6 Simple Tricks for Squeezing in Holiday Workouts

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Have you fallen prey to the “Grinch Who Stole Fitness” this season? Well, the good news is that there’s still time to turn things around before 2015.

If your goal is to celebrate without completely abandoning your regimen, I’ve got six simple strategies for staying on track so you won’t have to dig yourself out of a hole come January 1st:

1. Get the worm. 

Figuratively, that is. Being at the mercy of friends’ and family’s schedules isn’t always conducive to regular workouts, so force yourself to develop a healthy morning routine. Prioritize exercise, and not only will you be more likely to get it done, but you’ll also reap the benefits of extra energy throughout the day.

2. “Run” your errands.

Or walk them. Or park farther away. Or take the stairs. Or lap the mall. However you do it, the idea is the same: Incorporate some additional activity into your to-do list to kill two birds with one stone.

3. Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. 

I used to think I needed an entire hour in order for a workout to count, but that led to too many skipped sessions during the holiday time crunch. So now I take a different approach: Commit to just 10 minutes of cardio or one mile on the treadmill, and then reassess. If you’re still not feeling it, then stop, but there’s a good chance you’ll keep going once you get some momentum.

4. Make it a family affair. 

There’s no need to sequester yourself in order to break a sweat; instead, make a new tradition of embracing the great outdoors together. Whether it’s ice skating, snow shoveling, sledding or a snowball fight, the whole family can get in on the action. And give each other the gift of a healthy habit in the process.

5. Embrace bribery. 

Sometimes I’ll end my long run at the coffee shop or inspire myself to hit the gym by testing a new piece of gear. The trick is to find out what motivates you, and use that in your favor. Numbers-driven? Try hitting a daily pedometer goal. Competitive? Challenge a friend to a 30-day fitness routine. Bored? Commit to trying something new each day between now and the New Year.

6. Book a race. 

If you’re a regular reader here, this last one shouldn’t come as a surprise to you…because it’s my solution to almost everything. Not only can a holiday-themed race help keep you on your toes, cardio-wise, this time of year, but there’s also no better way to kick off the New Year than with a January race.

And when all else fails, there’s always another of my favorite holiday workouts…

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Happy, healthy holidays!

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