The festive season is upon us – HOORAY! For many, it’s a time for celebration and the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. For others, it’s when the gyms are closed, there is too much food available and when at least some of this year’s exercise and diet plan are undone!
Don’t let the festive season rob you of your hard-won health and fitness. By all means enjoy yourself and eat some of the foods that you might normally avoid for the rest of the year but also put these fitness-saving strategies into practice. That way, when January rolls around, you won’t feel like you are starting from scratch all over again!
Walk, walk and walk some more!
Walking is arguably one of the best holiday workouts around. You can walk to friend’s and family’s houses instead of using your car, go for a walk with those same people before or after sitting down to eat. Even a few minutes of brisk walking can help preserve your fitness so walk at every opportunity to avoid festive season weight gain and keep your heart and lungs in good working order.
Work out at home
Just because the gym is shut, doesn’t mean you can’t work out. Bodyweight exercises are ideal for home workouts and can be done anytime you need to get up and moving. Here is a little workout that will take no more than 20-minutes and works all of your major muscles including your heart and lungs!
Do as many laps of the following four-exercise circuit as you can in 20-minutes:
- 5 burpees
- 10 push-ups
- 15 squats
- 20 crunches
Play with your kids
Getting outside and playing with your kids is a great form of exercise in disguise. You can play basketball, soccer, Frisbee or touch football with them or just play chase or hide and go seek. All of these games are surprisingly energetic and will help you burn calories and maintain fitness. If you don’t have kids of your own, I’m sure there are kids in your neighborhood that would be more than happy for you to join in with their games.
Try interactive video games
Interactive video games like the Nintendo Wii and E-Box Kinect provide a fun way to be active. You can play alone or, for more fun, against friends and relatives. Some of the sports sims are especially good and you’ll be surprised just how much of a sweat you can work up while playing. Don’t have a Wii? No worries – I’m sure one of your younger relatives or friend’s kids have got one so why not pay them a visit and challenge them?!
Prioritize physical activity
It’s all too easy to embrace inactivity during the holiday season but this is a mistake as it only makes getting back into fitness that much harder. Of course, there are other demands on your time and energy at this time of the year so it’s easy to put off exercise. To avoid falling into this trap, make sure you prioritize physical activity and try to do something energetic early each day. This can be a walk, clearing the snow from your drive, playing with your kids or even cranking out a bodyweight workout – get it done early and then you are free to relax for the rest of the day.
Start a holiday fitness tradition
Rather than see the holiday season as a time to stop exercising, why not enter an annual holiday running race or sports event? How about rounding up your friends and family for a yearly game of touch football? Ultimately, any physical activity will be beneficial and then the more fun it is, the better.
Become a mall rat
Bad weather may make you want to stay indoors but you can walk miles and miles in relative comfort if you go to the mall. Lace up your sneakers and walk laps of the mall – you could even pick up a few bargains in the sales. You’ll get extra fitness points of you take the stairs and not the elevator!
Don’t let the festive season rob you of all your hard-won fitness. It’s okay to take your foot of the gas and relax a little but you can maintain your fitness even if the gym is closed. Look for opportunities to stay active during the holidays and you’ll find January’s return to exercise much easier.