Exercise can be easy to neglect towards the end of the year. Whether you’re travelling for the holidays or just busy preparing for events or gatherings, it’s easy to forget about the importance of staying active. In this article, I’ll talk about why it’s important to try to keep your fitness routine and some tips on how to make that easier.
With the extra darkness during the holiday months and the potential for added stress of planning and visiting, exercise is more important than ever. Keeping up with your fitness routine, even as your schedule is a little altered, can help you to get the most out of time off work or time with family. If you don’t already have a fitness routine, adding in a few workouts can help you cope with changes in routine and new or increased stressors. Exercise can help reduce stress symptoms, increase your mood, increase your energy, and prepare your body for all the wonderful food you get to eat! Movement can help you connect with your body to feel more confident and ready for all the life questions you know your family is going to ask you. Having to change around your schedule for a few weeks can make it difficult to return to your normal days, so keeping your exercise regular can help you stick to a routine and feel energized as you return to a slower new year.
Pick a buddy: Find a sibling, cousin, aunt, or partner who wants to be active with you! Having someone working towards a goal with you can make it easier to stick to your plan. If you’re travelling a lot, check in with friends or family at your destination to see if they’ll be your accountability buddy at that stop! Not only does this encourage you to stay on track, but it’s a great way to spend time with people you haven’t seen in a while.
Look up local gym day passes: If you’re going to be out of town, take a few minutes before you leave to find nearby gyms that have day pass options. Many gyms have options for multi-day or weekly passes if you’re going to be sticking around for a while.
Shovel a driveway: Feel like doing your grandparents or neighbour a favour? Shovel a driveway and you’ll get a great cardiovascular and strength-based workout.
Try out a new winter activity: Another 2 for 1 tip for working out over the holidays is to look up outdoor activities for the family. Not only will you get in some valuable exercise, but you’ll be the hero of the holiday by coming up with a great family bonding experience! Things like cross country skiing, tubing, tobogganing, or a fort building contest are just a couple ideas.
Prepare workout clothes: If you’re going away, make sure to bring the appropriate clothing and footwear you’ll need to complete a workout. The easiest excuse to use is that you don’t have extra clothes and you don’t want to get sweaty in your dinner outfit. Do your future self a favour and pack a couple of your favourite workout fits so you’re fully prepared. If you’re staying home but know you’ll be busy, pick out some workout outfits now and put them somewhere you can see them, so you won’t forget to take care of your physical health amidst the busyness.
Prepare some bodyweight exercises: If you won’t have access to equipment for your workouts, take some time before you get too busy to pick out some of your favourite body weight movements. You don’t need equipment or tons of space to get a good workout in, your grandparents living room and the heaviest tchotchke you can find will be perfect. Movements like squats, lunges, push ups, and planks don’t require any anything but you and a floor. Movements such as bent over rows, bicep curls, or overhead press would require something like a few heavy canned goods or the thickest photo album in the room. You likely have everything you need to work out, no matter where you are.
If you have any questions or would like to explore further, please book a free, no-charge online appointment with either myself, Evelyn Merriman, BKin, RKin, or another Kitchener kinesiologist at CARESPACE. We are happy to listen and are here to help!