What can I do to stay in shape during the holiday season?

While constant parties and family travel during the holidays disrupt your fitness routine, use the following tips for keeping your body fit during this challenging season:
  1. Exercise first thing in the morning. If you normally exercise during your lunch hour or after work, holiday demands are likely to steal away that time. Instead make exercise the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning.
  2. Swap physical activity for partying. A lot of times during the holidays you spend time with friends and family catching up in the company of food and beverages. Instead of chatting over a glass of high-calorie eggnog, why not catch up with a walk? Or plan a hike, build a snowman or do another fun activity.
  3. Do high-intensity interval workouts. The holidays sap our free time, so why not get more out of less in the gym? If you usually do 45 minutes on a treadmill at a steady pace, try 20-30 minutes of intervals, where you work out intensely for a minute or so, rest, then do another intense bout of exercise.
  4. Give yourself a break. Stress from worry, guilt and other negative emotions can increase the hormone cortisol, which has a negative effect on your body. Don’t be so hard on yourself if things aren’t perfect during the holidays, and don’t be a “family fixer” and try to solve everyone’s problems. You’re only human. Breathe deeply and do your best.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.