If the “most wonderful time of the year” has you stressed out about all those missed workouts and extra helpings of casserole, you’re not alone. Travel plans, holiday parties, and festive treats can mess with your workout plan, and before you know it, you feel like you’re back at square one.
If this sounds familiar, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few simple tips to help you keep your fit goals on track this Christmastime.
1. Say “Yes” to Less
If you’re already stressed out just thinking about everything you have to do this holiday season, embrace a “less is more” mantra. Instead of saying yes to every Secret Santa, pot luck dinner, and holiday happy hour you’re invited to, pick and choose the events you’ll enjoy most.
“This will overall create less stress,” says Stephanie Mansour, personal trainer and owner of Step It Up with Steph in Chicago. Plus it’ll free up your calendar a bit, so you actually have time to squeeze in some holiday fitness.
2. Scale Back Your Workouts
Avoid the all-or-nothing approach when it comes to holiday fitness. If you don’t have time for your usual workout routine during the hectic holiday season, cut yourself some slack and schedule shorter, less-intense workouts.
“Less-intense workouts mean you’ll be less intimidated to actually start them, and shorter workouts mean you’ll be able to schedule them more easily in your calendar,” Mansour says.
3. Put Fitness on the Calendar
It’s easy to overcommit over the holidays — and when you feel like you have zero spare time, your fitness goals can end up on the back burner.
Leave some wiggle room in your schedule so it’s easier to find time for fitness. “Don’t schedule things back-to-back,” Mansour says. Instead of bouncing straight from work to a holiday party, for example, schedule a short break in between — then use that time to do a 10-minute workout or a few quick core exercises.
Better yet, block out time for workouts before you start filling your calendar with holiday obligations — and write in what workout you’ll do so you don’t get stuck in decision mode.
4. Focus on Adding Healthy Foods
We know Christmas cookies and holiday cocktails aren’t typically the healthiest options. But telling yourself “no” over and over again can get pretty exhausting — and deflating.
Instead of operating in deprivation mode, focus on adding healthy foods that will fuel your holiday fitness goals — like an extra serving of veggies at brunch or some protein with your grandma’s pasta dinner. “By focusing on what you can have, you’ll be in the mindset to do healthier things for yourself,” Mansour says. “Add things in and feel good about what you’re doing for your body.”
And if you want to check both the “healthy” and “treat” boxes simultaneously, Shakeology offers dense nutrition and versatility. Enjoy shakes, “ice cream,” pies and more while fueling your body with superfood nutrients at the same time.
5. Prioritize Self-Care
Not feeling up to a workout? Instead of vegging on the couch, choose a self-care activity: Do a relaxing yoga sequence, meditate, or take a walk.
What to Do if You Get Off Track
If you feel like you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon, re-enter your routine with a single healthy choice. “Just because you made 10 unhealthy choices doesn’t mean the whole day is shot,” Mansour says. “Think about every single day, hour, and choice as its own, and separate from the others.”
So even if you skipped your morning workout to meet friends for brunch — and then went a little overboard with mimosas and puff pastries — you can still salvage the day by streaming a workout in the afternoon. Every healthy choice adds up!