There is no doubt about it, the winter months surrounding the Holidays can be quite busy. From shopping, travel, family gatherings, and special holiday outings and activities, it’s a miracle we get through each day without totally running out of steam. Oh, wait! There is something else that we need to add to that long to-do list…exercise! Unfortunately, exercise seems to be the first thing we toss out the window when we are in the midst of super busy schedules, especially when it is cold outside!
The good news: With a little planning and flexibility, you are not destined to fall off of the exercise wagon during the holidays. Here are some easy tips to assist you in maintaining an exercise program despite having a busy schedule.
- 1. Make a plan. Schedule in exercise just like it was a work meeting or doctor’s appointment. Write it down on your calendar and make it a priority. Make the plan before the busy part of the holiday season is upon us. Remember, it is not about having the time, it is all about making the time.
- 2. Identify your barriers. Before your life gets crazy busy with the holidays, try to foresee what triggers would cause you to skip exercise. Once you know these barriers, come up with a plan to avoid them. For example, if long lines while shopping takes up too much time, try more online shopping. If lack of sleep is a hindrance, try going to bed 30 minutes earlier each night.
- 3. Speaking of sleep… Aim for 7-9 hours nightly. This is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to stay fit and healthy. When sleep is lacking, exercise is often the first thing to go. Make sleep a priority. Establish a consistent bedtime schedule and stick with it.
- 4. Try HIIT Workouts. Postpone long workouts for when you have more time. During the holiday season, experiment with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routines. Carve out 20-30 minutes for high-intensity cardio and body weight exercises. Focus on exercises that utilize multiple muscle groups such as lunches or squats with bicep curls. Check out our Bluesky MD Pinterest Board for a variety of exercise ideas.
- 5. Buddy up! Ask a friend to be your workout partner. Having a workout buddy has many amazing benefits: motivates and supports, pushes you to work harder, provides a healthy dose of competition, makes workouts fun, increases long-term commitment. Having a workout partner can mean the difference between failure and success, mediocre results and incredible results!
- 6. Get outside. Just because it is colder outside, doesn’t mean you have to stop some of your usual activities such as walking, hiking, running, and biking. Just make sure you dress appropriately for the weather. Also, there are many other seasonal activities that burn a ton of calories. The best thing about these activities is that you are sure to have fun doing many of them!
You can burn anywhere between 400-700 calories per hour with some of the following activities:
– Snow Shoveling
– Downhill Skiing
– Ice Skating
– Cross Country Skiing
Whether it be going to the gym, doing exercise videos, HIIT workouts, or heading outside for wintertime fun, make a plan for exercise during the cold winter months. Not only will you reap physical benefits, but exercise is an excellent way to manage stress and boost your overall mental health.
We at Bluesky MD would again like wish you a happy, healthy, and active Holiday Season!