Let’s face it, staying active and healthy during the holiday season is tough. Between family gatherings, parties, traveling, work, and personal life, it can be hard to make time for you! That is precisely why you need to!
So what are ways to stay active during the holidays?
1) Make a plan
Most activities start with a plan. Don’t be afraid to be the person in charge the idea or make suggestions. If you suggest to go for a holiday walk or run, it’s more likely to happen.
Similarly, if you suggest or make a healthier option for dinner, it’s more likely to happen. Don’t be afraid to be the planner. We often wait for someone else to do something, but taking the first step is all you need to do to put a plan into motion.
2) Exercise early
There are some years I am actively training for a goal race during the holiday season. I make it a priority to wake up early and get my run in before starting the daily activities. Then I don’t have to worry about a run interrupting the day.
By running early, it’s done, and I don’t have to worry or think about it for the rest of the day. Running early makes the holidays far easier and less stressful.
3) Keep moving
Instead of sitting down for long periods of time, incorporate standing or walks with your family. At my house, it’s common to take a walk with the dogs and family after dinner.
You don’t have to socialize by sitting still or watching television for hours. Even taking a short walk for a few minutes is more beneficial than sitting still.
4) Get rid of the “all or nothing” mindset
As humans and runners, we have the mindset that we either have to workout hard or not at all. Similarly, that we have to be marathon training or not running at all. That is one of the worst mindsets to be in. Remember, not every run has to be a long run and a few minutes of running is better than nothing.
5) Stay flexible
Yes, maybe you slept in. Maybe you have to run on a treadmill or run at night instead of the morning. Maybe you are even convinced to try a new workout! Don’t worry about it and just go with the flow.
Remember, running is a gift, and there is no right or wrong way to run. Stay flexible during the holidays and who knows, you might discover something new you like to do.
6) Focus on maintaining fitness and staying healthy
As someone who has trained hard during the holidays, maintained fitness, and even not worked out much at all, the most enjoyable holidays (and least stressful) were always the ones I focused on maintaining fitness.
I was able to go out for a run without a rigid plan or workout and had no worries. I could run with family members I hadn’t run with in a long time. Instead of having a goal race in January, think about building a base or being able to run and workout.
7) Last but not least, don’t forget it’s a single day
One of the best pieces advice anyone has given me is to have a single day to enjoy yourself. You don’t need to be 100% rigid all of the time, life isn’t a perfect world. You don’t gain fitness in a single day and you don’t lose it either. Enjoy yourself and your family time.
How do you stay active during the holidays?