The holiday season is filled with distractions and temptations that derail even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast. Traveling can add even more challenge with packed schedules and limited access to fitness facilities. Even though you may not be able to exercise as much as you normally do, fitting in even a few small workouts is better than none at all.
Walk. According to Fitbit, walking 10,000 steps per day will keep you healthy and trim. So, look for opportunities to walk more during your travels. For instance, walk past moving walkways and take the stairs instead of the escalators at the airport. Park your rental car in the back of the lot when gift shopping or walk to the grocery store. Take your aunt’s dog for a lap around the block or plan a family stroll after dinner. Since walking can be done almost anywhere, it’s the easiest way to maintain your activity level when traveling.
Keep it Short. If your schedule is jam packed with flights, family dinner and gift shopping, you likely won’t find time for a long workout. The good news is that you can get the same benefits from shorter workouts. In fact, three 10-minute workouts are not only easier to accomplish throughout the day, they are more effective than one single 30-minute workout as reported in the New York Times. The trick is to find small pockets of time throughout the day. When you’re watching TV with the family, do 10 minutes of jumping jacks combined with mountain climbers. Go for a 10-minute jog in the morning before hopping in the shower and do 10 minutes of crunches and lunges before going to sleep at night.
Pack to Motivate. When preparing your luggage for your trip, pack your workout gear last. This trick will get you motivated to exercise when you reach your final destination because it will be the first thing you see and unpack. Also, consider gear and exercise clothing that is lightweight, thus easier to fit into even the most bulging bag. Nike Free Run sneakers, for instance, are light andpack easily. Tanks with built in sports bras eliminate the extra item and those with quick dry material can be washed in the sink for multiple use throughout the trip. Exercise bands and jump ropes are light and don’t take up much room, plus they’re perfect tools to use in the hotel or guest room.
Get Inspired Online. If you have internet connection, look for online workout tutorials. For example, BeFit offers tons of free workouts by popular personal trainers like Julian Michaels, Denise Austin and many others. If you don’t have WiFi, you can tune into your smartphone for exercise tips and moves to do anywhere. Apps like Daily Workouts will keep you moving and offers fresh fitness content to motivate you to work hard.
Be Social. Nothing beats the support and motivation of a dedicated exercise buddy. If you can’t find a partner while on vacation, use the power of the internet and social media to challenge a friend back home to daily workouts and goals. Apps like Fitdigits iCardio track your exercise and allow you to share workout stats with others by email, social media or a fitness partner. You can also challenge Facebook friends and Twitter followers to an exercise challenge to help boost your motivation.
Have a Drink with Wine. Staying hydrated will help you avoid fatigue, keep you looking good, and help keep the hangovers to a minimum (which trigger the desire to make poor eating choices and result in low activity levels). That’s why it’s recommended to drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume. Add lemon juice to your H2O or try sparking water if the otherwise bland taste keeps you from hydrating.
Don’t Forget, Diet Matters. Many people throw their diet out the door during the holidays, but poor eating and drinking choices from Thanksgiving through New Years can do damage to your waistline. From wine and eggnog to stuffing and home-made cookies—there are so many favorite treats and high-calorie temptations that are hard to resist. If you are going to indulge, plan accordingly–do extra cardio in the morning and cut calories throughout the day or take smaller portions. Otherwise, look for low-calorie alternatives to favorite foods and drinks. A low-sugar hot chocolate has just a fifth of the calories of eggnog. Pinot Noir is also a better choice over a Cosmopolitan and pumpkin pie has 515 less calories than pecan pie. Read this post to help you make better diet choices without sacrificing your taste buds.
Plan Active Activities. When planning time with family and friends, look for opportunities to be active. Look for a hiking trail at a nearby park or go on a walking tour of the city. Even ice skating will burn calories while having fun. Otherwise, walk around town to window shop and take in all the decorations–it’s a great way to keep moving while enjoy the holiday season with loved ones.