Working Out During the Holidays

Last week my mom sent me a text message.  Ever since mom got a Facebook, I think she reads LOLZ blog more.  She always gives great blogging advice and brings up the blog in casual conversation (Shoutout to my mom).

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But back to her text.

Text from mom

The Holidays are full of family gatherings from Thanksgiving to New Years.  My husband and I spent Thanksgiving making our first turkey, so we didn’t travel.  We are spending Christmas with Tims family and New Years with my family.  Like many people, we are traveling a lot.  We aren’t in the regular work schedule and at any Holiday gathering, there are plenty of desserts that creep onto the table.  That’s fine and the Holidays are a great time to celebrate family and a mental break.

The Holidays aren’t something to avoid or rush through either.  The Holidays are something to enjoy, but it’s important to give yourself some personal care too.

So how do you fit in workouts?  How do you balance time with family and still take personal time for yourself? 

First, schedule personal time.  Without a doubt, there will be downtime during the Holidays.  No one wants to spend every waking moment together. Spending that much together only sets you up for family fights or divorce (kidding).  Figure out when that downtime is and make the best use of it.  Go for a run, walk or find a local gym.  Most gyms have a day pass that you can utilize.

So much family
So much family (my brothers and I)

Before the day begins: When you are on “holiday time”, most people aren’t starting their day at 6 am.  I’m in no way saying to wake up at 6 to run but if you can wake up an hour earlier than normal to work out…go for it.  As hard as it is to wake up, you normally won’t regret a morning sweat (whether you are walking, running or lifting).

Early morning workouts can also provide incredible views.
Early morning workouts can also provide incredible views.

Small workouts lead to big workouts.

I’ll never forget my college coach saying: you could run for 6X10 minute sessions throughout the day…or you could go for a 60-minute run.  You will still be on your feet…There have been plenty of vacations I’ve run a few miles in the early morning and a few more late at night.

Would I normally do that? No, but I would rather spend the daytime with my family.

Workout with your family.

My parents, siblings and I used to walk our dogs occasionally together.  We enjoyed family time, were active and even kept the dogs from being restless.  Now my husband and I go for runs together.  Being active with others is one of the easiest ways to stay active.

My brother, dad and I going for my first 10 mile run 4years ago this Christmas.
My brother, dad and I were going for my first 10 mile run 4years ago this Christmas.

Finally, stay flexible and relax.

The holidays are truly about enjoying family time and relaxing.  Your overall fitness is a collection of workouts, not an individual day, month or even year.  Don’t be afraid to be flexible with the time, duration or intensity.  You will not lose fitness by enjoying the Holidays and missing a few workouts.

Questions for you:
How do you stay active during the Holidays?
What are your plans this Holiday?