Jackie Wright: Holiday Exercise Strategies That Work

Jackie Wright / The Fitness Trail
Grand Lake, CO Colorado

First in a three-part series

It is probably one of the most challenging times of year to fit in your exercise program.

With all of the family commitments, holiday parties, work crunches before leaving for a holiday vacation, and holiday visitors, it seems like finding time to workout is almost impossible. However, with a little pre-planning following the 10 holiday exercise strategies we will feature over the next three weeks, you may be able to stay on track throughout the holiday season and feel fantastic come 2012.

As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

The first four strategies

• Family commitments: If you are regular exerciser, your family is aware of that by now and the holiday season is no different than any other time of year for you. You need your workouts to handle holiday stress and prevent the potential five- to seven-pound holiday weight gain (i.e. this tends to be the average American weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Year’s), and to simply stay on track sticking with your lifelong exercise commitment. So, just ask your family to understand how important this is to you and then stick to your program schedule.

• Holiday Parties: First of all, enjoy the parties, but choose an arrival and departure time, prior to attending, so that you will be able to get up the next morning for your workout. A little too much libation or staying out too late may sabotage your workout schedule. So, drink a glass of water between each glass of wine, make certain to eat a healthy meal prior to the party, if possible, and then let the host/hostess know that you had a great time but have an important appointment the next day, which is entirely true. The appointment is with yourself for your scheduled workout.

• Holiday Vacation Preparation: It does seem that once all of your workplace colleagues realize that you are planning on leaving for the holidays, they suddenly have tons of deadlines which you must meet. It must be a signal sent out through the universe, but it has happened to me countless times throughout the years. While it is certainly important to meet your deadlines, if you have properly prepared your colleagues/associates/clients for your departure (which usually means telling them repeatedly via emails, hard copy memos and phone calls), you should still have time prior to your departure to continue with your exercise program.

• Holiday Visitors: Yes, this one is tough. They are only with you for a short period of time so this situation really puts negative stress on your workout schedule. First, prepare them like you do your family members regarding holiday commitments, that you will be attending your workouts while they are visiting and invite them to join you if possible. Secondly, you may have to rearrange your workout times for earlier or later in the day than usual so that you can enjoy their visit. Third, you may also consider changing up your workout formats to include those that your visitors/guests might also enjoy.

Next week, we will highlight the next four holiday exercise strategies.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness, LLC located in Grand Lake, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at, her email at , her blog at and her Facebook page at Never Summer Fitness.

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