During this time of year it is easy for your normal diet and exercise routine to get off track. Cold, wintry days can prevent you from getting to the gym or outside for a walk. Shopping and preparing for the holidays cut into exercise time, not to mention the effects of overindulgence at holiday parties. While it is easy to say you will refocus in January, it can be difficult to regain the ground you have lost during the holiday season.
With a few simple strategies you can maintain your healthy fitness habits through the holidays and get a head start on your New Year’s resolutions.
- Do not stop working out entirely.
If you cannot make it to the gym or get outside for a walk, you can still get a good workout in the comfort of your own home without needing significant space or equipment. Maintaining a regular workout routine not only helps with weight management, but plays an important role in cardiovascular health and stress relief. A simple routine you can do a home that targets the major muscle groups can be found below.
- Try a new activity
A new workout can inspire you to get moving and help you stay dedicated to your fitness goals. There are plenty of indoor options for the winter months. For example, try a new class such as yoga or Zumba, join an indoor pool, or look for indoor facilities for your sport of choice (tennis, soccer, etc). Gyms and fitness clubs often offer deals during the holidays or free trials so you can decide if it is right for you before committing to a full membership.
- Track your habits.
Use activity trackers, fitness watches, or even a calendar to track your exercise habits. You can set yourself daily or weekly goals to help you stay dedicated to your routine. Tracking not only the amount, but the intensity of your exercise can help you measure your progress from week to week.
Sample Home Exercise Program
With your feet hip width apart, bend your knees and lower your hips as if you are going to sit on a seat. Emphasize your weight going through your heels.
Do not let your knees pass in front of your toes and keep your knee in line with your 2nd toe (next to the big toe) as it bends.
Modification: Sit to stand
Start by scooting close to the front of the chair. Next, lean forward at your trunk and reach forward with your arms and rise to standing. Use your hands to push off from the chair only if necessary.
- Push ups
Start in on your hands and toes with elbows fully extended as shown. Bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor, keeping your spine straight. Then, return to original position.
Modification: Wall push up
Standing at a wall, place your arms out in front of you with your elbows straigh so that your hands just reach the wall. Next, bend your elbows slowly to bring your chest closer to the wall. Maintain your feet planted on the ground the entire time.
- Bent Over Row
Bend over and support yourself with one arm. With your other arm starting at your side, draw up your arm by squeezing your shoulder blade back as you bend your elbow up by your side.
Modification: Resistance band row
Holding elastic band with both hands, draw back the band as you bend your elbows. Keep your elbows near the side of your body.
Try to perform each exercise for 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions. Be sure to take breaks between sets. If you are new to exercising or have pain/an injury, be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.