It’s hard enough to exercise on a regular day, but the holidays can really throw your fitness routine off track. You’re busy shopping, cleaning, organizing parties or attending them. And what happens if you go out of town? It’s not like you can bring your kettlebell in your carry-on luggage.
Here are some tips to help you stick to your exercise routine during the holidays. These are designed for your busiest and most stressful days—so you can burn those holiday calories and enjoy your regular endorphin rush. Now that’s a truly happy (and healthy!) holidays!
Turn holiday errands into exercise opportunities
Exercising isn’t just about working out—it’s about staying active. And the holiday rush presents many opportunities (and small window periods) to stretch those muscles and keep your heart rate going. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator when you explore the malls for good bargains. (Read these tips on how to get the best workout from walking.) Do leg raises while waiting for the pie to finish baking. You can also shift to a relaxing fitness routine, like yoga or tai chi, to help you calm down and distress at the end of a long day. Even if you don’t get as much cardio or weight training, this exercise is better than no exercise at all—and it help stretch your aching back!
Book a hotel that has a fitness room
If you’re going on a trip, ask if your hotel has a fitness room or a partnership with a nearby gym. Ideally the gym should be open for 24 hours, so that your exercise routine doesn’t interfere with your travel itinerary.
Build muscles, without equipment!
Even if your hotel isn’t equipped with a gym, or you’re staying with relatives that have no exercise equipment in their homes, you can still squeeze in a 30 minute daily workout. Do push ups, dips, squats and lunges. These are great exercises that build your strength and require very little room. For an additional challenge, end each set with a few minutes of jogging. Voila, you have a simple circuit training regimen that works in a small space and a small window of time.
Look for other equipment to use
You may want to invest in a handy tool called Aquabells, or inflatable water weights that can be folded into a small pouch that fits into any luggage. When you’re ready to exercise you just have to fill them up with water.
Aquabells costs nearly $90 though, so they may not be that worthwhile if you don’t travel a lot. But you can use other equipment, like a jump rope (light and cheap!).
Take your trainer with you
Pack your favorite exercise videos into your suitcase. You can play them at hotels (if they have a DVD player, just call ahead to ask) or at a relative’s home. You can also save workout videos into your iPad.