can jog in place or wait to hear the queues. Every time you hear the word “Santa,” do five pushups. Every time you hear the word “reindeer,” do 10 squats. Challenge yourself and assign movements to plenty of words!
Partner & Accountability
There are plenty of benefits to working out with a partner. Motivating each other to keep pushing through is a great way to make sure you get your workouts done. If you know you have plans to work out with a friend, you’ll be less likely to bail on them. By going together, you can hold each other accountable, push each other to do more, and have fun in each other’s company while crushing goals.
Another way to hold yourself accountable is to use a personal trainer. This will keep you on track as you stick to your planned workouts and strive to hit your goals. Using a trainer will help you establish a routine even during the busiest time of the year. This means it’s you vs. you. While your trainer helps you set attainable goals and guides you, you’re truly in control of attendance and effort.
It’s beginning to look a lot like fitness! And remember, you can enjoy the holiday and hit your fitness goals at the same time. Neither should be competing for your time as long as you plan ahead, improvise, and hold yourself accountable.