The holidays are almost upon us and that means lots and lots of fun, food, and festivities. There’s no better time than the holiday season to enjoy family and friends, as well as the occasional extra helping of stuffing or sweet treat. But what happens when the sofa suddenly sounds better than a super-sweaty workout? According to our Beachbody trainers, it’s all about maintaining your mindset and keeping yourself in check until the new year kicks in.
5 Healthy Holiday Tips to Stay Motivated and Fit
1. Buddy up
They’re here! Your entire family, all in one place for the holidays. Or maybe it’s your good friends visiting from out of town. Either way, our Master Trainers agree it’s the perfect opportunity to pick a holiday workout buddy, or even a workout group. Hey, the more, the merrier. “Grab a family member(s) or friend(s) who will be your holiday buddy—decide to maintain, not gain during the holiday season by doing workouts together, trying new fitness classes on your holiday days off,” says Jessie Perry.
Lana Holt says it’s up to you to take the lead and have fun with it. “Make fitness a family affair. (Take a) family hike or bike ride or family challenge! Who can do more burpees?” This is a perfect excuse to try Double Time, the family-friendly partner workout program from Tony Horton. And if friends and family aren’t up to holiday workouts, Sarah Remacle recommends an easy alternative. “Find an accountability partner through the holidays to commit to your favorite group fitness classes!”
2. Keep your routine…routine
You have a long list of places to go, presents to buy, and people to see. So maybe you don’t have time to work out today. Tomorrow will work, right? Wrong. “Make sure your workouts are still scheduled. Holidays don’t mean a holiday from working out,” says Matthew Taub. Claudia Rose Elfreich offers this simple, effective advice: “Plan, plan, plan. Stick to routines!” And Ron McDonald Jr. says to treat your meal routine like any other day. “Eat all your normal pre-family function meals as you routinely do…Have your normal breakfast, Shakeology, lunch, and in-between meals.”
For many people, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, so be sure to maintain a healthy balance to keep it that way. “It’s ok to say ‘no,’” says Teresa Seymour. “Stress and racing from place to place can leave you exhausted, overwhelmed, and out of sync with your healthy routines.” Slow down with these five tips to reduce holiday stress.
3. Retreat from treats
For health enthusiasts and fitness aficionados, the holidays often present a predicament for their palate. They want to eat the tasty treats, but don’t want the “benefits” they provide (a.k.a., calories, fat, sugars, you name it). Master Trainers have been there and done that, so here’s what they do now. “Bring food you know you can eat to parties! There are a lot of clean recipes out there!” says April Adorno. That’s what Heather Godfrey does. “I make the healthy version of my favorite treats and bring those to parties with me.”
They agree that you don’t need to completely ditch the dessert; you can simply exercise portion control, à la 21 Day Fix. “Don’t deny holiday treats BUT have a small portion and of course, be consistent in working out,” says Michelle Olsen. Adds Stephanie Annas Johnson: “Moderation in everything. One Christmas cookie won’t derail me, but 10 will.”
4. Plan short workouts
With so much happening during the holidays, it’s easy to commit to everything but your workout. To compromise, commit to short workouts. “Tabata or HIIT workouts are great for getting your workout in with limited time,” says Philicia Moll. Felicia Laba Taub focuses on “efficient routines that are intense and take less time.” And if you have it, she suggests “30-45 minutes on Beachbody On Demand.” Morning workouts. 30-minute workouts. Julie Voris says to take your pick during the holidays, but quickly adds: “Fitness is not negotiable.”
5. Eat before your big event
Ahh, holiday delicacies. Turkey with all the trimmings. Dessert. How about another cup of eggnog? It feels like the calories are adding up just thinking about it. Our Master Trainers all agree on one strategy that works: Eat before dinners and parties. Missy Cornish likes to “eat something healthy with a large glass of water before heading out to an event.” Mandy Bear opts for Shakeology before attending gatherings. “I show up pretty full and therefore don’t feel the need to have a full plate.” Katie Hake takes it one step further. “Spoil your dinner! Fill up on veggies and fruit before dinner/the party and bring your own healthy dish,” she says. “Remember, the holidays are more about spending quality time with the ones you love.”
And Here’s One Bonus Tip!
It’s nearly impossible to avoid holiday shopping. So, Master Trainer Kam Niskach suggests turning it into your own form of exercise, but offers some advice to help keep your energy level high. “Holiday shopping is cardio!” she says. “Shopping on an empty stomach will just slow you down and pack on the pounds. Pack your purse with healthy snacks like almonds, an apple, and a shake packet.”