Now that you’ve recovered from the hubbub of Halloween, It’s time to make a plan of attack for staying fit through Thanksgiving and Christmas. To help you balance the season’s celebrations with stay-fit choices, we’ve come up with six fun ways to make your health a priority this year. Pick and choose from our suggestions, or leave a comment with your own!
If you haven’t joined the boot camp craze, there’s no reason to wait until the New Year. Boot camp workouts are extremely popular because they work! You’ll need to shell out roughly $150 to $300 for a four or five week session, but that’s an extremely good deal for personal trainer-led workouts that come with a built-in accountability group of other fitness enthusiasts. The nice thing about boot camps is that once you’ve paid for the services, you’re more likely to attend. Plus, you don’t have to think about when to hit the gym, or what you’ll do once you’re there. Just schedule the workout into your normal routine, show up, get it done and get on with your life!
Looking for a boot camp workout that goes above and beyond? Check to see if Camp Gladiator is in your area. Founded by American Gladiator winner Ally Davidson, the workouts are tough, but have a high focus on fun.
I don’t care how busy you are, you can find two, 10-minute timeframes each day to squeeze in a high-intensity exercise session. Take a mid-morning break to run up and down the stairs at your office or spend 10 minutes jumping rope while you wait for your kids to finish their sports practice. If you’re more of a strength-training diva, bust out a quick series of squats, lunges, pushups, chair dips and mountain climbers, performing each exercise for a minute, running through the circuit twice.
These quick bursts of high-intensity exercise will boost your energy while blasting calories to keep your metabolism revving. The key here is consistency – as long as you consistently include 20 minutes of exercise in your daily routine, you’ll be primed and ready to bump up your program after the holiday season is complete.
If you’re not used to high-intensity exercise, recognize that you will start breathing hard and your muscles will ache. You can slow down or give yourself a short, 30 second break if you absolutely must, but since you’re only aiming for 10 minutes of exercise, try to keep on going. You might just surprise yourself.
Dance into the New Year
Christmas and New Year’s parties often involve dancing, so if you plan on attending a fancy soiree, why not brush up on your dance skills before the big event? Sign up for ballroom or salsa lessons that will turn you into the Belle of the Ball while also keeping you active. Contact dance studios or your local community center to see when adult classes are offered.
Race to the finish
It’s a tried and true motivator: sign up for a fitness event and you’re more likely to follow through on training. Check out Active.com to see if there are runs, walks or other race events taking place in your area between November and January. Some of the events we’d love to try include:
- 12K’s of Christmas in Gilbert, AZ
- Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K Run/1 Mile Walk in Colorado Springs, CO
- Christmas Day 5K in Fort Worth, TX
- Jog’r Egg Nog’r 15K & 5K Run/Walk in Dallas, TX
- Frosty 5K, Merry Mile & Santa Sprint in Salina, KS
- Santa Hustle 5K in Chicago, IL
Plan a fit trip
Schools go on break and work tends to slow down during the holiday season, so why not plan an active vacation for yourself and your family? Hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding or head to warmer climates where you can enjoy cycling, swimming or walking tours without freezing your fanny. The key is to plan your activities in advance so that you follow through once you arrive.
If you can’t afford a vacation this year, don’t let that stop you from enjoying vacation-like fun! Check out activities in your area that you’ve been dying to try. You could spend an afternoon at an indoor climbing gym or sign up for a month’s pass to the local trampoline center. Whatever you choose, you’ll feel like you’re taking a break from the day-to-day while also breaking a sweat.
Score a deal
If you’re in the market for a new gym membership, now is the time to score a great deal. Gyms typically see a dip in attendance between September and December, so they may be willing to slash prices or comp the initiation fee if you sign up now. Be sure to call around and compare prices before putting pen to paper – if you know what your options are, you may be able to negotiate added amenities. For instance, see if they’ll throw in a few personal training sessions or a group exercise pass with the base membership price. You’d be surprised how much leeway most gyms have when it comes to signing up new members.
Photo Credit: Lululemon Athletica, http://www.flickr.com/photos/lululemonathletica/3446284512/sizes/l/in/photostream/