Take Time for Yourself During the Holidays

 

If you work in a gym, December can be a very quiet month. Kids have time off, holiday parties are in full swing and people are spending more time at home with friends and family. There are work parties and end of the year craziness. Then, let’s throw in our celebrations with loved ones, plus all the shopping and cooking that goes along with it.

 

It feels like you need 26 hours in every day. So, what gives? Usually, it’s your fitness. It feels like one of the few things that you can let go of to get everything else done.

 

This is a very stressful time of year. We try to slow down and enjoy the moment, but there’s just so much going on. This is why it’s so important to not give up your workouts completely. Regular exercise alleviates stress, improves your mood, and improves sleep, as well as all of the physical benefits. But you don’t have to get to the gym for every workout. Sometimes it’s just easier to get in a quick 20-30 minute workout in your home. Here’s some tips to get your cardio done anywhere you are.

 

The Good Old Internet

 

Just by typing in a few words, you can find hundreds of free workouts that require no or minimal equipment. There are also sites, such as Daily Burn, that offer free trials. You can choose from tons of workouts that can be done right at home, streaming from your TV or device of choice. After your trial, you can pay a monthly fee or you can cancel at any time. You can also invest in some DVDs. Beachbody has so many work out from home programs. They also include food plans if you need it with their programs. Investment or not, there are a lot of choices if you look.

 

I have personally tried both options listed here. Both can offer you structure and options. I like the flexibility of Daily Burn, personally a bit more. I can choose to follow an outlined program, or search workouts based on what I want to do that day.

 

Make a Playlist

 

Music is motivating. Some songs just get you pumped up! Lately, classic rock has been my music of choice: Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, Metallica, etc.

 

Making a good playlist will help you get your workout done. Even if you choose to follow a workout online or DVD, mute it and play your music.

 

Another option is to create your own workout. Pick 3-4 exercises to perform in a circuit. For example: jumping jacks, push-ups, mountain climbers and bodyweight squats. Start your playlist, and do each exercise for 20 reps. Rest 30 seconds and then do it again. Keep going until the song is over. For the next song, choose another few exercises: mimic jumping rope, bicycle crunches, walking lunges and air punches.

You can go as long as you like, but push yourself! If you can only squeeze in a song or two, you’ll have gotten a really good workout.
Take a Look Around

 

I’m pretty lucky. Because my husband and I both work in the fitness industry—although very different aspects—we have accumulated a lot of equipment at home. We have a spin bike, stability ball, a variety of dumbbells and bands, adjustable step and kettlebells. I also have stairs in my house, like many people do. Stairs are a great way to get in some calorie burning.

 

So, grab that playlist. You can do intervals or steady state training. Start your music and walk at a steady pace up and down your stairs. For this steady state workout, try to go for at least 10 minutes or more. If you want to do intervals, try this: run up and walk swiftly down your stairs for one minute. Rest 30 seconds. Repeat for 10-20 minutes total. I personally like the intervals better than steady state. You can add in some core work and body weight exercises with your stair intervals to get a whole-body workout.

 

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

 

You’re human. We all are, and none of us are perfect.

 

Try to keep to your normal workout schedule, but don’t get down if you can’t. This is the time to be thankful for what we have, and enjoy it. If you skip your workouts for the whole month, or can only squeeze in one a week, it’s okay. Get back on track as soon as you can—even if it’s just one day.

 

Forgive yourself, and move on. And have a happy holiday season!

 

Bethany

Bethany Kochan started her fitness career at a local women’s fitness center at 19 years of age. This part-time job lead to a career that over 20 years later, she still loves. Bethany earned her B.S. in Exercise Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale at the same time becoming certified as a group exercise instructor. After college, she pursued NSCA-CPT and CSCS, group cycling, mat Pilates and YogaFit certifications. In 2009, she and her husband made a big move across the country to pursue his dream job in the field of strength and conditioning. At this point, Bethany began writing and training online to be both with her husband and the fitness industry. Today, the Kochans split their time between AZ and CA, pursuing their passions and enjoying life together with their two rescue Weimaraners.