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Train Through The Holidays This Year

Oh the Holidays. All of the good times with family and friends, holiday cheer, and delicious food. Time seems to speed up in December, doesn’t it? With so much to do, some things often seem to slip through the cracks, one of them being your fitness training. However, that should not be the case.

With endless holiday parties filled with 2,000+ calorie encounters, if anything your fitness should become even more important. With so many time constraints, working out sometimes seems to be an after thought. But realizing that these final weeks can make or break all of the work you’ve done in 2014, maybe this year should be a little different.

Here are four mocking birds … I mean tips for maintaining your fitness during the holidays.

Be more effective with your workouts. If you’re crunched for time, look for more effective workouts, such as running or HIIT. Both running and HIIT are surefire ways to get your heart rate up, keep you active, and burn a ton of calories. You won’t need to carve out two hours during your day to get them in either, 45 minutes to an hour should be plenty of time. If you know that you can only find time to workout a few times a week during the holidays, make sure you get the most out of your workouts. Hit the big muscle groups with lifts like squats, deadlifts, and bench press. Those three alone will work out the majority of the muscles in your body. Utilize combo lifts, like dumbbell curls to overhead press. Instead of just sitting or standing there between sets, get in some jumping jacks, jump rope, or ab exercises. When you’re crunched for time every minute counts, so make the most of it.

Plan for travel. The holidays are a wonderful time to reunite with family and loved ones. But traveling can also lead to the age old problem: when you’re staying at the in-laws, assuming that they do not have a BodyCraft home gym in their house (...what a great Christmas present that would be!), how can you get your workout in? This is something you should think about ahead of time. Put your workout plan together pre-departure so you’ll know what you need to do. It never hurts to spend a few days focusing on core strength, something that can be done anywhere. Who can say they don’t need a few extra cardio sessions every now and then? Or maybe even rearrange your fitness plan during the week leading up to your trip so that your rest days happen when you will be away.

Along with holiday travel comes holiday meals, which brings us to our next point...

Keep your diet in check. Holiday parties can ruin your diet in a few hours. If you know you have one after work, try to eat a healthy lunch later in the day. That way you won’t be starving when you get to the party, and you can limit the eggnog and heavy appetizers. If it’s a potluck, prepare something that you know you will enjoy that is tasty and nutritious. Find some inspiration here. Don’t overlook vitamins and minerals either. Especially with the cold and flu season afoot, your body needs all of the support that it can get. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be a bit harder to find during the colder months, but that’s when you need them most. If you need an extra boost, find a multivitamin that fits your needs and start to take it. Increase the number of times per week you step on a scale. Weighing yourself more frequently will let you see how you are doing, and notice any weight gains before they become excessive. Nothing says ‘Happy 2015’ like 10 extra pounds of you, right? Monitoring your weight will make it easier to create New Years Resolutions that advance your fitness, not that try to get you back to your pre-holiday form.

Stick with your fitness program. This is the biggest thing to remember. Yes, it’s cold out. Yes, December always seems to be like a mad sprint to get to Christmas. Yes sitting under a blanket watching Netflix sounds like a magical time. But this is your chance to end the year strong! Now more than ever, your training becomes so easy to overlook. It is so tempting to tell yourself that next year will be a new start and you will get back on track then. But why wait? Wouldn’t it be better to ring in the new year ahead of where you are now, instead of trying to play catch up? The recipe to keep your holiday fitness alive is not overly complicated:

  • Carve out at least three training sessions per week over the holidays. Give it everything you have during those.
  • Plan ahead for any travel. Know what will be available, and how you can leverage it.
  • Keep your diet in check- be sure to step on the scale at least three times a week to help stay on track.
  • Stick with it. This is the toughest time of the year to be motivated to work out. Conquer this season, and you can conquer anything.

Keep these three points in mind over the next few weeks and you will be well on your way to a great start to the new year. Here's to a healthy, fitness maintaining holiday season!

Posted by Vince

“You always have one more in you”

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