Fitness Tips for The Holidays — Lionesses of Africa

by Emily Kandanga

The holidays are a festive time of year with seemingly endless opportunities to cheat on your diet and skip a workout. Weight gain is almost an assumed part of this season. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We have carefully crafted a few tips that you can use to stay on track with your fitness this holiday season!

Plan for it, or it won’t happen

Make time for your workouts just as you make time for each of your festive gatherings—put it on the calendar. Planning ahead by adding your workouts to your schedule ensures they will fit into your day. Many of the holiday parties and dinners take place in the evening, so set aside time each morning to go for a run, hit the gym, or take part in online fitness classes at home.

A short workout is better than no workout

As your schedule fills with holiday activities, you might not always have time enough time for a full workout, so don’t be afraid to break it up into smaller chunks. Go for a 20-minute run before work, then stop by the gym for 20 minutes of weights on the way home. Remember that some physical activity is better than no activity, even just one mini workout is better than sitting around all day. Stay accountable for including a workout but allow for flexibility with duration.

Don’t shy away from creative ways to move

Along with being flexible in your scheduling, get creative with your activities. Even if you’re spending the whole day out shopping or at your family’s house for Christmas, you can still get your body moving.

Take the stairs, buddy!

Make elevators and escalators off-limits until after New Year’s Day. If you’re at the mall and want to add to the challenge, stop at a store on the lower level of the mall, then make your next store on the top level, then switch again. You’ll get in a solid stair workout by the time you’re done picking out gifts. You can also take a few extra laps around the mall to get in more activity.

Get outside

Grab a soccer ball and go kick it around with the kiddies. This is a great way to burn calories while having fun & bonding with your family. Everyone gets to experience that rush of feel-good hormones after running a few laps.

It’s time to get a workout buddy

Even if it’s just for the holiday season, having a workout partner can help you stay motivated and accountable. You’re more likely to get to the gym or show up for a Zoom workout if you have someone there waiting to work out with you. To step it up, make a bet: if one person skips a workout, they owe the other person N$ 50 bucks or they have to wear a Santa hat during the next workout. A little fun can boost everyone’s motivation.

Treat yourself

Treat yourself to new leggings to inspire you to get outside & move your body. Make sure you stick to the workouts you planned by placing N$10.00 – N$20.00 in a jar for each one you complete, then spend the money on something fun after the holiday season.

Sip sip, some water!

With the holidays comes a variety of festive drinks—these drinks are often overloaded with calories and not the best at keeping you hydrated, so drink them in moderation. Keep your water bottle full and accessible, and be sure to drink plenty of water before any holiday gathering. This not only helps with staying hydrated, but it also helps you feel full so you’re more likely to resist the extra food. Considering making one of your workout rewards a new festively decorated water bottle to inspire you to stay hydrated through the holidays.

So, with a little planning and creativity, maintaining a fitness plan through the holidays can still leave room for fun and festivities.

Happy Holidays!

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