We always have been told the holiday season is not a good time to try to lose weight, but it’s important to remember it’s also not a good time to lose our health. As December nears, you’ll want to think about how you will strive to maintain your weight and your health throughout the holiday season. Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • The holidays are often a slower time for fitness and wellness centers. Take advantage of the slow time at these locations and enjoy better access to equipment, group exercise classes that aren’t as crowded and special attention by fitness specialists.
  • Get out early and complete your workout before the hustle and bustle of your daily activity creates excuses. Besides, the exercise will energize you for the holiday shopping ahead.
  • Add exercise to your holiday traditions. I usually train for a marathon at this time of year, but there are shorter and less strenuous athletic events around Thanksgiving and Christmas, such as the Thanksgiving Day Run or the downtown Christmas Run and other events sponsored by local businesses and organizations. Create a family tradition by training for and participating in these events.
  • Not exercising regularly and overeating can both add to your stress, and you don’t want added stress. Exercise is a stress reliever.
  • Keep an exercise log. Record your weight and workout stats. Keeping track of your workouts through the holidays will inspire you to continue.
  • Exercise with friends and hold each other accountable.
  • Participate in walking and running groups. Locally, the Red River Roadrunners has groups that meet and run together several times weekly. Check out their Facebook page for more information.
  • Remember, the holidays are not about overeating or deprivation but about enjoying time with family and friends.
  • When family and friends come to visit, encourage them to exercise and stay health conscious through the holidays by having fitness oriented family outings like walking or biking. Some fitness centers in the area offer guest passes free or at a greatly reduced rate for families of their members.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get through this holiday season feeling great without the added stress of weight gain due to lack of exercise and making unhealthy choices? Don’t wait until the new year to resolve to be healthier. Healthy living through the holidays puts you one step ahead of your New Year’s resolutions.

Fitness Tip: Treat yourself during the holidays, not to pie, but to new workout attire or equipment to help boost your motivation during the holidays.