The holidays are supposed to be a time for some much-needed R&R, but they often end up being more hectic than your usual routine. It’s tempting to ditch your next gym session to free up some time, but you’ll actually be more productive if you can fit fitness into your busy schedule.
Here are four ways to make time for a stress-alleviating sweat session, without making a workout feel like an extra thing on your To Do list:
1. Unwind in your own way
Most people immediately think “yoga!” when they hear stress reduction. Yoga is a fantastic option, but only if you actually like it. If mindful breathing and soothing stretching don’t do it for you, explore your options. Fast-paced cardio like running or dancing helps you burn off steam and release built-up tension. Strength training, meanwhile, can help you alleviate aches and pains by providing you with the strength and endurance you need to sustain proper, pain-free postural alignment. Swimming is also a great choice, and the sensory deprivation water provides can catalyze some pretty soothing stress-alleviation.
2. Be flexible
The holidays are about spending time with the people you love. If your best friend’s potluck conflicts with your regular workout time, give yourself permission to make an exception. Instead of trying to cram both in, skip the gym, grab a scarf and some mittens, and walk to your friend’s place instead.
3. Get motivated
Staying motivated can be tough in the winter; no one likes leaving their toasty home to trek to the gym in the cold. Taking a group fitness class or getting a personal trainer can help keep you accountable. Our instructors and trainers are certified motivation experts who make it their mission to keep you committed to your goals.
4. Make it a date
Multi-task by making your next gym session a social one. If you work out with a friend or partner, you’ll both feel more energized and motivated, and you’ll get to spend an hour of quality time together. Bonus: you won’t have to worry about tidying up your place, preparing any treats, or taking care of any of the other time-consuming prerequisites for entertaining.
These strategies will not only help you maintain something of an exercise routine during the busy holiday season; they’ll actually energize you to get through the dozens of things you need to tackle. Research shows that exercise makes you more productive, boosts your energy levels, and puts you in a better mood. So, you might finish your holiday checklist ahead of schedule and keep a smile on your face.