STEVENS POINT, WI – The holidays are a fun, yet a hectic time of year for many. Traveling, parties, and house guests can throw off your exercise regimen, but they don’t have to slow you down.
Jackie Burner, Licensed Athletic Trainer with Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital, recommends the following tips to help you stay on top of your fitness game this holiday season:
- Join a challenge. Fitness challenges are popular this time of year. Have some fun and keep yourself committed by joining a challenge that interests you. Check with your workplace or local gym to see what they offer to motivate you to stay physically active, and possibly win some fun prizes. There are also fitness challenges all over the internet; there is something to suit everybody, and you may not even need to leave your house.
- Don’t buddy up. The buddy system may not be your best bet this time of year. Schedules are already busy, so trying to align time with a buddy may make it next to impossible. If you need that accountability, you can enter your completed routine in a note app on your phone or send a text to a friend or family member, letting them know you got your routine in, even if they’re not with you.
- Be prepared. Use a calendar to mark important events in the upcoming weeks, and then plug your exercise in around those events. This is a time you may have to be flexible. If you’re used to exercising after work, but your calendar doesn’t allow you, be open to getting your routine done before work on that day. Having at-home workouts on hand for days you can’t leave the house or are just too cozy to go out in the cold is another great option.
- It’s not all or nothing. Accept the fact that your exercise time may decrease during the holidays; but this doesn’t mean it has to disappear. Replacing lengthy gym or cross-country ski sessions with a quick, 30-minute walk after a delicious holiday meal is better than nothing.
“The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends,” says Burner. “Who says you can’t celebrate with a little exercise thrown in? Don’t stress if you have to change your fitness routine. Exercise comes in many forms - a walk after a meal, a few treks up a hill while sledding, ice skating, making a snow sculpture - the options are endless! Importantly, don’t forget to exercise that mental fitness as well. Puzzles and board games are a great way to keep your brain working along with your body.”
Want more holiday health tips? Check out more tips for a healthier holiday on the Aspirus website.