|Pic from http://www.fatinthecity.com|
Make an appointment. The first thing to do before the season gets away from you is to realize you just won't be able to get as many runs in, or run as long, as normal. Between the parties, the school plays, gift shopping and family gatherings, you just won't have the time. Before things get out of control, add an item to your to-do list: run. Even if it's just for 20 minutes, it's something. And there's nothing wrong with making a date with your running shoes. It's just as important as your grandma’s holiday gift exchange. I find just telling myself that I'll run for X amount of time instead of trying to get in my entire run takes the stress off and makes it seem more manageable.
Be flexible. While you need to make an appointment with your running shoes as often as you can, you have to be able to juggle things around a bit. Going for a run will just have to take a back seat to your child's holiday show. But that doesn't mean you should forgo running entirely. It means you should try to do it another time. Perhaps in the morning before work, on your lunch break, or once the kids are in bed. And if none of those options work, take 5-minute breaks throughout your day to do a few lunges here and a few squats there. And throw in some push-ups and crunches for good measure. You’ll get a full-body mini-workout that keeps your energy up for all those holiday obligations. I often break up my runs throughout the day. I also accept the fact that I may not get to shower in between runs. That's when I'm thankful for ShowerPill :)
Be creative. Need to run some errands? Do it! Run to the post office to mail your holiday cards. And who says you have to run to work out? Do some laps around the mall as you do your holiday shopping. Add some dance moves as you push the vacuum around the house. Do squats while folding the laundry. Sometimes I find myself doing laps around the kitchen island while cooking and baking those holiday meals. Every step counts!
Stay home. If trying to fit in a trip to the gym, the trail or the streets is too much, stay home and work out at home. You can find thousands of workouts to stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime, your cable company's On Demand system or go old school and borrow one from the library to have for the whole holiday season as back up. There's no need to buy new ones. Don't want to exercise to a canned workout? Do the push-ups and crunches mentioned earlier. Throw in some squats, jumping jacks, lunges, triceps dips and planks and you have a full-body workout. My FAVE TRX is still having some great Cyber Monday deals. Check them out and set up a TRX workout at home. I love mine!
Stay calm. Physical activity is a well-known stress reducer. Want to stay sane this holiday season? Stay active. Want to stay healthy? Get moving. Research has shown for decades that physical activity is not only a proven-stress reducer, but it can also aid in the prevention and treatment of chronic illness such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Move it or lose it.
By paying attention to your schedule, planning ahead, and being prepared for the inevitable shuffling around of schedules, you can definitely stay on track this holiday season. It may not be exactly what you want to do, but it's something. Something is always better than nothing! You'll feel so much better knowing you're doing SOMETHING to stay on track. It helps me feel less guilty when I just accept that I can't get everything done. I am only human, you know ;)
What do you do to stay on track during the holidays?