We know that exercising will lower our stress levels, make us feel better about ourselves, and can actually add joy to the festive season. But how do you fit in exercise while taking care of kids, buying/making presents, cooking dinners AND attending all of your social engagements?
Be realistic. Although you love going to that spin class after work and every Saturday morning, the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping may force you to rearrange your schedule. Often, this sets good intentions and exercise consistency into a downward spiral, and along with it goes all attempts at eating healthy. To avoid these feelings of failure, invite spontaneity back into your life.
Economize time. Is exercise a chore? Then make your chores into exercise. Shovel your driveway and steps! Rather than viewing this as a chore that you try to pawn off to someone else, thank the clouds that they’ve given you an opportunity to work your muscles at a new angle. If you’re sore the next day, feel great about yourself! You just pushed yourself harder than you have for months at the gym! Just remember that the best workout comes from bending your knees, taking small loads of snow, and keeping your core contracted throughout the whole outdoor workout.
Get outside. Tired of treadmill running? Don’t curse the snow, bless it! It’s given you the opportunity to combine playing with the kids with a killer workout. Think of the options! From tobogganing (remember you have to run up that hill with your kids, not just stand at the bottom of the hill), downhill/cross-country skiing, to skating, your kids will love when you forget about chores and let yourself play.
Sneak a cuddle. Think that romance is off limits during this busy time? Au contraire! With all the magic in the air, there’s no better time to spice things up. Go for a walk with your partner to see the neighbors’ lights, opt to go ice fishing if you can snowshoe there and back, and hike together to cut down your own special Christmas tree. Oh, and just in case you need a reminder, snuggling up with your partner is a fantastic way to take your mind off the treats in the kitchen.
Embracing seasonal changes will not only enable you to stay active during the holiday cheer, it may even get you past those staggering exercise plateaus. If you think of time spent cutting a rug at the holiday work party as a necessary stress-relief session, building a snow fort with your kids as bonding time, and cross-country skiing with your partner as a romantic interlude, your won’t even realize that you’re effectively cross-training your body for a fitter, more sane, you. Cheers to an active holiday season!