5 Ways to Enjoy Exercising During the Holidays

A workout routine can be extra hard to stick to during the holidays. With friends and family in town, parties to attend, and all those seasonal treats to enjoy, why would you want to pass on the fun to go hit the gym? And if your holiday to-do list is anything like mine, the mere thought of it causes you to break out into a cold sweat. When facing down all those tasks, your scheduled workout is usually the first thing to get cut to free up some time.

But this year I’ve set a goal for myself: I’m trying to get outside to move at least 30 minutes a day in December. Even if the weather isn’t ideal, moving outside is so good for my mental health. I’m posting on Instagram stories, so join along and be my accounta-bilibuddy!

To make working out during the holidays feel less like a chore, I’ve put together some suggestions to help you inject a little cheer into your fitness routine. You might even, dare I say it, forget you’re working out and have a little fun.

Make It A Group Activity

Let’s be honest, we all do a lot more boozing during the holidays. And while I love a seasonal cocktail as much as the next gal, not all get-togethers have to involve alcohol. Chances are, many of your friends need some extra help sticking to their wellness routines during the holidays as well. Doing something together lets you exercise without missing out on socializing. One stone, two birds. Or two partridges in a pear tree …

Look for group activities that have both a holiday and a fitness element. Ice skating is one way to burn calories, get into the spirit of the season and have some major laughs. And hopefully, no one goes home with more than a bruised ego. You could also do a group walk or run around your neighborhood to check out all of the decorations or have everyone over for a little dance cardio and gift wrapping party. All of these activities are also compatible with gossip.

Switch Up Your Playlist

If you’re working out solo, you need something to listen to. An easy way to mix things up this time of year is to listen to your top holiday songs while you sweat it out. Go upbeat for a jog (For me, it’s all about the Jackson 5 of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.  and instrumental for a yoga flow or round of meditation. Whatever your workout, just choose songs that make you smile, not the ones that make you want to cut off your ears by the middle of December.

Another option is to find a holiday-themed audiobook to listen to while you exercise. No offense to Dickens, but we all know how A Christmas Carol ends by now. Instead, download a romance or a murder mystery with a holiday twist that will really suck you in. Before you know it, you’ve run that extra lap around the neighborhood or spent 15 more minutes on the stationary bike.

Give In to Silliness

A little silliness can get you through any workout. Plus, you’ll sneak in some bonus ab work from all the giggles. Lately, my kids have been finding these hilariously fun dance videos on YouTube called “Just Dance.” Think dance cardio that gets you sweaty without all the pressure or frowning supermodels in the background. The songs are always upbeat and we laugh and laugh while we bust a move. I also love that it’s an activity we can do together as a family.

Making your workout fun can help you release stress and calm anxiety, both of which I have in spades during this time of year. Choose a workout that’s also a distraction and forget about mastering every move or hitting every rep. Be kind to yourself — we all have so much going on right now (and always) that while you should take your wellness seriously, you shouldn’t take your workout so seriously you dread it or punish yourself. This is the time of year for maintenance, not necessarily new goals.

How do you add a bit of the holiday spirit to your workout during this time of year? Share your tips for staying motivated in the comments.

Join the Family!

Be the first to know about everything going on behind-the-scenes at Team Holderness with our weekly newsletter.