The holiday season can wreak havoc on even the most disciplined exerciser. Most Americans experience an 11-pound weight gain between Thanksgiving and New Years.  Don’t let that be you!

How can you keep up with your exercise routine during the busiest time of the year?

Stay on Track

The key to staying on course with an exercise routine during the holidays is to have a strategy ahead of time.  Plan what kind of exercise you will do and when you will do it.  The following are some strategies you can use to keep things on track.

Get Up Earlier

If the days seem to be filled with more and more activities, then maybe you need to get up a half hour earlier to fit your exercise routine in.  Even rising 15 minutes earlier to do some cardiovascular exercise will give you a boost of energy and get you motivated for the day.


    • Walk while you are waiting at the airport.  You need to get to the airport at least an hour before any domestic flight.  Use that time to walk around the terminal.
    • If you are traveling by car stop every few hours and walk briskly for 5 minutes.  You will feel more energized and increase the circulation in your legs.
    • Walk the mall.  You know you will be shopping anyway.  Park further away from the door than you normally would.  Park at the end of the mall so that you have to walk the length of the mall to get where you want to go

Plan special activities with your family.

Outdoor activities

    • Sledding – Everyone likes to go sledding no matter how old you are.
    • Snow shoe – If you don’t own the snow shoes you can rent them.  Some of the cross country ski areas rent snow shoes as well as skis.
    • Build a snowman.
    • Have a snowball fight.
    • Walk (instead of drive) around the neighborhood to look at the holiday lights.

Indoor activities

    • Spice up your exercise program with Interval Training
    • Your favorite video program!  Here’s some ideas, click here.
    • If you usually do some form of cardiovascular exercise (walking, stationary bike, elliptical) then add some resistance training with dumbbells or a resistance band to your exercise program.

You can keep your exercise program on track with a little planning.  Of course if you stay on track with exercise, don’t let your eating sabotage your efforts. You will need a strategy for all that holiday food as well.

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