It’s the most wonderful time of the year, full of feasting, shopping, gift-giving, party-going, and not a lot of exercise.

With all the hustle and bustle surrounding the holiday season, it’s easy to forget about your fitness goals until the new year rolls around.

Don’t let your workouts become like the Ghost of Christmas Past, instead try these 7 tips to help you keep up with exercise during the holidays.



   

1. Plan for it

Are you traveling for Thanksgiving? Going to visit family for Christmas? Set yourself up for success in your workout routine by planning ahead.

Book a hotel with an indoor pool or fitness center. Find a park near your parents’ home for daily walks. Make sure you pack your running shoes and workout clothes in your luggage.

Considering how you can incorporate fitness into your vacation plans can give you a headstart on actualizing your desire for consistent exercise.



   

2. Prioritize your Health

It’s easy to excuse certain (re: unhealthy) behaviors during the holidays, so this time of the year has the potential to be hard on your overall health.

Enjoy relaxing and celebrating with family (and that slice of apple pie after Thanksgiving dinner), but don’t throw out all of the healthy habits you’ve worked to cultivate during the rest of the year.

Get a good night’s sleep. Minimize stress. Eat your veggies. Stay hydrated. Taking care of yourself will help you get the most enjoyment out of the season and your body will thank you.



   

3. Wake up early

Many people, especially when visiting family for the holidays, find that mornings are the best time of the day to workout. Exercising in the morning eliminates the possibility of getting distracted later in the day (and letting your workout fall to the wayside).

Your morning also sets the tone for the day, so prioritizing fitness and wellness will motivate you to foster healthy habits all day and all season long.



   

4. Simplify your workout

With travel plans and packed schedules, you might not have time for a full workout every day, and that is okay!

Eliminate the “all or nothing” mindset when it comes to exercising during the craziness of the holiday season. Set reasonable goals for your fitness during this time. Choose one or two exercises that you want to focus on and work to fit those into your day.




 

5. Get Creative

There’s a lot of ways to fit in exercise without having to go to the gym. Park further from the post office, take an extra lap around the mall or airport terminal, offer to walk your in-laws’ dog, or do squats while waiting for the oven to heat up. Get creative and find natural ways to work exercise into your daily life during this season.





 

6. Involve the family

You don’t have to sacrifice time with family to keep up with your fitness goals. Find ways to make your workout time quality family time.

Invite a family member to join you at the gym or on a run. Play a game of tag football before Thanksgiving dinner or take a walk before opening gifts on Christmas morning. Who knows? You might even start a new family tradition.




   

7. Embrace the season

Get into the holiday spirit while staying fit! The upcoming holidays offer a lot of festive opportunities to stay active, like participating in a local (or virtual) Turkey Trot or a Jingle Bell Run.

With Advent just days away, you can also enter into the new liturgical season and get in shape at the same time with Pietra Fitness’s Advent series.

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