(RxWiki News) The holidays don't have to make your fitness take a nosedive. With a few simple tricks, you can stay fit this holiday season and beyond.
During the holidays or any busy or stressful season, you can use these five tips to maintain and even improve your fitness.
1. Combine Family Time with Fitness Time
The holidays are all about spending time with family, and that can create a problem with your workout routine. That's because you may feel that sneaking away to the gym or outside for a run is taking away from the time you have to spend with your loved ones.
It's true that time with loved ones is incredibly valuable, but you might be able to enhance that time by getting your loved ones involved in a fitness-building activity. Invite the cousin you want to reconnect with on your jog; take your sister to the racquetball court; or play a little one-on-one basketball with your nephew. All of these activities are great for bonding and excellent for fitness.
2. Find Little Breaks to Squeeze in a Few Reps
When it comes to exercise, a little is so, so much better than none. So, instead of resigning yourself to a holiday season free of physical activity, resolve to work in as much activity as possible in any available window of time — no matter how small it is.
Got one minute before your aunt comes back from the basement with your cousin's baby photos? Work in a set of jumping jacks. Is everyone going to gather in the living room to watch a holiday movie in 20 minutes? Squeeze in a quick jog around the block. When you start looking for them, the opportunities to work in a little activity during the holidays are endless.
3. Limit Sitting Time
Spending time with family often involves sitting in the living room or around the table and talking. But the more time you spend sitting, the more damage you're doing to your overall fitness.
With that in mind, take whatever opportunities you can find to limit the amount of time you spend sitting. If everyone is sitting down to a movie, opt to stand and watch it from the back of the room. If the family is gathering on sofas and chairs to talk and catch up, suggest a family walk instead.
4. Enjoy Yourself, but Eat Sensibly
Diet and fitness are deeply connected, and the holidays can pose huge challenges to both. No one wants to sacrifice all of those delicious holiday treats we only see once per year, and you shouldn't have to. However, you can limit the impact of reduced physical activity by limiting your intake of unhealthy foods. Enjoy what you eat during the holidays, but enjoy it in moderation.
5. If Possible, Maintain Your Routine
Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the holidays — the gift-giving, the family visits, the cooking — that we fail to see that there is, in fact, time in the day to do what we usually do. If you typically work out for 30 minutes five days per week, is it really going to be impossible to do that during the holidays? Take the time to consider your answer to that question. You may be surprised to find that you have plenty of time. And if you don't, you may still have time to work out three times instead of five times.