Every year it’s so ridiculous that the morning after Halloween–BAM!—Christmas music on the radio, peppermint mocha whatevers in Starbucks, and everyone making plans for New Year’s Eve. But like the good little hypocrite that I am, I roll my eyes at premature holiday decorations while planning my outfit for Christmas dinner. Conservative, stretchy around the mid-section, but still needs to scream “I’m the most stylish person in this gene pool and HEL-LO! I’ve arrived.” (Yes, that’s right, the voice of my internal dialogue is Cam from Modern Family.)
Anyway, in the spirit of getting a jumpstart on the holiday season, I’ve teamed up with Kohl’s to share some tips for staying fit during the holidays—a time of year when I think just about everyone struggles at least a little. Admittedly, working out regularly typically isn’t a big problem for me because I LOVE it (I’m much more apt to slip-up in the healthy eating department), but even I find it more challenging to stay on track with the holidays turning my daily routine upside down.
My biggest piece of advice during the holidays is to go easy on yourself and just shoot for balance. Skip a day at the gym to enjoy time with your family, take a food-coma nap after Thanksgiving with your pants unzipped, have a few (too many?) drinks at your neighbor’s Christmas party—it’s ok! Just don’t do it every day leading up to January 1 and don’t have a throw-in-the-towel mentality. Balance out the indulgences by going for a run the morning of Thanksgiving, bringing a healthy appetizer to a holiday party, or signing up for a yoga class with your cousins.
Here are a few things I personally do to stay fit during the holidays:
1 | I rely on quick bodyweight workouts I can do at home when visiting or hosting relatives—and I do them first thing in the morning.
Hey grandma living in Middleofnowheresville, can I, like, borrow your car and go find the nearest Soul Cycle while everyone else helps prepare Christmas dinner? No. The easier it is logistically for you to workout during holiday trips (or any vacation/business trip), the more likely you are to actually workout.
I have an entire page on the site full of workouts that require no equipment, and I’ll just recycle one of those or make up my own on the fly. For most, you don’t even need shoes, which can be a big bonus if you didn’t have room to pack sneakers. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, get a little burn in before lounging around eating and drinking with family and friends all day. These two 15-minute AMRAP workouts (HERE and HERE) are a couple of my favorites for when I’m short on time. If my parents are hosting my relatives, I might add in a quick run around the block, but otherwise, I’ll just find a little corner in the house and bang out a bodyweight workout, preferably before all 47 of my cousins wake up. I always do it first thing in the morning to get it out of the way (less time for excuses).
All that being said…
2 | After a weekend of holiday parties or a stay with relatives, I sign up for group fitness classes to hold me accountable.
Sometimes it’s hard to self-motivate when your normal daily routine is all thrown off by the holidays. If I find myself slacking on the at-home workouts, I sign up for a class—either one of my Boston favorites or, if I’m visiting family, I’ll explore a new one in that area. When there’s a set time I need to be somewhere, and I’ve already made the financial investment of paying for the class, I always show up. And during the holidays, showing up is half the battle of working out.
If taking a group fitness class isn’t an option, make plans with a friend or family member to workout together so that you have that same accountability.
3 | I incorporate more yoga into my fitness routine.
I feel like I’ve lamented about not doing yoga more frequently a trillion times on the blog. Every time I take a class, I leave with an amazing calm yet energized feeling and I vow to practice yoga more frequently. Then three weeks pass before I get into another class…
During the holidays—or any other stressful time—I do, however, do a much better job at practicing consistently. Not only for the physical benefits, but because it helps relieve anxiety and stress for me. Between gifts, parties and travel, the holiday season really pushes my budget to the limit, and even if just for that hour, yoga helps me let go of that worry.
4 | I give (and ask for) healthy gifts.
At 26 years old, I feel uncomfortable asking for Christmas gifts, but my entire extended family has always been into holiday gift giving. Really into it. I’m talking Halloween care packages from my aunts in college and Valentine’s Day gifts from my grandparents. It’s excessive, but hey, who am I to fight it? 🙂
Since I’m obligated to ask for gifts (OBLIGATED people, ok??), I ask for things like kettlebells (I’m a dork, I know), running sneakers, giftcards to my favorite boutique fitness studios, and workout clothes. Last year, my parents got me a couple Barry’s Bootcamp classes and it was perfect because after eating literally everything in their refrigerator, you’re damn right I needed to get my ass kicked by a Barry’s instructor.
I also (self-servingly) give my friends and family classes to Btone (where I just happen to teach) or to other studios I know they like.
Activewear from Kohl’s
As I mentioned above, I teamed up with Kohl’s for this blog post (I wasn’t compensated, but they gave me free merchandise, some of which I’m wearing in the pics), and as a nice little segue from tip #4, I wanted to share some of my favorite picks from their activewear selection. I admittedly wouldn’t have thought of Kohl’s for workout clothes, but when they reached out to me and I visited their site, I was (pleasantly!) surprised—Nike, ASICS, New Balance, tons of awesome, legit brands! Below are a few of my personal favorites (links below). As you can see, I’m big into black and grays during the colder months, but try to liven things up with little splashes of color here and there.
1. ASICS Racerback Running Tank / 2. Colosseum Workout Pants / 3. FILA SPORT ¼ Zip Running Hoodie / 4. FILA SPORT Mars Running Hoodie / 5. ASICS Bra / 6. Tek Gear Yoga Leggings / 7. Nike Capri Leggings / 8. Nike Relay Crop Tights / 9. Tek Gear Fleece-Lined Leggings
The awesome team at Kohl’s sent me a big activewear package, and I’m wearing four of my favorite pieces in the pictures throughout this post. In the pictures of me outdoors with the yoga mat, I’m wearing Marika leggings and a New Balance zip hoodie (similar here, I think my exact style is sold out online). In the pictures of me wearing a hat (and trying way too hard to look cool), I’m wearing cropped tights and a zip-up from ASICS. In addition to all that I’m wearing and my fancy collage of favorites, you can check out all the activewear offered at Kohl’s HERE.
Ok, your turn! How do you stay fit during the holidays?