My Top 10 Tips on Staying Fit and Motivated This Holiday Season

Weight can creep up over the holidays—and, unlike visiting relatives, may never leave. According to our third annual holiday survey, the average American expects to gain seven pounds from holiday food, and 56 percent are using the holiday season as an excuse to postpone their healthy choices.

Here are some additional findings from the survey:

Since nutrition, mental health, and exercise all play a role in our overall wellbeing, it’s important to keep fitness in mind even during the holidays.

How to Stay Motivated During the Holidays

Of course, it’s not easy to pass up all the holiday cheer, but exercise and mindful eating can help you stay lean and healthy and avoid gaining weight. Here are my favorite tools and tricks to keep me on track with my fitness goals during the holidays:

Get creative.

Use items at home to add additional weighted resistance to your routines. For example, books in a backpack serve as a great practical way to add weight to your squats. Water filled laundry detergent containers work really well as a substitute for a kettlebell and a towel on a hard surface works well in place of sliding disks. Adding weight to your routine helps you to build lean muscle which is great not only for a toned look but also good for boosting your metabolism.

Track your progress for motivation.

Consider getting a tracking device for the holidays. Having the ability to monitor your daily weekly or monthly activity levels makes it easier to accomplish your goals. A low-cost item like a pedometer can be effective, and of course, there are the more technical options that cost a little more – like Garmin, Fit Bits, and Apple Watches – that allow you to add in an element of competition with your family and friends.

Boost your angles.

Changing the angle of an exercise can help to place additional stress on targeted muscles. As an example, performing a push up with your feet elevated places more stress on the chest muscles. The same is true for making exercises easier for beginners, doing a push -up using a table or placing hands on a wall to keep the feet below the chest will reduce the gravity and make an exercise easier.

Try Free, Online Workouts.

Performing exercise in combination with balanced nutrition will improve your overall sense of wellbeing, improve your body composition, and positively impact your body confidence. Free workouts available onlineprovide the flexibility to fit in fitness when it is most convenient, including during the busy holiday season.

Listen to New Music.

There’s nothing quite like fun, new music to give you that boost to get off the couch, run that extra mile, or push through a heavy lifting session. Download new tunes, trade playlists with a friend, or reshuffle your existing library to keep your workouts interesting. Even mix it up with your favorite holiday tunes.

Try Mini Stretch Bands.

Inexpensive mini stretch bands, which come in various resistance levels, can be your best buddy for warming up hips, glutes, shoulders, and back, or use them for a fast and effective resistance routine.

Get New Running Shoes.

Poor weather conditions can make the ground slippery, so having running shoes with good tread at this time of the year is important. Look for new models during the holidays, and take advantage of all those holiday sales.

Run with Reflective Clothing.

Winter nights come early and get cold. When you invest in warm running gear with reflective panels or strips, you’ll be safer and warmer during your outdoor workout.

Jump Rope.

Jumping rope is a good old-fashioned way to warm up and get your heart rate going. Warming up for 10 minutes can also help prevent injury. You can use an interval-style training method and use your jump rope for your entire routine.

Every little bit you do to stay focused on your fitness before and during the holidays will help you afterward. Consider each good choice you make as a gift to your future self.

Control Hunger with Protein Snacks.

Aside from practicing mindful eating, consuming a healthy protein-rich snack before attending holiday parties will help you to feel full, curb unnecessary party snacking, and give you a little energy boost.

Samantha ClaytonOLY, ISSA-CPT – Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness

Samantha Clayton represented Great Britain at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. She is a certified personal trainer with specialty certifications in group fitness, youth fitness programming, senior fitness and athletic conditioning. She has direct responsibility for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors and employees.