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Tips on Keeping Exercise Consistent During the Holidays

Tips on Keeping Exercise Consistent During the Holidays

Dorothy Krueger - Certified Personal Trainer

If you read our previous blog, you know that some people can gain up to 10 pounds during the holiday season. Even if you only gain 1 pound during the holiday season, the weight adds up and can reach 10 to 20 pounds over a decade.   This is a good reason to stay consistent with your exercise program during this time.  However, between the chilly temperatures, shorter daylight hours, travel to visit with family, food oriented gatherings and shopping schedules, squeezing in physical activity is tough.  The following are some ideas to keep active this year!

Parking lots are notoriously crowded during the holiday season. You could turn that congested parking lot into an opportunity to burn some calories. If you're headed to the mall to do some holiday shopping, avoid those fiercely fought over prime parking spots and park far away from the entrance. If you park five minutes away from the mall and walk at a pace of 4 miles per hour, you could burn about 25 calories. Those calories definitely can add up after multiple mall visits to find perfect gifts for friends and family.

Before you head directly to the store where you always buy a sweater for your uncle, take a quickly paced, full lap around the mall. In addition to beating the cold temperatures outside, you'll get in some extra exercise and window shop while you're at it. You might even spot an alternative to that boring holiday sweater you usually purchase.

Working out can be difficult during the holidays for people who like to exercise outdoors. Taking a walk or going for a run might be next to impossible in freezing temperatures. Instead of being a couch potato while you're stuck indoors, come up with a workout you can do inside. Climb up and down the stairs in your house for a good cardio workout. Focus on weight training or invest in some fitness videos to stay trim during the holiday season. You could even put some of these items on your gift wish list.  Of course you could always visit us at Fitness Together and use our cardio machines.  Even book an extra session!

To avoid forgetting about workouts, make exercise appointments on your calendar, and keep these appointments just as you would any other!

Be realistic with your exercise goals, and be consistent. For example, if you're having trouble getting motivated, commit to at least 10 minutes of exercise per day. A 10-minute commitment may not seem like much, but it will help you start a routine. You also could commit to walking 1 mile or working out for 10 minutes for every $10 you spend on holiday shopping.

Another final thought is to track your steps.  As you know, there are multiple fitness tracking devices on the market out there.  A general rule of thumb is that you should walk about 10,000 steps daily -- about 5 miles -- to maintain a good level of fitness. By using a fitness tracker, you'll be able to check if you're maintaining your baseline of fitness and adjust if you're not. If you find you're falling behind, take the stairs at the office instead of riding the elevator or park a few blocks away from the restaurant if you're meeting your friends for a holiday meal.