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Five Tips to Stay Strong & Healthy Through the Holidays

Posted by Jill Derryberry on Nov 18, 2022 11:00:00 AM
Jill Derryberry
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Five Tips to Stay Strong & Healthy Through the Holidays – Quick Workout Included! 


The holiday season is upon us!  For the rest of the year, we will be busy with shopping, parties, family gatherings, and food.  Exercise is usually the first thing to get cut when things get hectic, but this is the time when it is especially important to keep fitness in your schedule.  Workouts will help you cope with the stress and excess food that comes with the season.  Plus, it will help keep your immune system strong.  Who wants to be sick during the Holidays?  No excuses to skip a workout when you need it now more than any other time of year!  Here are five tips to keep moving this Holiday Season. 
       1.  Make it a priority.  Instead of canceling your normal workout class after work to do some holiday prep, what else can you reduce so you can keep that workout in the schedule?  Maybe cut back an hour of a Netflix binge or scrolling through social media time to go pick up some gifts instead of skipping that group exercise class or other workout.   


During the holiday season there may be more events happening that change your usual schedule.  Be flexible and look at your calendar each week to plan your workouts.  They may not be when you usually workout, but there probably is another time you can get some exercise in.  Once you decide on when your workout will be that week, try not to change the plan.  However, it might be a good idea to have a Plan A and a Plan B.  For example, your book club has a holiday party on a night you typically go to the gym.  Since this is a one-time, special occasion, you’d like to attend so you plan (A) to go to the gym that morning before work.  But then you wake up that morning and your child is sick.  Not to worry, your plan B is to do an exercise video at home if you can’t make it to the gym.   

  1. Add a walk after your meal.  Walking after you eat aids in digestion and helps reduce any potential bloating.  Plus, walking after a meal can help manage and prevent diabetes or heart disease by keeping blood sugars from spiking.  Research has found that even just a 2–5-minute walk can keep your blood sugar levels more even than if you sit or stand after eating.  Large spikes and subsequent big drops of blood sugar can raise the risk for diabetes and heart disease.  Also, you feel hungry again as soon as the levels plunge after a big spike so may end up eating more than you need.  Make it a family event and bring everyone out to walk or do something active after dinner. 
    ​3.  Sign up for a race.  There are so many fun Holiday themed races.  Plan and train to run or walk a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving or another Holiday race.  It will be a fun atmosphere and sometimes raises money for a great cause.  They even have races that play Christmas carols while you run and some where you can wear Santa Hats!  


  1. Traveling?  No excuse! Traveling is the perfect time to check out new workouts and fitness centers!  I love checking out the fitness centers in hotels.  I want to get every penny's worth from a hotel stay and love to take advantage of everything they offer.  

    If you are staying with family or friends, see if they have somewhere they currently workout and if they would take you.  Many gyms and studios let members bring a guest for free or a nominal cost.  This is a great opportunity to try a new workout you might not have at home or just haven't done before. Or if you have family visiting from out of town, bring them to your gym with you as your guest!   
    Another way to exercise while traveling is to walk or run in the area.  It's a great way to see somewhere you aren't as familiar with or to revisit old haunts.   I love running in new or different places (especially when a beach is involved).  It makes your workout more interesting and fun plus you get to see sights you might have otherwise missed. 
    5.  Embrace short workouts.  If you truly feel you don't have time to get in a workout class, online video, DVD or a trip to the gym, don't forget that any movement adds up.  Find a short circuit workout to do at home.  Many don't require any equipment.   Make sure you are getting plenty of movement in each day.  Walk farther away from the store.  Do squats and jumping jacks while you prepare dinner or watch tv, you get the idea, just get moving whenever you can! 


The 10 Minute Workout 


Here's a quick no equipment workout for you to do anywhere.  It’s an AMRAP, which stands for As Many Rounds as Possible.  This AMRAP has three exercises which you will do 10 repetitions (reps) of the exercise before moving on to the next, do 10 reps of that exercise and then after 10 reps of the third exercise take a quick break (if you need to) then start with the first exercise again and continue going through the circuit of three exercises, 10 reps each, until your 10 minutes is complete.  Don’t have 10 minutes?  Do it for any length of time you have available, it all counts! 


Warm up with 30 seconds of Jumping Jacks or Marching in Place with High Knees then a 30 second Plank then repeat each one more time 


For the remainder of your 10 minutes, complete 10 reps of each of: 

       1. Squats 

Step 1:  Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes facing in front of you.   

Step 2:  Keeping your back flat, slowly lower your body, bending at the knees and the hips. Stop when your legs form a 90-degree angle. Do not let your knees go much past your toes.  

Step 3:  Slowly push through your heels to return to the starting position, contracting the thigh and glute muscles. 

        2. Push Ups

Step 1: Begin in a plank position with your arms straight. Your shoulders should be over your wrists and your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Keep your core engaged and don’t let your hips sag. 

Step 2: slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor 

Step 3: Press upwards back to plank position. You can start on your knees or try it against a wall or bench to modify this exercise. 

        3. Mountain Climbers


 Step 1: Start in a plank position with arms and legs long. Beginning in a solid plank is the key to proper form and good results in the Mountain Climber. At its heart, the Mountain Climber is a form of plank. Keep your abs pulled in and your body straight. Squeeze your glutes and pull your shoulders away from your ears 

Step 2: Pull your right knee into your chest.  As the knee draws to the chest, pull your abs in even tighter to be sure your body doesn’t sag or come out of its plank position. 

Step 3: Quickly switch and pull the left knee in. At the same time you push your right leg back, pull your left knee in to the chest using the same form. 

Step 4: Continue to switch knees. Pull the knees in right, left, right, left—always switching simultaneously so that you are using a “running” motion. As you begin to move more quickly be in constant awareness of your body position and be sure to keep a straight line in your spine and don’t let your head droop. Core body stability is crucial. 

Each time you pull in your right and left knee is one rep. 

Rest for a minute then repeat until your 10 minutes is up!   

Bottom line, enjoy the holiday season and keep your fitness habit.  It’s okay if it may look a little different for a month or two, just don’t cut it out completely.  Take care of your mental and physical health.  It’s the best gift you can give yourself and everyone you love! 


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