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Fitness Tips: How to Stay on Track During the Holidays


senior fitness with meredith

Oh the holidays, with all the hustle and bustle…going here and there, so much to do, the excitement and anticipation of it all. It is a joyous time, but can also be quite overwhelming and feelings of anxiousness can creep in. It is very easy to get off schedule, making it difficult to stay on track with your health, fitness, and overall wellness goals. But all is not lost if and when this happens.

During busy times, especially during the holidays, our schedules can change. We generally feel as if we have more to do.  We have new things on our plates and we have to juggle and complete extra tasks. During these times, our health and fitness goals seem to be the first thing to fall to the wayside. All of the “extras” we have to do can lead to a disruption in our normal sleeping and eating patterns. Research shows that less sleep and more stress can cause one to eat more sugary and fatty foods. We start to crave what is not good for us. And less sleep and bad food choices make us not want to exercise. We are tired, sore, unhappy and depressed(even if we do not realize it). It is a vicious cycle that seems to snowball out of control. 

With all of the many changes and obstacles that we have faced over the last two years, if anything, we know we are adaptable. We have been forced to learn new ways to exercise and change our schedules. So when the holidays arise and we feel overwhelmed, remember “this too shall pass”. Things will get back to “normal”, to the way they were for you or how you want them to be. 

So how do we stay motivated, keep exercising, eat right, and stay on track? Here are some tips:

  • Make a schedule– The best way to stay on track is to keep a schedule. Pencil in the time each day that is best to exercise and try hard to stick to it. Each evening look at the next day. Be ready for it. Even if the workout is only ten minutes, that is ten minutes more than nothing!
  • Make healthy food choices– Remember it is okay to eat sweets and other indulgences during the holidays, but all in moderation. Also, try not to make it a daily occurrence. If you bake, give away some of the goodies so there is less in your home to eat.
  • Start off slow– Slow and steady wins the race, and should be your motto if you have taken time off from your usual exercise routine. It is okay to lift lighter, or do shorter workouts, and slowly get back to where you were before. You will get there, take your time!
  • Rest– When we get back into things, or feel overwhelmed, sometimes we want to overdo it. Remember rest is crucial to our long term goals, and overall health and wellness. Take rest days, make sure you get plenty of sleep at night(especially if traveling), and give the body breaks between certain activities. Rest does the body good!
  • Stay hydrated– Keep water close by when at home, at a party/get together, or in hand when running errands or traveling.
  • Stay consistent– While it is difficult to do, try hard to keep to your schedule. Consistency is key, even when we feel we are not seeing results. Keep at it, over time, the body is changing and reaping the many benefits of your exercise routine.
  • Do not get overwhelmed– So much to do, never enough hours to do it all! I say this constantly, all year long. Again, try not to allow all there is to overwhelm you. That feeling can be debilitating to any progress.
  • Be flexible– If what you had planned does not feel right for the day, whether it is the type of workout or meal planned or event to go to, it is okay to make changes. Always do what feels right for your mind, body, and emotional state. Remember we are working on staying All Over Strong!!

The key is this–it is okay to get off track; it is okay to indulge; it is okay to not work out like usual. You can get back to your exercise routine and back to eating better. Do not beat yourself up or deprive yourself if it occurs. Have some indulgences, spend extra time with family and friends. Just remember you are able to get yourself scheduled when you are ready. 

Stay happy, healthy, & positive always!