This time of year, one of the most questions I get is: How to workout during the holidays.
Or tips to stay active during the holidays.
Something along those lines.
And it’s hard! Many people are traveling, seeing family, or maybe family does not understand “why you run” or work out. This is the first year in a long time I am working in an office full time and no longer have the flexibility I once did. Random deadlines have kept me later. I don’t mind, but it’s less time for running. Fitting in time is not always as easy as “making it your priority.”
The Holidays aren’t something to avoid or rush through either. The Holidays are something to enjoy, but it’s essential to give yourself some personal care too. It’s ok to have that second slice of pie, to sleep in, to enjoy family time. But you want to take care of yourself too. Sometimes your workout during the holidays is your own form of self-care.
So how do you workout during the holidays? 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 disaster. 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 use.
For many, before the day begins is the quietest: When you are on “holiday time,” most people aren’t starting their day as early. Maybe that’s a great time to “you do you.” I am biased that the mornings are my favorite. I love the desert sunrise and the peace. But if another time is better like when people go to bed, that’s okay too!
It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”:
This is true anytime, but the all-or-nothing mentality does no one any favors, especially when you workout during the holidays. You don’t have to do 20-mile long runs, walk for 6 hours, or do 30 peloton classes to get the benefits of working out. Small workouts are equally as important. You can even do 30 minutes in the morning and 30 at night if that works better for you.
Would I usually do that? No, but I would rather spend the day with my family.
Work out with your family.
Ask your family if they want to join you! Sure it might be “slower” than you expected, but it might be fun. Be sure not to make them feel guilty, stare at your GPS watch, or whatever the entire time. The first 10 mile run I ever did was on Christmas with my dad and brother! You can workout during the holidays and get family involved.
We even walk the dogs together. Going for a walk is excellent exercise. It doesn’t have to be intense to be a good workout.
Finally, stay flexible:
Working out during the holidays might mean your workouts look different. You might not be able to follow your “training plan” but staying flexible is good.
The holidays are 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.
Find a challenge:
It’s easier to workout during the holidays (or anytime) if you can find a goal or challenge you can work towards. While I don’t believe that a streak (running everyday) is sustainable or sound, it may motivate you during the holidays. Perhaps a steps challenge. Whatever gets you out the door or working out is good! Strava has several challenges you can do (every month) across several different sports.
Just remember this. There is no magic secret for tips for working out during the holidays. Sometimes you just have to get out there and do it. Stay flexible and take time to truly appreciate and enjoy this time too.
Love running? You can subscribe to my weekly newsletter or read more about running shoes in my ebook.
Questions for you:
How do you stay active during the Holidays?
What are tips you have to keep active during the holidays?