10 Simple Ways To Stay Fit During Holidays

Holidays are a fantastic time to let loose and take some time out.

At the back of your mind though, you know there are areas in your life you can’t afford to let loose.

If you’ve been training hard or want to start the new year on a high, one of the areas you would dread to loose is your fitness or body shape.

But, you know the odds are stacked against you right?

The traveling, family obligations, parties, alcohol and delicious treats are all ready to remind you that you stand no chance of staying fit during the holiday season.

As an ultra-marathon athlete, I know that holidays are a nightmare. Fortunately, over the past 5 years I’ve managed to keep it together.

In this post, I want to share some simple tips you can use to stay fit during holidays.

1. Plan Your Holiday

Holidays are a great time to rest and recuperate. Without proper planning though, they can become a mess.

Take that time out to schedule your planned activities.

“But holidays are spontaneous” some of you might say. I agree, you might be the type that gets a kick out of being spontaneous.

Be that as it may, a little bit of planning is better than no planning at all.

2. Fit Exercise Into Your Holiday Schedule

Now that you’ve planned and have an overview of your planned activities, you need to schedule your exercise into that schedule.

Whether it’s a walk, run, gym session or an indoor workout activity, schedule it in.

Your exercise schedule does not have to be hectic. Your priority is merely to avoid the frustration of dealing with obesity and a lack of fitness and then having to start from scratch after holidays.

By planning, you’ll be able to tell immediately if your schedule is viable or not. You can then adjust accordingly.

3. Control Your Weight

Weight gain during holiday season is a massive challenge. If you can control this you’ve won half the victory.

There are simple ways of doing this. Nothing fancy or crazy.

Eat a fruit salad or apple once day, preferably in the morning. After a hectic night, avoid greasy foods when you’ve got that massive hangover. Substitute that with some toast and honey.

Limit your intake of liquid calories found in sodas, juice and sports drinks.

Alcohol is probably the biggest challenge. If you”ll be boozing it up, drink low calorie alcoholic drinks such as light beers, drier wines, champagnes and spirits. Go easy on the sweet mixers. Avoid cocktails at all costs.

Vodka and soda water with a bit of lime still takes the cup!

4. Drink Plenty Of Water

Whether you are flushing a system filled with beers, whiskey, vodka, wine or simply hydrating yourself, water rocks!

Again, it’s a good way of maintaining your weight over the holiday season.

Have a glass or two first thing in the morning when you wake up. If you are hungover, have more water. A slice of lemon with your water will do you a world of good. During the day, try to drink another 2 glasses. Before your bedtime, another 2 glasses will help a great deal.

5. Indulge Smartly

It’s crazy not to indulge. It is holidays after all.

I can hear you asking: “how on earth can I indulge smartly?”. 

Well, the first thing is not to miss your meals, especially your breakfast. That way you are able to avoid binge eating.

During family gatherings and feasts, take one serving of your favourite food. Having 2 – 3 servings is just crazy.

If you find it hard to resist a second or third serving, brush your teeth immediately after eating.

Sounds weird, but it works! Try eating after you’ve brushed your teeth.

6. Involve Others In Your Exercise Routine

Now that you’ve gotten the dietary issues out the way, it’s time to focus on the actual training.

The smartest thing to do is to get at least one person to train with you. The more, the merrier.

That you can encourage and hold one another accountable.

Be it a fellow trainer, family or friends – make sure you don’t head into the holiday season a complete loner, unless you are incredibly disciplined.

If you are a long distance athlete, group runs work like wonders during the holiday season.

7. Compile An Exciting Training Schedule

One of the greatest challenges I go through during the holidays (and indeed during my entire season of training) is monotony. Running 5 days a week can get very boring.

I try at all times to make my running, monotonous as it may be, exciting. By doing something as simple as listening to music, I am able to liven up my training.

Likewise, vary your holiday training and make it exciting.

On easy days, go for a walk. On other days, if you are at the beach, have a group activity like beach volleyball. Sometimes, go for the indoor option. Buy a DVD and have a group DVD-based workout session.

If you can, schedule a training session where you can get to the gym at least once a week and do a spinning class. Even if it’s a short, 20 – 30 minute session, that short, high intensity workout will do you a world of good.

8. Rise Early

It’s holiday season and you need to take it easy and relax. If you’ll be drinking, you wont (or shouldn’t) be drinking yourself silly everyday.

As a result, there’ll be days where you are able to sleep early and wake up fresh. I’d say, if you can, try to rise early twice a week.

Time can be a huge constraint. Rising an hour or two earlier, can help you fit an early morning workout and alleviate that time pressure.

Rising early also avoids you going through a mode of total shutdown and laziness. That way, when it’s time to get back into work mode and full-on training, you won’t struggle as much.

As a marathon athlete, I try to wake up at 5am at least twice a week to get my morning run out the way. It may sound crazy, but if you plan and strategically choose one or two days where you sleep early, it work like a charm.

9. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is vital. It’s incredible easy to get less sleep during holidays.

Why? Because you let your guards down and get carried away by the hype of holidays.

I’m not suggesting, for any second, that you have a boring holiday. I’m merely saying if you want to stay fit during the holidays, you’ve got to have controlled fun that allows you get good quality sleep.

10. Pray

This has become the most important part of my life. First thing in the morning, I pray. Before I go to bed, I pray. During the day, I celebrate life and worship the Almighty in small and big things.

The reality is that I can’t control everything that happens. I can plan and have intention, but the execution is not 100% in my control.

So I pray that I drive safely during holidays. If I have to take a flight, I pray that I fly safely. I pray that I don’t get injured at the gym through some freak accidents. I pray that my runs are safe and without incident. I pray that I don’t get food poisoning. I also pray that should any of these freak incidents take place, I will have the courage to overcome them.

If prayer is not your thing, find something that works for you. Something that will help you prevent and deal with what you can’t control.

Ultimately, holidays are a great way to refresh. Unfortunately, they can work against you. If you love training and keeping fit, I hope these tips will help you keep fit during your holiday season.

Happy Holidays!


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