10 Tips to Help You Stay Fit During the Holiday Season

10 Tips to Help You Stay Fit During the Holiday Season

There are 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. It’s a busy time of year, but you don’t have to let your health fall by the wayside. Yes, it might mean 35 days of holiday meals, office parties and possibly even travel, but staying fit can also be a factor!

This holiday season, set a goal for yourself. In 35 days, you can perfect your push-up, build up your endurance to a one-minute plank, run up three flights of stairs without stopping or whatever other fitness goal strikes your fancy.  

Here are 10 tips to make fitness part of the holiday season so you can meet your goal and to help keep the Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies at bay.

  1. Blue Bear Ice skatingGet out there
    Watching a movie and baking cookies sounds appealing, but you can spend that time hiking outdoors, ice skating, building a snowman or trying something new like snowshoeing. Get your family members out there with you..
  2. Challenge yourself
    Runner’s World magazine challenges readers to run every single day (at least one mile per day) between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. If running is not for you, try creating your own challenge.  Maybe it will be yoga, walking or jumping rope every day. Just make sure it’s something you want to do.
  3. Yard work or shovel
    Raking leaves or shoveling snow are great ways to get your heart rate up and work your major muscle groups.  Between Thanksgiving and New Years’ Eve, you might get the opportunity to do both.
  4. Sightseeing the old fashioned way
    If you’re visiting family out of town or going on a vacation during the holidays, weather permitting, run your errands and explore on foot or by bike instead of in a car or by public transportation.
  5. Find a workout buddy
    Rolling out of bed  at 6 a.m. to head to the gym is much harder to skip when you’re one half of a workout duo. Draft a fitness-minded friend or family member (especially if you’re traveling) to be your holiday exercise buddy. It is so much each easier to stay on track with pre-dinner workouts and post-shopping runs if there are two of you with similar goals.
  6. Blue Bear Workout buddyTreat yourself
    Not with an extra slice of pie. Treat yourself to a new pair of mittens and a hat or that fleece sweater you’ve been eyeing to keep you warm as the weather cools down. 
  7. Make it official
    Register the family for a fun Turkey Trot, Jingle Jog or New Year’s Day sprint. You never know, maybe this will be your new annual family tradition. 
  8. Look for a special offer
    Many gyms offer deals during the holiday, so see if you can find one close to you – and members, don’t forget to check out our Fitness Program.  If you just joined a gym, take advantage of a free session with a personal trainer (most fitness facilities offer this perk) to learn some new moves.
  9. Relive your childhood
    Get your heart pumping and burn calories by sledding or having a snowball fight. 
  10. Watch TV
    If the weather outside is frightful, hang out in front of the TV (or the computer).  Just find an exercise program to get you moving for at least a half hour. See? The weather doesn’t have to hamper your ability to work out.

What are your goals this holiday season?

Originally published 12/8/2014; Revised 2021