Maintaining Your Training During the Holidays

Maintaining your training program during the holiday season can be challenging at best when you’ve got parties, shopping and houseguests to tend to. Without some careful planning, the holiday season can sabotage even the best of training programs. So use the following tips to help you survive the holidays with your wellness goals (and sanity) intact.

 No Excuses

Don’t make the holidays an excuse to undertrain or overindulge. As much as possible stick to your usual workouts. On the other hand, don’t be too hard on yourself if you reduce your training as long as you don’t give it up entirely. You’ll get back with your full program soon enough and sometimes a short break is even beneficial.

Training and Holiday Traveling

Staying in shape during the holidays can be even tougher when you visit out-of-town friends or relatives. If you’re planning to travel this holiday season, google your destination to research the nearest fitness facilities or cycling and running paths and trails. Or, if you’re staying in a hotel, be sure and pick one with a gym and an indoor pool.  if you’re a yoga afficianado, instead of packing a yoga mat, buy some “yoga paws” , mitts and socks. They have “sticky mat” material on them so you can perform yoga postures on a carpet or wood floor without slipping and they won’t take up any space in your suitcase.

Hosting Holiday Houseguests

Entertaining friends and relatives in your home doesn’t have to mean sweating over a hot stove. Instead of  a big meal, plan a holiday hike or bike ride; or, if weather is an issue, take the group ice skating or roller skating at an indoor rink. Or, put on some great music and get everyone to boogie while they help you clean up the kitchen after a big meal. Be flexible with timing your own workouts – but don’t give them up. If you normally train in the afternoon or evening, get up early so you can get a workout in before your guests even rise. That way you won’t have to stress about fitting it in around your hosting duties. Too many things can derail your intentions to train if you don’t get it done first thing, plus it’s a great way of getting in a little private time. 

 A Little is  A Lot Better Than Nothing

With all of the demands of the holidays, sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is working out. But don’t take an all or nothing approach to holiday training. If you don’t feel like exercising, tell yourself you’ll only have to do 10 minutes. Chances are that after 10 minutes you’ll feel like continuing, and, if not, 10 minutes is better than nothing. Try to maintain a base of conditioning and promise yourself you’ll ramp things up when the festivities wind down. Focus on shorter, high intensity workouts such as interval training to get the most from your workouts.


Stay Prepared

Keep your gym bag in the car, so you can squeeze fitness into your busy day. Carrying exercise gear means you’re always prepared to work out, allowing you to break up exercise into several smaller increments throughout the day. Spreading out exercise will also help stoke your metabolism, and during the holiday season it may be easier to find 15 minutes rather than a full hour.

 Gift Yourself

You’ll be giving a lot to others this holiday season, so be sure to give to yourself, too. Reward your efforts to stay in shape with a heart rate monitor; subscription to a fitness magazine; health club membership; personal training session; exercise video; even new hiking boots. Better yet, purchase some training equipment for home (treadmill, free weights, stability ball) so that you can squeeze your workouts any time of day or night.

 Rest and Relax

Don’t forget to make time to rest and relax. The holidays are a stressful time of the year and you may need more R & R than usual. Furthermore, attending a yoga, meditation or tai chi class on a regular basis can help you maintain your sanity during the madness. If you don’t have time to take a class, buy some yoga/tai chi/meditation videotapes to use at home; or simply find a quiet place and take 10 minutes to practice deep breathing.


The holiday season comes but once a year. Don’t throw your training goals out the window, but, just as important, don’t be so rigid that you can’t enjoy yourself to the fullest and fittest. There are always New Years resolutions! 

Be Well and Happy Holidays!


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2 Responses to “Maintaining Your Training During the Holidays”

  1. Rob Taylor Says:

    Great points to consider throughout the year. These techniques can be used during the “holiday season” or a busy work week. Take time to find time to invest in yourself. Awesome message to consider! Thanks.

  2. Top Tips for Healthy Holiday Wellness « bewellcoaching’s Weblog Says:

    […] 8. Maintaining your exercise program during the holidays can be challenging. Click here for tips on staying in shape during this busy time of year. […]

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