The most challenging part of the holiday season for me, is maintaining my workout schedule while traveling and entertaining family and guests. I usually start the season out dedicated and consistent, and begin to fall off the closer I get to Christmas.

This year things will be different. I’ve found several strategies to help my workout stay on track through the holiday turbulence.

The key to my fitness-related success while traveling during the holidays is planning ahead. I’m spending Christmas with my parents in Illinois, so I’ve already done my research on which local fitness centers offer affordable guest passes.

Purchasing the guest pass as soon as I arrive in town, will motivate me to regularly visit the fitness center. Selecting a location nearby will also eliminate skipping days due to weather-related issues.

When visiting my family for the holidays, I try to spend as much time as possible with them since we rarely get together through the year. Instead of centering our bonding time around food or being sedentary, I’ve started thinking of physical activities that we can do together.

Ice skating, snow shoveling, and snow walking are all outdoor activities that allow us to burn calories, while having fun.  We can walk around the mall and try new group fitness classes to stay warm indoors, while also being active.

If you’re someone who is unable to purchase a gym guest pass, or you’re uninterested in the activities listed above, I recommend being more practical in your fitness pursuits.

Simple activities such as climbing stairs, doing wall pushups, or squats on your couch are all effective ways to stay physically fit at home during the holidays.

Here’s a simple 10- to 15-minute circuit you can use as a guide for your in-home holiday workout:

» Warm up by climbing up and down one flight of stairs at a moderate pace for about five minutes.

» Perform 10 squats by sitting down on your couch, and quickly standing back up. Follow this by performing 10 reps of wall pushups.

» Repeat this sequence three to four times, resting between each set as needed. Complete your workout with five minutes of light stretching.

By employing these simple strategies, I’m confident that I will make it through the holiday season as fit and healthy as I entered it.

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