Staying Motivated Through The Holidays

The weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter. The holidays are adding more commitments to your schedule and you’re finding it difficult to get to the gym and stay motivated with your fitness routine.  You’re probably tempted to abandon it and start again in the new year.  Don’t!  There will always be an excuse not to exercise, but quitting your fitness program will leave you with more stress and more pounds in 2015.  We’ve got some suggestions to keep you motivated and active through the holidays.

Realistically, the holidays are going to affect your exercise routine and how you adjust will determine your success.  Use this to your advantage by trying new things.  Ask a trainer at the gym about that machine you’ve been eyeing but haven’t had the nerve to try yet.  Switch up your program too.  If you typically do cardio workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, pick different days of the week or even choose different types of endurance training.  Instead of running, try biking or take a Spinning class.  Class attendance tends to be lower during the holiday season, so it’s the perfect opportunity to take a class and you’ll have more attention from the instructor.  While many of us like hiding in the back of the group, you’ll benefit from the smaller class size and increased focus from the instructor.  It’s like having a personal trainer or small group trainer at no additional cost.

While you’re being realistic about your schedule, be flexible with it as well.  If you know after hour holiday parties will interfere with your evening workout, get up earlier or exercise on your lunch break.  Not all workouts require a gym.  Push ups, jumping jacks, crunches, and many other movements can be done with little to no equipment.  Have a plan and a space at home to workout.  There are numerous “at home” workouts on the internet – Pinterest is a gold mine of them.

Class attendance is lower during the holidays and many times, personal trainers find themselves with availability due to out of town clients.  Check with the trainers or the front desk and see if you can schedule some one on one time.  Sometimes a few sessions are all you need to stay motivated and you’ll get some great advice about fitness and health.  Also, if you’re planning on working with a trainer in the new year, getting in during the holidays could ensure you a spot in their schedule.  The new year is the busiest time for personal trainers.

Maybe personal training isn’t in your budget, but you need the accountability.  Make a workout date with a friend.  It’s cheaper than Starbucks and will help you stick with your fitness program.  Another person is always good for a push during a difficult workout too.

Reward yourself. We often feel deprived during the holiday season.  We’re buying gifts for others and don’t want to spend money on ourselves.  Make yourself a promise to get a pedicure or a massage or buy a new CD or some scented candles when you’ve completed your workouts. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just something to signify that your health is a priority.

What if all of your planning and prioritizing fails and you fall off the exercise wagon.….errr treadmill?  Get right back on it.  Don’t beat yourself or use it as an excuse to remain inactive.  Smile at the good times you had while you were on your hiatus and then return to exercising. Your body (and sanity) will thank you.