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).


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? 

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  1. I agree with you that working out during the holidays are key. I try to fit in a couple of small works out during the day. I wish I could get my family involved with working out

    1. It would be awesome if you could get your family to take a walk or something all together. I hope you had a happy Holidays Nicole!

  2. Love this! For me, I schedule my workouts and make them a priority but I don’t try to be as rigid as I am during the year. For example, running would be a priority but I might slack on my core work. I figure doing SOMETHING is better than nothing, and since my focus is ramping up my run miles right now, that gets priority!

  3. I don’t worry about fitting in runs when I’m home. If it means I can go for a walk with my mom or a run, I’ll choose the walk in a heartbeat. But I do think doing something active does keep the holiday stress at bay and for me, I do need my personal time and running is generally my activity of choice if I do feel like I have to get away for an hour.

  4. My dad and I are training for the same thing right now, so it’s easy to keep working out when visiting my family because my dad and I just run together. I am, however, planning on taking an extra rest day during the week of Christmas.

  5. I love that you are so balanced during the holidays. I wouldn’t expect anything less from you. I also love that your Mom is concerned with your blog. You have amazing parents!

  6. Moms on Facebook make me laugh. And my dad. My dad writes emails and does sales for a living and can type perfectly fine, but then on FB? I think he does it from his phone so there are always extra spaces and typos and half the time it doesn’t make sense. And they like to write, “Mom” or “Dad” at the end, like I don’t know who they are already. I know that wasn’t the point of this post though, haha. I think it’s great to keep up being active over the holidays! Aside from when we go to Florida for a few days, I’ll keep working out regularly. So I’ll have probably 4 days off, which I’m totally fine with. I’m a firm believer in working out towards an overall healthy life and missing four days of the gym is not going to affect that. I’m STILL healthy, regardless of a few breaks here and there. Our days are usually just too busy at Jon’s parent’s house for me to go work out and really, I’m just not dedicated enough to go work out early in the morning. It’s not like I’m training for anything!

  7. We are busy over the next two weeks, but thankfully no traveling. Most of our plans will be taking place in the evening, so my plan is to get up before the family and exercise in the morning.

  8. I do my best to wake up early and work out before the rest of my family is up–or before we start doing family activities for the day. (Baking! Getting a Christmas tree! Shopping!) Although I would love to sleep in, I value time with my fam even more–and plus, I’m definitely more fun to be around if I’m running and working out. 🙂

  9. Love that your mom helps with blog ideas and this is a good one!
    I have always stressed always hour what to eat. When to eat it. Etc etc. Which leads to eat negative talk about myself when I “over did it”
    Now I go in and eat to enjoy but not stuff. I have my favorites, and of course I workout. Even if it’s 10 minutes, I feel better when I workout 🙂

  10. I’d be lying if I told you I don’t sweat the holidays. I come from an Italian family and all they do is eat. There is no short supply of food surrounding us at any given moment. It usually takes me a week or more to feel better after leaving my families.

    So basically I won’t change too much. I’ll run on Xmas Eve like I always do. Xmas Day it is just us here at the house and I usually do not go out. Then the day after Xmas is when we travel to my families. I usually run everyday that we are there so I do not feel guilty about the mass quantity of food. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy some of the food but after a while its so over done.

    So in a nutshell I try to keep it business as usual.

    BTW- Very cool that mom helps with the blog…


  11. hehe I love that I am not the only one who gets advice on my blog from my mum! I think you raised some good tips for the holidays and I plan to try stick to a few in my holiday too.

  12. The holidays are the only time of the year I’m lax about my workouts because it’s such a high stress time I don’t want to freak out about my workouts, too.

  13. YES. YES. YES to all those answers. I’ve had some really fun workouts with my mom in the basement lately. I’ve also just found it so refreshing to get out of the house for a short run or go and pump the weights for a break of silence and time with Jesus in the midst of all the busyness.

  14. all great advice! i cant handle the running in the morning then again at night, my brain just cant wrap itself around it for some reason. working out also keeps me sane since my family can stress me out a bit i need those endorphins to make it through. so much better for you than alcohol!

  15. I’m all about morning runs! When everyone else is sleeping in, I’m hitting the streets. That usually means I’m done and showered in time for breakfast, so I’m not missing out on any of the holiday fun. I also make sure to move around my rest days, to make sure I fit as many as possible into the time I plan on spending with family without sacrificing mileage. It might mean a little extra juggling in the days before or after the holidays, but it is worth the effort!

    1. I’m the same way. I really enjoy getting my runs in early. That way they are done. Thank you for stopping by Kaitlyn!

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