It’s happened again. Another summer is over, and fall is already here. We all know what THAT means. The yearly battle to stay fit and healthy through the holidays is about to begin. There are 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Years. In between those two holidays, we’ll each be faced with all sorts of fitness-busting temptations; parties, family gatherings, trips, and holiday stress.
It’s easy to throw your normal exercise habits out the window, justifying it with the typical holiday excuses: too busy, too stressed, too cold outside, etc. But slacking off on your fitness program isn’t doing you any favors. Consider this eye opener. According to Women’s Health, you can lose up to 20% percent of your cardiovascular fitness if you quit exercising cold-turkey between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of heart health! Don’t allow the holiday season to derail your fitness. Try these suggestions to keep you moving and exercising from Thanksgiving through the New Year….and beyond!
Do what you can where you are
Just because the weather outside is frightful and you can’t get your daily walk in doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Same goes for when you’re off in the RV over the holidays and away from your exercise equipment. You can always do bodyweight exercises, like squats or wall pushups, wherever you are. Need an example? Try my No-Excuses Bodyweight Workout. Especially around the holidays, exercise needs to be non-negotiable. Adopt a “no excuses” attitude when you’re out of your routine, and you’ll breeze through this holiday season with your waistline intact.
Sneak in small bursts of exercises
The holidays can be such a busy time, which makes finding a large block of time for fitness tricky. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Fitness can be found anywhere. Out shopping? Take the stairs. Climbing up into the RV? Keep stepping up and down 10 times before you actually go in. Watching the big game with the family? Do some stretches or floor exercises. Heading out to a holiday party? Lunge-walk your way out to the car. With a little creativity, you can sneak a ton of fitness into your day without setting aside a ton of time.
Start a fitness tradition
Every Thanksgiving, my kids and grandkids join James and me in a 5k Turkey Trot event. It’s become one of the best parts of our family’s holiday tradition, and we all look forward to it. 4-year old Amelia walked the entire 5k last year for the first time, and was so proud of herself! She’s actually decided this year, she’s going to jog it. She can’t wait, and neither can we. Creating your own holiday fitness traditions with your loved ones not only keeps you exercising, it also gives you quality time interacting with your family and friends…and makes incredible family memories, like seeing your granddaughter jog her first 5k. Much better than sitting around a TV for the day!
Recruit your family and friends to get moving
While the 5k might be too big of a commitment for you and yours, there are plenty of other things you can do right outside your door. Gather your loved ones around a game of flag football, volleyball, or whatever sport interests you. Sports not your thing? What about a yard game like croquet, horseshoes, or bocce ball? Any movement is better than no movement! You can even plan group walks after meals, do a yoga DVD instead of watching a movie, or find a local fitness class you can all attend together. Having your friends join in your fitness fun makes it much more motivating. The more the merrier!
Download a fitness app
Using apps to get through the holidays is a smart way to keep yourself motivated and on track. Apps like FitStar have pre-designed workouts, sort of like a digital personal trainer without the actual expense of a trainer. The Nexercise app turns your workout into a fun little game. Endomondo is a popular app that will keep track of your walks and jogs by mapping your route and showing your speed and distance. For you yogi’s, Daily Yoga is a great app with ready-made yoga classes. Apps like these are a powerful weapon to add to your holiday fitness arsenal.
Weigh in more frequently
The scale is sort of like your RV’s GPS…a tool we use to make sure we’re going in the right direction. During the holidays, it’s especially important to make sure we’re staying on track. Weighing in once a week will help you keep tabs on yourself through the holidays, and might just be the motivator you need for greater restraint. If your weigh-in is tomorrow morning, do you REALLY want that 2nd cup of eggnog?
Sticking to your exercise habits during the holidays can be difficult for even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast. But the craziness of the holiday season is no reason to lose all the fitness gains you’ve made this year so far. It really comes down to this: Eat smart, move lots, find creative ways to get exercise, and stay strong! It’s only 35 days. You’ve totally got this!
About the Author:
Stefany Adinaro, a Coach-Net member since 2013, is an RVing exercise specialist and the self-proclaimed “better half” of The Fit RV website she maintains with her husband James. While she loves her RV adventures, her favorite adventure is being “Mugga” to grandbabies Amelia and Eli. To learn more, check out The Fit RV website!