During the holidays, we can get so busy decorating the house inside and out, getting cards sent out to family and friends, finding the perfect gifts for loved ones, attending parties, cooking, baking, hosting dinners, and entertaining guests that the last thing on our minds is our exercise program. With that said, if you’ve worked hard all year to achieve your current fitness level, the last thing you want to do is take the “all or nothing” approach during the holidays. Starting from scratch come January is never fun!  

If you don’t want to get out of the rhythm of your exercise commitment….

Here’s a few tips to help you stick to your program when there are so many other responsibilities demanding your attention:

Reduce your frequency and time

If you normally exercise five times per week, reduce it to two or three good, solid workouts during the busy weeks ahead.

If you normally perform an hour workout, reduce it to a 30-minute hard effort.

If you normally do three sets of each weightlifting exercise, reduce it to one good set. 

Studies show that if you just do one to two hard workouts a week during a busy season, you can maintain your current fitness level for a number of weeks.

So, instead of doing nothing….do something.

Workout at home

Save time driving, parking and waiting for equipment by exercising at home when you’re too busy to get to the gym. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Take a virtual class. Perform a set of chair squats, staircase step-ups, pushups, tricep chair dips and planks. You can give yourself an amazing workout right from the privacy of your own home using no equipment whatsoever!

Rise & Shine

Exercise in the morning. If you wait to do your workout later in the day, it’s likely that an errand or task will surface that needs to get done. You’ll be more likely to put your workout on the back burner and likely skip it all together. Instead, set your alarm a half hour earlier and invest this time in yourself.  

Move more

When you can’t commit to your normal exercise routine, continue ‘exercising’ when you’re not really exercising. Take the stairs instead of the escalators at the mall. Park at the edge of the parking lot.  Walk to perform your errands. A little bit here and a little bit there can really add up.

Active holiday time

You’ve got family visiting and kids are home from school. How in the world are you going to fit in your workouts? Make your family workout with you! Schedule a family snowshoe trip on Mount St. Helens, a tobogganing outing in the hills, a ski day at Timberline, a walk along the Columbian or Lacamas Lake, a hike through Whipple Creek or around Round Lake, ice skating at Mountain View Ice Arena, a walk while viewing Christmas lights or the Christmas ships along the river…there are so many active adventures awaiting you here in the Northwest and so many right here in Clark County. Get outside and enjoy! 

It’s also important to note that having a few days off from exercise over the holidays is not going to derail your health and fitness program. It may help give your mind and body a rest and help to motivate you to work harder in the New Year. 

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season and the best YOU in ’22!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 30 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and Salmon Creek, hosts races at WHY Racing Events, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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