By: Monica Olivas
The holidays are the most challenging time of year to stay active. Between traveling to see family or friends and being surrounded by delicious food at parties – it can throw even the most dedicated athlete off their game. If you struggle to stay on track during the holiday season here are eight tips to help you stay healthy and active.
1. Plan, plan, plan, to run.
Sure your children are off on Christmas break, you’re invited to four holiday parties in one weekend, of course it’s easy for running or other exercise to get swept under the rug. But, the holidays don’t have to push running off your agenda. Make appointments with yourself to hit the gym or go for a run. Write it down to help keep yourself accountable.
2. Pack your running gear.
If you are traveling during the holidays make sure you pack your running shoes and other gear first. They take up precious space in your suitcase so you probably won’t want that to go to waste. Use ‘em!
3. Run first thing in the morning.
I know we’re not all morning people, but getting in a run first thing is a great idea. Before the hustle and bustle of the day turns sunshine into darkness and motivation into excuses – run now! Sneak out before everyone is awake and then you’re still able to enjoy breakfast with your family.
4. Do a fun run or holiday race.
There are a lot of holiday themed races during this time of year. Consider a “Turkey Trot” during Thanksgiving or a “Santa Dash 5K”. Themed races are often focused on fun and not super competitive. This will ensure you have a good time and stay moving!
To find a race check active.com or check your community newsletter or city website.
5. Invite your friends and family to sweat with you.
One of the great things about the holiday is getting together with friends and family. Extend an invitation for your kids to get out and bike along side as your run or plan a post-dinner walk.
6. Every mile counts.
Realize you may not have time for an hour sweat session on any given day. That’s okay. Just do what you can with the time you have.
7. Sign up for a January goal race.
Commit to running a challenging race in January so you have to keep up your training during November and December.
8. Make a fun holiday playlist.
No one likes to admit it, but we all kind of secretly love when the holiday music starts hitting the radio waves. Create a 45-minute playlist with your favorite songs, holiday songs included, and don’t stop until it’s done.
The most important thing to remember is the holidays are challenging. But, you can be smart about the challenge and keep up your fitness routine. Go into it with a realist game plan. Stay active and eat smart. Do your best and just keep running!
Monica Olivas is a running blogger from Southern California. When she’s not running or eating, she’s writing about it at www.RunEatRepeat.com.
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