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Holiday Fitness: 10 Tips for Staying on Track



Here we are, smack in the middle of the frenzy that begins shortly before Thanksgiving and doesn’t release us from its grip until after New Years. It is a time fraught with emotional and sometimes even physical turmoil, a time that upends routine and messes with equilibrium. While I love gathering my family together, cooking and catching up, and while I revel in the good will and high spirits that the holidays bring, I’m less thrilled with the prospect of dealing with seasonal stress and upset.

Think of it. In the coming weeks we’ll be faced with groaning tables full of iconic comfort food, parties featuring sparkling cocktails and irresistible hors d’oeuvres, too many calories, too little sleep and all those skipped workouts. It’s enough to make you throw in the towel and wait until the New Year, when you can resolve to get back on the healthy living bandwagon.

Before things get too out of control, I’d like to suggest that the holidays don’t have to bring about the demise of a fitness routine. With a little resolve and some help from our friends, we can make the coming weeks the perfect time to have fun, stay fit, and develop healthy holiday coping skills.

Ten Tips for a Healthier Holiday

  1. Fill out your exercise calendar in advance and enlist a workout buddy to help you stick to it. Know before hand when a workout will fit into your schedule. Making it up as you go along rarely works when it comes to fitness.
  2. Plan and prepare meals ahead of time, keeping them healthy and low in calories. You can enjoy occasional splurges like stuffing with gravy or rich desserts if you keep most of your meal choices sensible ones.
  3. Find ways to celebrate and move at the same time. Try a skating or sledding party, go bowling with your book group or dancing at a club. While it may sometimes seem like it, celebrations don’t always have to be about food.
  4. Don’t wait until the New Year to start or renew your gym membership. Grab your BFF and sign up now. Some gyms offer discounts when you bring a friend.
  5. Lack of sleep can sabotage the best fitness plan. Be sure to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
  6. For every glass of wine or spirits your have, drink at least one glass of water. This slows your consumption, improves your complexion and will help you sleep better.
  7. Power naps can work wonders. One theory is to relax and drink a cup of coffee or tea, then try to sleep for 15 to 20 minutes. At the point the caffeine kicks in and works its magic, you will be ready to get up and go.
  8. Walk whenever and wherever you can – at the mall, to do errands, up stairs, in the parking lot – steps add up throughout the day.
  9. If you don’t already own one, borrow a motion-based gaming system, like Wii or Kinect, from a child or grandchild. After an hour of virtual Yoga or downhill skiing, you may be asking Santa for one of your own.
  10. Reconnect with nature and friends. Winter is a time that often forces us indoors. Try to embrace the elements in their myriad forms – take a hike, go snowshoeing or skiing. You lucky warm-weather women can swim, play tennis or jog on the beach.

Just remember, the holidays should a time of joy, thanks, and celebration. Staying fit and healthy during these busy days will help you make the most of the season.


Candace Karu

Writer, speaker, seeker, fitness fanatic, digital marketing strategist. Striving to make the world a better place for women of a certain age. More fun than a barrel of monkeys if the monkeys had an iPhone, a dubious past, and an expensive education. Instagram: candacekaru

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Thursday 19th of November 2015

thanks for the tips. I try to keep my schedule of every other day for my workouts, and Sat. is day for swimming (If I don't have to work) its crazy time all the time, not just a during this holiday season. One of the things I do do is.. I stretch as I get out of bed, take the stairs, and try to walk at lunch time. I just found your site, and I love i.t.

Kim Acedo

Friday 13th of November 2015

Great tips, Candace, thank you! Planning ahead and creating a support system is definitely key!

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