Fitness & the Holidays: Making Working Out at Home Work

Turkey. Trimmings. Travel. It’s around this time every year that it seems all of our regular routines come to a screeching halt.  If exercise is already a struggle, it can be even more of a challenge during this time of indulgence.  Keeping our fitness levels in check during the holidays can be tough for many reasons, but here are two common obstacles to overcome.

Baby, it’s cold outside.  Perhaps 7-8 months out of the year your exercise regimen is primarily an outdoor activity.  Once November rolls around however, things begin to get frigid and the thought of going outside for any extended period of time is daunting… even if it’s just to get TO the gym.  You opt for the “I’ll just skip today and hope it’s less chilly tomorrow” excuse and next thing you know it is warmer, but it’s also spring.

Over the river and through the woods to…well, to somebody’s house you go.  Maybe you’re heading to grandmother’s house or maybe grandma’s coming to you.  In either case, Thanksgiving through New Year’s is a time of travel, and the fact is that people are often displaced.  Chances are you’ve either got folks staying at your house or you are parked in someone else’s, and it can feel pretty uncomfortable to leave your guests to exercise.

What to do when the cozy house filled with family, friends and usually a lot of food becomes a magnet you just can’t escape?  Whether it’s fear of the weather or fear of your mother-in-law that keeps you housebound, here’s some good news.

Squeezing in some quick workouts in the confines of the house is completely doable.  With just a few basic necessities and some inner drive, exercising at home can help get you through the holidays without undoing everything you worked for all year.  Below are some simple suggestions for making home workouts trouble-free and manageable.

Forget the props.   Let’s get this straight.  You really don’t need ANY equipment to exercise… just you and an 8 x 8 carpeted space (and an exercise mat doesn’t hurt if there’s no carpet).   There are many simple printable programs available on-line for download and if you have a laptop, TV or tablet handy, then there are also many different exercise videos that work wonderfully and provide a little motivation as well.

Forget the weather.   Having a selection of pre-planned, indoor workouts you can pull from to do in 30 minutes or less eliminates the need for excuses.  Unless the roof caves in, there’s no weather related reason to miss a workout and there’s no travel time involved.

Forget the company. Don’t feel guilty about leaving your company for a half hour a day.  They may nag you with “C’mon, you can miss a day or two,” but just let them know it’s just part of your daily routine… like showering.  No one would want you to skip that now, would they?  Plus at some point, if your family is like mine, you’ll need a break from them or vice versa.  Go for it.

Remember your goal.  When the holiday spirit is taunting you to take a break, fight back.  Do you truly want to give up two months of hard work to start all over again in January?  Even if you don’t get the same intensity level in November and December, at least you’re not starting at square one in March. Think about it.  Remember your goal and keep plugging along.

If you have suggestions for effective exercise videos or pre-planned home programs, please let us know!  We’d love to share.  In the meantime, we wish everyone a very safe and happy Thanksgiving. And now go ahead… have some pie.

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  • Awesome post! The one tip I *have* to remember is to remember my goal. I
    do not want to give up the little I’ve accomplished in the last 2 1/2
    months since starting full time work (it’s been quite an adjustment and
    I’m not where I want to be yet with my organization skills lol). I used to work out 5 – 6 times a week and now I’m down to 2 – 3 🙁