The holiday season may be where exercise and fitness go to die, but it doesn’t have to be!
I come from a large family, and as such, I understand that the holiday season is pretty much a black hole in terms of fitness and healthy eating. Not only do we have to contend with family members constantly grabbing at our attention, but we also have to deal with the temptation of delicious foods coming at us from all angles.
Even if you have been a perfect angel in terms of diet and exercise throughout the whole year, one heavy holiday season can throw you completely off track and out of whack.
So how do you manage to maintain some semblance of health, when faced with so many unhealthy options? You have to get creative, of course. Here are a few ways you can minimize the holiday weight-gain effect, so you don’t have to add ‘completely rebuild my body from scratch’ to your New Years resolutions:
Wake up early. The easiest way to maintain a workout during a hectic family time is to wake up before everyone else, and force yourself to work out. Exercising in the morning will also give you the endorphins you need to skirt any family drama during the day.
Make deals with yourself. If you really want to indulge, promise yourself a certain number of minutes on the treadmill for every over-indulgence you take. Holding yourself accountable will help you maintain a sense of integrity in the face of all those desserts.
Use exercise as an escape. Any time you are around family for an extended amount of time, you are bound to become stressed out. Use exercise as an excuse to run away from your family when they annoy you, and put that time to good use, even if you just got outside for a brisk walk around the block.
Recruit friends. If you have a favorite cousin that you can stand being around, invite them to sneak in a workout with you. Having someone else hold you accountable and encourage you might just be the boost you need to turn away from the fruitcake.
Adapt to your surroundings. If you have a huge staircase in your family house, spend some time listening to music and climbing. If you have access to a big back yard, encourage the family to start a flag football tradition (it’s surprisingly easy to learn). Wherever you are, use the things around you to help you stick to your fitness goals, because New Years is right around the corner!