Making Time for Exercise During the Holidays

Exercising with your loved ones.

Yep, we feel the same way: the holidays are hectic. Running from one store to another to grab last-minute gifts, rushing to the market to make sure the table has everything for holiday dinner, planning family time to enjoy the people you love–there are a lot of things that take up our time and energy this time of year.

The business of the season doesn’t have to mean you have to cut out exercise, though. Follow these tips to make time for exercise during the holidays.

Find a Trail Before You Go

Walking a trail is a fun way to explore new places while you’re away from home. Kill the excuse of “I don’t know where to go” before you even arrive by finding trails when you’re at home.

The web has made it easy to find walking trails and hiking trails. Services like Trail Link and Every Trail are great resources to find a trail before you hit the road. Since you know exactly where you’re going, you’ll have more time to enjoy the trails and keep up on your exercise.

Make it a Family Affair

Most goals are easier if you have other people helping you, and this is true for weight loss. Don’t fight the battle against holiday weight gain alone! Make consistent holiday season exercise a challenge for your entire family. This may be harder if you have young children, but at least enroll the help of a spouse or other adult family members.

Power Shop

Find shopping is taking up a lot of your time during November and December? Turn it into a way to watch your weight.

Instead of slowly wandering through the mall (and, might I add, annoying any shoppers stuck behind you), pick up the pace! Walk briskly or even powerwalk. Create a new family sport called Power Shopping where you see how quickly you can move from store to store (without running or being a hazard to other shoppers, of course). The extra calories burned from an hour of power shopping versus walking slowly really add up.

Focus on Consistency, Not Progress

Unless you’re on a holiday diet plan, you’re probably not losing much weight around this time of year. Don’t worry about winning the battle–you can save your serious weight loss for January. Instead, focus more on maintaining your weight.
To be honest, maintaining your weight is much more practical this time of year than losing it. Simply substituting a healthy lunch for an unhealthy one and working in a half hour of walking can be enough to keep your weight at its current place instead of trying to burn a lot of fat and feeling discouraged when that goal seems out of reach.

That’s not to say it’s impossible to lose weight during the holiday season–it’s just a bit more difficult than normal.

This leads us to the most important tip to remember: don’t be discouraged. If you make it a priority and use a little bit of ingenuity, you can make time to exercise even during the busy holidays.

Do you have any other tips to stay active this time of year? Share them in our comments!

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