How To Train During The Holidays: A Runner’s Holiday Survival Guide
The holiday season is a magical time of year. Many people will spend time attending holiday parties, taking some time off from work, and getting together with family.
For the most part, this is the time of year when we get to relax, indulge in some holiday treats, and exchange gifts with those we love. The holiday season can also be a very stressful time with Christmas shopping, busy schedules, and family situations.
For those of us who are trying to stick to a consistent training routine, the holidays can pose a big challenge.
In this post, we’re going to share some holiday exercise tips to keep you motivated and sane during this crazy time of year.
Should I work out during the holidays?
So you might be asking yourself whether you should work out during the holidays at all. After all, you made it through another year. Don’t you deserve to take a break and just relax?
There are actually many benefits to keeping a consistent training routine during the holidays. The holiday season is a time when our normal routines are interrupted and thrown off.
Keeping a consistent training routine can add a bit of structure to a generally unstructured time.
Working out during the holidays can also help to counteract the overindulgence that typically happens at holiday parties to help us to stay feeling balanced and healthy.
It can also help to mitigate the holiday stress that you may be experiencing.
How do you stay fit on a holiday?
Even though we know there are many benefits of holiday exercise, it can be hard to actually put it into practice.
Here are a few tips to help you stay fit on a holiday:
Make a plan
- If you want to successfully achieve a goal, you need to make a plan!
- Write down your holiday training goals in a journal or notebook.
- Schedule your workouts in your calendar.
- Making a written plan will increase your chances of actually sticking to your goal.
- Creating a plan will also make it so that you can look back later and celebrate all of the progress you’ve made!
Sign up for a holiday race
Participating in a Turkey Trot, Christmas 5k, or New Year 5k can be a lot of fun and a great way to stay active during the holidays. These types of races can be a fun and festive activity for the whole family to enjoy.
It can be an exciting event to kick off your holidays and burn off the extra calories before the holiday parties begin.
Make it a family affair!
The holiday season is a wonderful time to spend lots of time with family. You may feel pressure to spend time with your family because this is the one time of year that you get to see them.
You can incorporate all of that extra family time into your workout routine and still stay on track with your exercise routine.
Go for a walk with your family, sign up for a 5k together, or go for a holiday hike!
Take advantage of the extra time
During the holiday season, a lot of people will find themselves with some extended time off from work. Use this as an opportunity to take advantage of the extra time off!
You will most likely have more free time if you have some time off from work, so this can be the perfect opportunity to get outside and get active.
Find a workout buddy
Sometimes a little accountability goes a long way. It can be really helpful to find a workout buddy who will keep you on track and work out with you.
Your workout buddy can text you to remind you when it’s time to work out, come running with you, or just to let you know that you’re in this together.
Try a new class
Trying a new class can be a really nice way to keep your workouts fun and interesting. Over the holidays, you can try working out a new fitness center near your house.
You can even combine this tip with the previous one and take a new class with a buddy!
Is it okay not to work out during the holiday season?
While there are a lot of benefits of working out over the holidays, it isn’t absolutely critical. Sometimes, taking a short break can be highly beneficial too.
If you really feel that you need a true break from all of your responsibilities (including working out), take it. Taking a week or two off from your workout routine will result in very little loss of fitness.
Rest can help rebuild muscle, repair damaged tissue, and allow your body to recover properly. There is no shame in taking some time off from time to time.
I’ve never met a runner who hasn’t taken at least some time off at some point during their running career.
How do you stay in shape during the Christmas festivities?
So, you’ve decided that you want to make an honest effort to stay in shape and work out consistently during the holiday festivities.
But how can you do it?
Here are a few tips for how to stay in shape during the Christmas festivities.
During the holidays, it can be easy to become super busy because your days are filled with get-togethers with family and friends. It can be difficult to find the time to exercise in addition to all the other things.
A good way to start your day out right is to exercise early before the festivities begin.
I recommend trying to work out first thing in the morning to get it out of the way so that the rest of your day is just focused on enjoying yourself and the company of others.
Keep a routine
The easiest way to keep an exercise routine during the Christmas festivities is to make it a routine. Decide on a set time of day each day that you will exercise. Try to stick to that time.
Set a reminder for yourself on your phone to work out at that time. Write out which workout you will do on which day.
Every little thing you can do to stick to your routine helps!
Try something new
As I mentioned previously, keeping your workouts fresh can go a long way in keeping you motivated to exercise.
Try something new to switch things up and keep your holiday exercises fun and interesting!
Keep your holiday eating/drinking in check (80/20 rule)
My final tip for staying in shape during the Christmas festivities is to keep your holiday eating and drinking in check.
It can be easy to go totally off the rails once the holiday parties start. While I don’t encourage you to totally deprive yourself (you deserve the dessert!), it can be helpful to follow the 80/20 rule.
80% of the time you can “stay on track” and try to eat healthily. The remaining 20% of your holiday diet can be special indulgences that you save for special occasions.
It’s important to treat yourself sometimes!
Making it a healthy holiday
The holidays can be a fun, magical, and chaotic time of year. Keeping up with holiday exercise can be just what you need to keep you feeling healthy and balanced as you finish up your year.
*About the Author:
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