Whether you’re a fitness guru, determined dieter, or just trying to stay in shape, the holiday season can be a veritable maze of potential missteps and health hazards, but there are some tricks to staying on track this holiday season to help ease the stress of a potential diet disaster.
For many the holiday season means travel, and quite a bit of it, which in turn makes the idea of trying to work out or stay in shape seem near impossible. Throw in the easy convenience of travel food (whether it comes from the airport food court or a gas station pit stop) and the knowledge that holiday dinners are rarely in tune with a dieters meal, it can all start to feel a little hopeless and a lot overwhelming.
Below are tips on how to stay fit and active as you travel:
- Planning: Make time for your work out! Enough cannot be said on the importance of deciding ahead of time what you want to do. In the same manner you plan your pit stops, visits with friends, and restaurants you just have to visit—pick a time and place to work out and make it just as important in your mind as the vacation experience. If you’re staying at a hotel call ahead of time and find out if they have a gym or are close by to one that you can use.
- Be flexible: Don’t fall into the trap that you have to use a gym to get a good workout, change up your routine and look for opportunities as you travel. While at the airport don’t just sit at your gate, take a power walk through the terminals and along the halls to keep your heart rate up. Sit farther away from food courts or distractions so if you do get something to eat from a fast food spot you put in a little work for it. Remember: a short work out is better than no workout at all. If you’re in the car be sure to take pit stops often to walk and stretch a little, find opportunities to get active and move. While at your destination take the time to find a park or somewhere you can walk or run, sight see while getting your work out in. Barring that, make time early in the morning or just before bed to do a little yoga in your room, take the time to work on toning your core rather than focusing on hard hitting cardio.
- Pack smart: Utilize easy to pack work out equipment to help keep you on track, including work out clothing. Don’t use having no clothes as an excuse to not put in the time! Resistance bands are a great light weight way to keep up your muscle strength training, you can pack it in a carry on and use the band while you wait on your flight. Other great options include jump ropes, hand grips, stress balls or even tennis balls.
The most important thing to remember is that no one is perfect and cheating on your diet or skipping a work out is not the end of the world. Be creative and be flexible when it comes to staying fit this holiday season, and get the family involved too. Go for nature walks, walk through light parks, or take the long way to a sightseeing spot. You have the chance to change up your normal routine, have a little fun with it, and treat it like an adventure.