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Stop Fearing the Holiday Scale: Festive Training 101 (Part 2)

In Part One, I shared with you simple rules you can set for your health and fitness success so you don’t end up knee deep in pumpkin pie, butter tarts, sugar cookies, and coffee and Bailey’s by noon every day; I suggested that you choose to save treats for after 7 pm or around your workouts.

Today, I share with you one tip, many ideas, and three example workouts you can complete to take your festive training to the next level.

  1. Ramp Up or Maintain Your Workout Routine

Many people take the holidays off completely from exercise, “I am on holidays!” is another way of saying, “I am going to do as little as possible, unless it involves food and booze – in that case: more is better!” Your heart and lungs aren’t taking a break on you – why would you take a break on them? Your health needs to be your #1 priority at all times; if you lose it, you will spend all your time and money trying to get it back.  Also, although I am not one of those people who says, “I workout so I can eat,” ramping up your activity level is one way to increase the amount of calories your body needs (if you move more you can eat more over the holidays without that scale budging).  Here are some super fun reasons to exercise over the holidays:

  • Being around loved ones is the perfect opportunity to do some physical activity that doesn’t feel like work: dust off the skates or curling shoes and get into a game with friends or family! Even your abs will thank you when you see your friend trying to use skills and grace she doesn’t have on ice. 🙂

Take the fat dog for a walk. Build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Go tobogganing. Rent some snowshoes. Be that kind person who goes around helping everyone push their stuck cars out from the snow, or throw your boots on and push one down the street (or in a parking lot) just for some conditioning: 15 seconds on, 45 seconds rest. Come up with a team or partner workout (I share three free examples at the end). Do something different – it does not have to be your normal routine, but move!

Car pushes: Act of kindness or festive training?
  • Take advantage of extra time off. Most of us have more time for ourselves over the holidays, and so we really don’t have any excuse but to spend an hour of it engaged in exercise. You’ll feel way better eating that pumpkin pie (and put those carbs to use) if you know you already got in some bicep curls.
  • Kick off the New-Year’s resolution early. Don’t be one of those people who are always waiting for some all-elusive “Monday.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say they would start something on Monday, I would use it to self publish a book called, “How to Really Start on Monday” and I would be rich and have even more nickels.

Imagine how you will feel January 2nd if you actually got some exercise in over the holidays? That should be motivation enough! Don’t be the person who waits for Monday. You will be miles ahead of those procrastinating if you just start now.

Your heart, lungs, liver, and body do not know the difference between the holidays and New Years’ resolution week until the day is over and on one they feel sidelined with sugar and booze and on the other they are blindsided by broccoli and the elliptical. Get out and move and have some fun. Your belly will be full of laughter, your energy levels will be higher, and you will just have an all-around-better experience of the holidays.  Moving more is one simple strategy to keep the dial on the scale constant come January 2nd.

Be on the lookout for Part Three, tomorrow, where I share about other small strategies you can implement to keep fit over the holidays including festive ways to destress and how to find a good accountability buddy.

Three Workouts For Family and Friends:

Workout One: SNOWBALL FIGHT: (I’ve played this with ages 3-63)

Get outside, or crumple up paper inside if it is too cold out.

Set rules like these examples:

  • If you get hit in the arm, do 3 push-ups.
  • If you get hit in the leg, do 3 air squats.
  • If you get hit in the body, do 3 sit-ups.
  • If you hit someone in the face, do 5 burpees.

Count down 3, 2, 1, go, and start your snowball fight. Run around to avoid getting hit.  Move off to the side and perform your movement when struck, then jump back into the game!

Workout Two: A Partner Workout: Santa’s little helpers (good for all ages)

One partner moves a Christmas present across the room away from the tree and performs the movement. The other partner then moves it back under the tree and repeats the movement.  Choose how many times you will do this depending on your fitness level and number of presents. 🙂

Small presents: 10 jumping jacks

Medium presents: 10 air squats

Large presents: 5 push-ups

Workout Three: For those hardcore CrossFitters out there: Come up with your own 12 days of Christmas Workout. Here are some examples.


Looking for a nutrition coach or custom fitness programming to keep you committed to your goals over the holidays?  Click here to learn more.

Related posts:

Stop Fearing the Holiday Scale: Have your Holidays, and Eat Too (Part 1)

Demystifying Abs – One Woman’s Pursuit of this All-Desirable Physical Trait

How to Spice up your Treadmill Workout and Sweeten your Results (with 6 Example Workouts to do Just That)




3 thoughts on “Stop Fearing the Holiday Scale: Festive Training 101 (Part 2)

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