If exercise plays an integral role in your routine and general happiness, the holidays can be stressful. You spend your year going to ballet barre, wake up early for CrossFit and then suddenly December hits and you can’t seem to make it anywhere other than work and shopping malls. Rather than see all of your hard work go up the chimney with Santa, try adopting some of these habits this month. They may keep you from having to make the new’s years resolution of getting back in shape.
PENCIL IT IN
The best defense is a good offense. Scheduling your exercise time on ical or in a planner can make it easier to keep that promise to yourself to show up to the gym. Pencil in the dates and times at the beginning of the week and treat them like any other responsibility on your do list. You wouldn’t knock off a meeting with your boss to watch It’s a Wonderful Life so don’t ditch your workout appointment for it either.
Because the giving season is also prime socializing season, why not make a get together centered around fitness? Ask one of your co-workers to go for a walk at lunch or join your bestie at the pole class she’s always raving about.
(Check out our feature on Hudson Valley Pole Arts)
MAKE IT SMALL
According to the American Heart Association, you only need 20 minutes of moderate exercise per day (150 minutes a week) for heart health. You can do it in a solid block or break it up into two 10 minute sessions. Take a walk or do jump squats during TV commercials. And chances are, once you hit the 20 minute mark you’ll want to keep going. To make these quick workouts more effective, try doing HIIT style workouts which burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
SWITCH YOUR ROUTINE
Even if you like to workout it can feel boring in comparison to all the other options that open up during this season. Changing your regular routine for something more novel can make it easier to show up for it every day. If you usually take spin, try boxing for the month. Lots of gym boutiques have special offers around this time. Do a little research and check one of the offerings out. (To find a class near you, see out Directory).
If you have a report to read or a webinar you must sit on (welcome to my life), do it while you sweat. Stationary bikes and even ellipticals are ideal when it comes to machines that allow you to work while you workout. You’ll leave feeling accomplished and with less on your to-do list.
JUST SAY NO
If you want to go to the office party by all means go. But if you find yourself endlessly saying yes at the expense of a workout you really want to make, say, Thanks but no thanks. There’s no shame in making time for yourself and if working out is how you want to spend your free time, go for it. No explanations necessary.
If you want to feel geared up to workout you have to fuel up right. Choose complex carbs and protein 1-2 hours before you exercise. It will provide the stable type of energy you’ll need to get through your workout. Eating cookies before you hit the treadmill is likely to leave your blood sugar to spike and crash before you feel the burn.
MAKE IT PLAYTIME
Getting exercise doesn’t always come in the form of a trainer. It can be as simple as going skiing or indoor rock climbing. If the season makes you want to take time off from your usual workout routine, try filling that free time with something fun but active.
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