Do you struggle with keeping your exercise routine up during the holidays? Does your motivation to exercise wane over Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays?
If that sounds familiar, don’t worry, you’re not the only one!
Almost everyone struggles with staying active during the holidays. There’s so much disruption, whether you have family staying, are going away or are just out of your normal routine. It can be a very special time, seeing family (especially grandchildren) and celebrating together. But, if your exercise programme is important to you, you can end up feeling frustrated that you didn’t keep it up.
As a specialist exercise instructor for more than 15 years, I’ve helped hundreds of women to feel stronger and improve their balance, posture and mobility.
I’ve realised over time that, however good the exercises may be, people want help to fit them in and make them work in their lives.
Our members all have these challenges too, and we work hard to support them at times like this. In this article I’m going to share what works for keeping up with your exercise routine over the holidays.
Take some time to think about where you’ll be over the upcoming holidays. Think about who you will be with and how you’ll be spending your days. Also think about what’s important to you.
Here are some of the challenges you may face:
Here are some of the opportunities you may have:
Make sure to spend as much time thinking about the opportunities as the challenges!
Yes, your usual routine may go out of the window. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop everything. You just have to make a new plan.
Look at your planner and decide what you’re going to do and when. Be specific, so rather than saying ‘I’ll exercise for about half an hour’, commit to do a specific video for 20 minutes. Then you’ll know exactly what to do, and you’ll know when you’re done!
Write it down, put it on the fridge, add calendar reminders in your phone and set alarms to remind you.
You might have to be a little flexible, but if you know what you’ve committed to, then you’re much more likely to do it.
I cannot say this often enough. Make it as easy as you can. There are going to be lots of distractions, so if you want to keep up the exercises, you need to keep it simple.
Try this video at home now (it’s a taster video to give you a feel for some of the balance training we do in our online Studio)
If your family and friends are supportive of your exercise goals, it can be extremely helpful. Here are three things you can do to get the support you need from your family and friends over the holidays:
Take a minute to celebrate the fact that you’ve made the effort and done something for you. At busy times of the year, we can end up giving all our energy to others (especially if that’s what they’ve come to expect). It can be hard to prioritise ourselves and our needs, and we need to celebrate when we do.
Stop and notice how much better you feel after you exercise. Becoming more aware of how you feel – physically and mentally – can help motivate you next time you don’t know if you feel like exercising.
Reward yourself. Plan to have a nice coffee and reminisce with a family member, play holiday games with your grandchildren or enjoy reading a new book for 10 minutes. Knowing you’re doing something you enjoy right after your exercises helps you to keep going (and will wire your brain to see exercise as positive for the future too).
You can find more exercise videos in the Vida Wellness Studio. We offer a 14-day free trial so you can get a chance to try out the exercise videos, ask lots of questions and see if it’s right for you.
How easy do you find it to keep exercising in the holidays? What tips would you share to help others keep up their routine? Join the conversation below!